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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2899
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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My mother inherited the house after my father passed away.

Customer Question

my mother inherited the house after my father passed away. there are 5 children. The house became unmanageable for my mother and she sold the house for 45,000 Euros. Shortly afterwards she gifted 4 of her children 10,000 Euros each. My oldest brother had broken off contact with my mom about 10 years prior. My mom decided that she didn't want to give him any money. My mom passed away in November and left a small amount of money, which will be divided by 5, according to my parents will. My older brother is now wanting to take his 4 siblings to court wanting "his share" of the 40,000 Euros, my mom gifted the other siblings while still alive. Does he have any rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: German Law
Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 2 years ago.
yes, there is a mandatory part of the heritage (Pflichtteil, half of his actual part he would have by law) which your brother can claim from the heritage, see § 2303 BGB.
Gifts up to 10 years before the death have to be considered, in the first year before the death to a 100 %, each year before 10 % les, see § 2325 BGB.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry, I do not understand your answer. Was my mother not allowed to spend her money as she saw fit? My brother is getting his share of the money that is left after her death, but when she sold the house, which solely belonged to her, she was obviously still alive. So what does that have to do with the Pflichtteil? What if she had given 40.000 Euros to the Humane Society? Why would a house she sold years before her death have anything to do with the heritage?
Thank you
Expert:  hhvgoetz replied 2 years ago.
We are talking about a case where German heritage law is applicble, aren't we?
Your mother was allowed to give the money away to others. But as far as she gave it to legal inheritors these are obliged to pay out the "Pflichtteil" and the so called additional Pflichtteil according to the gifts.
Please see the cited law!
If the legal inheritors did not receive enough money, the rest has to be recovered from the person who received the gift (the Humane Society or whoever), see § 2329 BGB.
However, it may be possible to argue in certain cases when the persons receiving the house for long years of intense care and service for your mother, see § 2330 BGB. But these are execeptional cases.

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