Contradicting testaments in German inheritance law

Contradicting testaments in German inheritance law

How to deal with two or more contradicting testaments in German inheritance law?

The answer to the problem of contradicting testaments can be found in section 2258 of the German Civil Code:

„Revocation by a later will

(1)The making of a will revokes an earlier will to the extent that the later will is at variance with the former.

(2)If the later will is revoked, the earlier will is, in case of doubt, effective in the same way as if it had not been revoked.“ (Official translation of the German Civil Code by German Federal Ministry of Justice, to be found here).

 The decisive question is therefore which testament was composed later of the two or more testaments. As far as there is a contradiction between the earlier and the more recent testament, the later will prevail. But it can also be that the „younger“ testament is only in part in contrast with the older one. 

In such case only a thorough comparison and interpretation of the text of the last will can help.

This is a classical situation when you should definitely consult a native speaker who is specialized in German law of inheritance. 

If you have any questions concerning German inheritance law, you may contact us here.


Dr. Donat Ebert

Dr. Donat Ebert

Ügyvéd - Rechtsanwalt (HU, D)

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