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Apply for a sole certificate on the basis of a will

The sole certificate will be issued to you by the probate court. It testifies that you are the only person who is the heir, i.e. that you are the legal successor of the testator alone. This is the case if the deceased person has appointed you as the sole or universal heir in the will or contract of inheritance.

With the certificate of inheritance, for example, you get access to bank accounts of the deceased person or you can apply for entries in the land register.

Process flow

You must apply for a sole certificate at the competent probate court (district court):

  • Submit an informal application for the issuance of a sole certificate and attach all the necessary documents to your letter.
  • Alternatively, you can submit the application via an authorised person, such as a notary or a lawyer, or declare it to the court for the record.
  • Personally submit an insurance on oath before the district court or before a notary or before a notary. By doing so, you assure that you are not aware of anything that would prevent the correctness of your information in the application for a certificate of inheritance.
    • This is not necessary if the district court waives it.
    • If a notary notary certifies the insurance on oath, this person can at the same time certify the application for a certificate of inheritance.
  • The district court checks your eligibility and issues the certificate of inheritance.


Only as a sole inherited can you apply for a single certificate.

Which documents are required?

  • Identity card or passport
  • Death certificate of the deceased person, i.e. the testator
  • Information on whether there is a process on your inheritance law
  • Proof of why certain persons who would actually be (co-)heirs are not heirs, for example:
    • Death certificates
    • Declarations of Waiver of Inheritance
    • Declarations of renunciation of inheritance
  • Wills or contracts of inheritance or at least the information on them, for example in the case of special official custody
  • in the case of spouses: proof of matrimonial property regime if applicable
  • in the case of registered civil partnerships: proof of assets if applicable

What are the fees?

  • The amount of the fees depends on the value of the estate after deduction of the testator's debts.
  • The issuance of a sole certificate by the probate court, for example, costs
    • with a discount value of EUR 30,000 EUR 125.00,
    • with a discount value of EUR 100,000 EUR 273.00 and
    • with a discount value of EUR 500,000 EUR 935.00.
  • In addition, you must pay fees of the same amount for the notarization of an affidavit with the probate court or with a notary. In addition, there may be writing expenses and VAT.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

You do not have to meet any deadlines.

Applications / forms

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

  • when applying: no
  • in case of affidavit: yes


  • Complaint
  • Application for confiscation of the certificate of inheritance


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Professionally released on


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

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.