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Requesting the return of an officially deposited disposition of property upon death (e.g. will)

You can request the return of your will from special official custody at any time. You can also reclaim an inheritance contract containing dispositions upon death from the special official or notarial custody.

The will may only be returned to you personally.

A joint will may only be returned to both spouses or partners.

An inheritance contract may only be returned to all parties to the contract jointly.

Your notarized will or contract of inheritance is deemed revoked when you receive it back from the official depository. A note to this effect will be made on the will or inheritance contract.

  • The return of a handwritten will does not have this effect; it is not considered revoked.

If you wish to withdraw a disposition upon death from special official custody, it is advisable to proceed as follows:

  • Please contact the probate court responsible for you and make an appointment.
  • If you have testified jointly, all testators must submit the application and also accept the disposition upon death jointly. This also applies mutatis mutandis if you have concluded an inheritance contract. Then all contracting parties must submit the application.
  • Please bring your identity card and, if available, the deposit slip with you to the appointment.
  • In the event of the return of the disposition upon death, the judicial officer may be responsible for the order. Your testability is checked. This is because, under certain circumstances, the withdrawal from official custody also has the effect of revoking the deposited disposition upon death.
  • The court reports the return to the Central Register of Wills.

The competent local court in accordance with § 344 FamFG is responsible.

  • You are the testator.
  • You have testamentary capacity. This means that
    • You are at least 16 years old and
    • legally competent.
  • The will may only be returned to you personally.
  • A joint will may only be returned to both spouses. This also applies to joint wills of registered civil partners.

An inheritance contract can only be returned to all parties to the contract jointly.

  • Identity card or passport with registration certificate
  • Certificate of deposit, if applicable

No costs are incurred.

Exception: A fee is charged for the withdrawal of an inheritance contract from notarial custody, the amount of which depends on the value of the assets that are the subject of the inheritance contract.

Fee: free of charge

There is no deadline.

The matter is normally settled at the first appointment.

Forms required: No

Online procedure possible: No

Written form necessary: No

Personal appearance required: Yes. You can be represented when submitting the application or submit the application in writing. However, the return of the disposition of property upon death can only be made to you personally.

If the restitution to the testator is refused, the judicial officer decides by order, § 38 FamFG. The testator can lodge an appeal against the refusal for a limited period of time, §§ 58 et seq., 63 FamFG, 11 RPflG.

If, according to state law, a clerk of the court was functionally responsible instead of the judicial officer, a reminder must be filed analogously to § 573 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Amtsgericht Papenburg
Address: Hauptkanal links 28 , 26871 Papenburg
Postal address: Post Office Box 1152 , 26851 Papenburg
Telephone: 04961 924-0
Fax: 04961 924-155

Data protection information

Landkreis Emsland
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)