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Apply for a subject limited sole heirship certificate

A sole heir certificate testifies that you alone are the legal successor to the deceased. This is the case if the deceased person designated you as the sole or universal heir in a will or on the basis of an inheritance contract. Or if you are the sole heir under the statutory succession because all the other co-heirs have renounced their inheritance.

You can also apply for a limited certificate of inheritance at the probate court. If there is an estate abroad in the form of objects, this certificate of inheritance is restricted to the estate located in Germany.

You must apply for a certificate of sole inheritance at the competent probate court (local court):

  • Make an informal application there for the issue of a sole inheritance certificate and attach all the necessary documents.
  • Alternatively, you can submit the application
    • through an authorized person, such as a notary public or a lawyer, or
    • declare it on the record at court.
  • Make an affirmation in lieu of an oath in person before the local court or before a notary public. In doing so, you affirm that you are not aware of anything that contradicts the correctness of the information you have provided in the application for a certificate of inheritance.
    • This is not necessary if the local court waives it.
    • If a notary certifies the affirmation in lieu of oath, this person can certify the application for a certificate of inheritance at the same time.
  • The local court will check your eligibility and issue the certificate of inheritance.
  • You are the sole heir
  • You accept an inheritance that includes items at home and abroad.
  • Identity card or passport
  • Death certificate of the deceased person, i.e. the testator
  • If applicable, documents to document the status as legal heir, for example
    • Family register
    • Birth certificates,
    • Marriage certificate
  • Information on whether there is a lawsuit concerning your right of inheritance
  • Evidence as to why certain persons who would actually be (co-)heirs are not heirs, for example:
    • Death certificates
    • Declarations of heirship
    • Declarations of renunciation of inheritance
  • If applicable, submission or details of wills or inheritance contracts
  • In the case of married couples: Proof of matrimonial property regime
  • in the case of registered partnerships: Proof of asset status
  • Statement or proof that items of the estate are located abroad
  • The amount of the fees depends on the value of the estate in Germany after deduction of the debts of the testator.
  • For example, the issuance of a sole inheritance certificate by the probate court costs
    • for an estate value of EUR 30,000 EUR 125.00,
    • for an estate value of EUR 100,000 EUR 273.00 and
    • for an estate value of EUR 500,000 EUR 935.00.
  • In addition, you must pay fees in the same amount for the certification of an affidavit at the probate court or with a notary public. If applicable, clerical expenses and value-added tax must also be added.

You do not have to meet any deadlines.

Online procedure possible:
Written form required: no
Personal appearance required

  • for application: no
  • for affidavit: yes
  • Complaint
  • Request for withdrawal of the certificate of inheritance

Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection


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)