Formalities for a handwritten testament in Germany – part 3: witnesses

Do we need witnesses for a handwritten testament in German law of succession?

In contrast to other jurisdictions, German law of succession does not require any witnesses for the signature of the last will. 

For the German law-maker it obviously suffices that the handwritten will has to be written by the testator´s hand from the beginning to the end to prove that the testator is really the author of the will. The authenticity of the will might then be proven with the help of a graphologist.  

Witnesses are not required. On the contrary the presence of other people might give cause to the suspicion that the will was not written free of any form of undue influence or duress. 

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us here.

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer
Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
Dr. Donat Ebert

Dr. Donat Ebert

Ügyvéd - Rechtsanwalt (HU, D)

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