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Apply for a single certificate of inheritance based on a will

The sole heir certificate is issued by the probate court. It proves that you are the sole heir, i.e. that you are the sole legal successor to the deceased. This is the case if the deceased person appointed you as sole or universal heir in a will or inheritance contract.

The certificate of inheritance gives you access to the deceased person's bank accounts, for example, or you can apply for entries in the land register.

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

  • Make an informal application there for a certificate of sole inheritance and attach all the necessary documents to your letter.
  • Alternatively, you can submit the application via an authorized person, such as a notary public or a lawyer, or declare it in court for the record.
  • 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 can only apply for a sole heir certificate if you are the sole heir.

  • Identity card or passport
  • Death certificate of the deceased person, i.e. the testator
  • 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
  • Wills or inheritance contracts or at least the details thereof, for example in the case of special official safekeeping
  • in the case of married couples: proof of the matrimonial property regime, if applicable
  • in the case of registered civil partnerships: if applicable, proof of the asset status
  • The amount of the fees depends on the value of the estate after deduction of the decedent's debts.
  • For example, the issuance of a sole certificate of inheritance 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 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 1253 , 49702 Meppen
Address: Obergerichtsstraße 20 , 49716 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 888-100
Fax: 05931 888-250

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)