Inheritance and bequests
Making inheritance arrangements is not a question of age. Any responsible person will make arrangements early on – as a precautionary measure – for the case that something happens to him/her unexpectedly. Everyone has the option to determine their heirs themselves by way of a testament or contract of inheritance and to make arrangements concerning the inheritance of their estate – or in some cases to change the line of legal succession. The notary can provide comprehensive advice on this topic. Where no testamentary disposition has been made, the line of legal succession set down in the German Civil Code (BGB) applies. This, however, does not necessarily correspond to what the testator had in mind. The transfer of assets to one’s descendants during one’s lifetime, thus forestalling a later transfer by reason of death, may be favored for a number of reasons.