How long does it take to get a German certificate of inheritance?
As most clients now already or informed by me then, usually the starting point for getting real access to the estate of a German inheritance case is the possession of a certificate of inheritance. This document can only be issued by the competent probate court.
One of the next questions then is how long does the court take to decide and issue this important paper.
The answer is the usual answer by a German lawyer: „This depends.“
It depends on how well the application for the certificate of inheritance is prepared. Are all documents included to the application? Are all declarations made? Do you have all confirmations needed?
If not – and this is often the case, particularly if the client is not supported by a competent lawyer -, the court will ask for them. And obviously for this the court first has to check, then write the letter asking for supplementing, this letter has to be served to the applicant and so on and so forth. This might drag on and on for month. Better to do it properly right from the start
Once all documents necessary are with the court, the time until we actually get the certificate into our hands also varies. Depending on the workload or backlogs at that very court.
Nowadays I made an application to a probate court that is known for being overburdened with work and under-equipped with staff and infrastructure. Yet I got the certificate within less than four months. Which was excellent. Thanks to the cooperation of the people in charge and the good preparation of the application. Or maybe it was my friendly, respectful, yet regular way of „urging“? Well, I would say yes, you have to know how to do it.
Other courts are even quicker. Berlin-Schöneberg the other day took two months – though also a classically overloaded court.
Important is to do it professionally. Know what it takes for a successful application. How to deal and speak with people. Speak their language. And be friendly and persistent.
I can do that for you. If you need support, you can contact me here.