Getting information from heirs in German Inheritance Law
If you are entitled to a compulsory share from the estate, it is absolutely vital to get information as to what does the estate comprise, how much is the value etc., but also were there any presents the testator made ten years before his/her death.
Very often the heirs are not willing to give full information, deny any or give wrong data.
You do not have to put up with this.
§ 2314 of the Civil Code gives you a clear right to get a full inventory of the estate from the heirs:
Duty of the heir to provide information
(1) If the person entitled to a compulsory share is not an heir, the heir must give him, on demand, information on the condition of the estate. The person entitled to a compulsory share may demand that he be called to participate in the drawing up of the inventory of the objects of the estate, in accordance with section 260, and that the value of the objects of the estate is determined. He may also demand that the inventory is drawn up by the competent public authority, or by a competent official or notary.“
(quoted from the official translation of the German Civil Code by the German Ministry of Justice.)
Of course since this is a strong right it can be enforced in a legal procedure before the competent court. Usually a serious letter by a lawyer demanding the inventory (usually giving a strict deadline as well) makes the heirs give the information, since they would not go into a court-case they are bound to lose.
If you have a similar or any other issue in German inheritance law, you can contact us here.