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Last will and divorce – what happens, if the ex was named as heir?

Surprisingly enough last wills are sometimes forgotten. This can be one explanation why someone names his/her spouse as heir in the last will, then gets a divorce and leaves the testament untouched. Which means that the „ex“ stays named as an heir – whereas a possible new partner is not named.

Be it fortunate or not, the German law presumes that such situation is not in correspondence with the will of the testator and governs otherwise in section 2077 of the German Civil Code.

But if we have any indicators that the testator wanted the ex-spouse to stay as a beneficiary, the respective clause can be considered as valid. But this might be difficult to prove. 

If you have any question concerning German inheritance law, do not hesitate to contact us here.

Német ügyvéd

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – lawyer


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