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The period of limitation for the compulsory share of the estate is three years

German law-maker modified the period of limitation for the enforcement of the compulsory share of the estate as of 01.01.2010.

Ever since we have to apply section 195 of the Civil Code. This means that the ordinary period of limitation has effect for the compulsory share of the estate as well. This is very important since the three-years-period applies from the end of the year when the person gets to know the relevant facts. These are usually twofold: The opening of the testamentary disposition and of course the fact of the death of the testator.

To give an example: The testator died on 2. March 2012. The last will is opened on 07. March 2012. The period of limitation then runs from 01. January 2013 and ends on 31. December 2015. 

But this is only true if the person entitled gets to know the facts in that year. It is also conceivable – and in practice happens often – that s/he gets to know about their entitlement considerably later. Maybe because the address of the person was not known or others wanted to hide it from that person. 

If in the above example the person gets to know the fact on 15. May 2015, then the period of limitation runs out on 31. December 2018.

However, the absolute end of the period of limitation is 30 years, no matter if and when the person entitled to the compulsory share of the estate got to know the facts.

If you have any problems or queries on German law of succession, do not hesitate to contact us here

German law of succession

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer

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