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Renouncing an inheritance in Germany

Under German law, an heir can declare the renouncement of succession to the competent German Probate Court within six weeks – or if the heir is outside of Germany within six months – of becoming aware of the inheritance.

If you cannot personally declare the renouncement at the competent German Probate Court, your signature will need to be certified, which can be done by the Legalisation desk of the Embassy in London, the Consulate General in Edinburgh or by a German Honorary Consul in the United Kingdom.

Can I also have my signature certified elsewhere?

Yes, alternatively you can have your signature certified by a notary public and then get the document apostilled by the FCO.

A document certified by a British notary public and apostilled by the FCO can be used in Germany.

Once the declaration of renouncement has been legalised, you must send it to the competent court in Germany.

A draft declaration of renouncement can be downloaded below.

Attention: The draft declaration is a sample only; it must be amended by the renouncing party as necessary according to individual circumstances. The German Missions explicitly remind you that the draft is a non-binding template. Should you require advice concerning your individual case, please consult a member of the legal profession or contact the competent probate court directly.

Please take particular note of the information sheet available for download below, which contains detailed information about the procedure involved.

If you wish to contact the Legalisation departments of the Embassy or the Consulate General, please use the contact forms below:

Legalisation enquiries London

All enquiries Edinburgh

Further information and opening times of the Legalisation departments of the Embassy and the Consulate General can be found here.


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