„Lover testament“ in German law of succession

"Lover testament" in German law of succession

Lover testament in German law of succession – invalid or not?

In a so-called „lover testament“ the testator benefits his/her extramarital partner instead of the spouse.  This could raise the question whether such testament is legally valid or not. 

It can be a terrible shock: not only has the spouse deceased, he also left a will behind according to which someone else, somebody we maybe even did not know about, is appointed as the heir of the testator.

Such situation needs to be evaluated legally in a very profound way. Legally the decisive question is whether the will is „immoral“ to an extent that it is to be considered null and void. 

One question is what the testator wanted to „reward“ with his appointment of his lover. Was it only certain (sexual) „services“? Then the will is probably to be considered against moral standards and cannot hold. Or was there more to it? Help in every field of life, like profession, income, care when sick etc. Then the will is legitimate legally. 

The sole fact that the testator benefitted a partner he or she was not married with does not constitute an invalid will.

And do not forget: the surviving spouse still gets the „compulsory portion or share“ of the estate by law, if they were excluded by the last will.

If you have any questions concerning pensions from Germany, do not hesitate to contact us here

Dr. Donat Ebert

Ügyvéd - Rechtsanwalt (HU, D)

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