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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for guardianship of the estate


It is not uncommon for someone to die without leaving a will or without relatives who would be known. If the estate consists of more assets than liabilities, the probate court appoints a trustee of the estate. He/she secures and administers the estate and searches for relatives.

If, despite all efforts, no blood relatives can be identified, or if the heirs do not accept the inheritance, the estate passes to the state. The guardianship of the estate ends when an heir has been identified or there is no longer any need for care. For example, because the estate has been deposited with the depositary office of the district court.

  • The creditor of the estate submits an informal application to the probate court for the establishment of a guardianship of the estate.
  • The probate court examines the need for security of the estate.
  • If this is the case, the probate court establishes a guardianship of the estate. The guardianship of the estate ends when the need for security ceases to exist, for example because an heir has been found.
  • Without the intervention of the competent authority, the preservation of the estate would be endangered.
  • The heir is unknown.
  • It is uncertain whether the heir will accept the inheritance.
  • If the applicant is a creditor of the estate (the person who has outstanding claims against the deceased), he/she must demonstrate a legal interest in securing the estate. He/she must demonstrate the intention to assert a claim against the estate in court. For example, by presenting the rental agreement with the deceased.

The application for the establishment of an estate guardianship can be made informally.

The costs of the proceedings of an estate guardianship shall be borne by the heir. The application for the establishment of an estate guardianship is free of charge.

An annual fee is due for the guardianship of the estate in accordance with the Court and Notary Costs Act. It amounts to 10 euros per 5,000 euros or part thereof of the estate, but at least 200 euros.

In addition, the trustee appointed by the court receives remuneration. The amount is agreed individually.

The processing of the application takes place immediately because of its urgency.

Over-indebted estate

If someone dies and leaves behind an over-indebted estate, no probate guardianship is established. It is not the task of the court to ensure debt settlement for creditors.

The state does not pay debts of the estate and does not pay for costs incurred by creditors.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

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