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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2920
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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My mother and I live in Australia. My mothers brother (my uncle)

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My mother and I live in Australia. My mothers brother (my uncle) passed away in July 2011,in Germany.

My mother received a phone call from the wife of her brother. Saying that she is unable to sell her house until my mother signs it over to her. My mother never had anything to do with their house when they purchased it. So she is very confused as to why she needs to sign anything. Papers are being sent to her from Germany and she is supposed to go to the German Embassy to have them witnessed.

I am guessing perhaps her brother left her a share of his property in his will. We have never asked over a will or seen one. Is it possible to apply for a Will Search and look at a copy of his will. My mother is elderly and is getting very concerned as to why she should be signed papers. $65.00

As a matter of fact it seems to be the case that your mother inherited part of the house.

If there were no children and her brother inherited something your mother will also have inherited a part. Even if there was a last will there is still the legal share (Pflichtteil) of 50 % of what she would have inherited by law.


Your mother should ask directly your mother's brother for details on the heritage and its commercial value and ask for her share. If this does not work out, she will need the help of a lawyer.


Be aware that in the case of a last will the prescription period for requesting the legal share from the brother is until the end of 2014. By the end of 2014 legal steps before court must have been taken.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My mother is 77yrs old. Her brother was 70 when he died in 2011. He had no children.

The house belonged to him and his wife. Not to any parents. so why would the wife be needing my mother to sign anything.


Is it possible to search for a will in Germany? My mother cannot ask her brother. That is why she is confused and how does she find out if or what was left to her?

You can ask the local court (Amtsgericht Oldenburg Holstein), but this will not help you as she will be able to ask for her legal share anyway.


Ahh, her brother died, too.

Then ask his wife for information.

If you cannot do so, you will need to ask a lawyer.

Don't sign anything without resolving this issue beforehand (if your mother does not desire to give her share as a gift to her brother's wife.


Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Mr Goetz,I appreciated the advice to contact the Amtsgericht Oldenburg Holstein, which I have done. In my first line I stated that my uncle had "passed away" in July 2011, perhaps I should have said, died.


I still don't know whether it is possible to request a copy of a will?


The widow of my uncle has never told us of a will and it looks like she may be trying to cheat my mother out of an inheritance.


Thanking You

Tina Humphrey



You can ask the Amtsgericht, whether they have registered a last will. However, there i no obligation in Germany to register a last will. Thus, anyone could have made it disappear.


"passed away" should be understood by most German people with basic English from school as in German you could stipulate it in the same way ("dahingeschieden").


Good luck.

Let me know about the answer from the court and please do not forget to rate my service.



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