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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a minimum joint certificate of inheritance


When a testator dies, they usually leave behind not just one heir, but several. These become part of the so-called community of heirs upon inheritance. The estate is only divided among the individual heirs in accordance with the agreements made once the estate has been settled.

In principle, each individual co-heir can apply for a certificate of inheritance with which they can identify themselves to third parties as the rightful heir. However, if the community of heirs wishes to act jointly and deal with banks, insurers and the land registry, a joint certificate of inheritance is often required.

A minimum certificate of inheritance can be applied for if not all heirs have yet been determined, e.g. because they still need to be identified, but it is clear what the minimum share of the estate is for each heir. The minimum certificate of inheritance then only shows the inheritance quota that would be attributable to the applicant for the certificate of inheritance if there were actually still heirs in the as yet unresolved line or tribe.

There are co-heirs and they would like to apply for a joint certificate of inheritance. However, not all co-heirs are available to apply. The established heirs have a minimum quota, as there are other heirs who have not yet been established.

  • Your identity card or passport,
  • the death certificate of the deceased person (testator),
  • the family register to document the relationship,
  • Information on whether there is a lawsuit concerning your inheritance rights,
  • Names and addresses of the co-heirs,
  • Proof of the reason why certain persons who would actually inherit are no longer heirs, e.g. their death certificates, declarations of inheritance or waivers of inheritance,
  • wills or inheritance contracts, if applicable,
  • the matrimonial property regime (in the case of married couples) or the asset status (in the case of registered civil partnerships).
  • The fees for a certificate of inheritance are governed by the German Court and Notary Fees Act (GNotKG) and are based on the value of the estate after deduction of debts.
  • In addition to the fee for issuing a certificate of inheritance, there may be costs for declarations in lieu of an oath and notary fees - plus statutory VAT

The processing time depends on the complexity of the inheritance case.


If there are conflicting interests in the certificate of inheritance proceedings before the probate court, the probate court may not issue the certificate of inheritance immediately. The local court issues an order in which it states that it considers the facts required to justify the application for a certificate of inheritance to have been established.

Pursuant to Sections 58 and 63 FamFG, the parties involved then have the opportunity to lodge an appeal against this decision within a period of one month.

The certificate of inheritance is only issued if no one has lodged an appeal against the probate court's decision after the one-month period has expired and the decision has thus become legally binding.

In addition, pursuant to Section 59 FamFG, a person who was unable to convince the probate court with their arguments in the certificate of inheritance proceedings and whose rights have been impaired as a result can lodge an appeal.


By applying for a certificate of inheritance, the inheritance is automatically deemed to have been accepted - it is then no longer possible to contest the inheritance.

Heirs can then only avoid the inheritance by contesting the certificate of inheritance. However, a reason for contesting must be proven. In principle, only the person who would benefit from a contestation may contest a certificate of inheritance. It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a lawyer.

Sole heir certificates: These can only be contested by sole heirs.

Partial certificates of inheritance and joint certificates of inheritance: Every heir within the community of heirs is entitled to contest the certificate.

This is either the local court in whose district the deceased had his/her last habitual residence or the local court in whose district the deceased has his/her habitual residence.

Forms are not required.

After you have applied for the certificate of inheritance, the local court will check your entitlement and issue the certificate of inheritance.

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Amtsgericht Wernigerode
Rudolf-Breitscheid-Str. 8
38855 Wernigerode, Stadt
Post Office Box 10 12 61
38842 Wernigerode, Stadt
03943 5310
03943 531140

Remark: It is not permissible to bring a legally effective action before a court, a public prosecutor's office or any other judicial authority of the state of Saxony-Anhalt by e-mail, to file applications, to lodge an appeal or to make other procedural declarations. In particular, no deadline is met! The delivery method by e-mail is therefore only suitable for non-form-bound messages. Further information on e-mail traffic and electronic legal transactions can be found under https://lsaurl.de/justizemail. The court's privacy policy can be found at https://lsaurl.de/agwrdsgvo.

Monday 08:30 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 12:00
Thursday 08:30 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:30
Friday 08:30 - 12:00