Renouncing an inheritance in Germany

03.08.2023 - Article

According to German law, an heir can declare the renouncement of succession to the competent German Probate Court within six weeks - if the heirs are outside of Germany within six months - after being informed about the inheritance.

If you cannot personally declare the renouncement at the competent German Probate Court, the certification of your signature can also be carried out by the Embassy or by our Honorary Consul. After certification of your signature, you will have to send the renouncement form to the German court. A declaration of renouncement in the prescribed form only becomes valid once it is received by the competent German probate court.

It is not possible to renounce under any conditions or to renounce only for parts of the estate.

Renouncement for minors

In case a parent renounces, usually the right of inheritance would pass on to his/her children. In these cases, the right of inheritance has to be renounced for the children as well. The renouncement can be declared by a minor’s legal representative only. In case both parents hold parental responsibility, both will also have to sign the renouncement form.

In some cases, a renouncement for minors has to be confirmed by the competent German family court before it can become valid. The family court’s approval has to be submitted to the competent probate court within the above mentioned deadline. The family court’s approval is not necessary, if the minor becomes an heir because the parent who legally represents the minor has renounced the inheritance.

Please prepare a document for the renouncement of inheritance. You can find a legally non-binding draft renouncement declaration is available for download below.

Attention! The draft declaration is a template only; it must be amended/ changed by the person renouncing according to the individual case as necessary. Please note that the draft is provided as a non-binding service. The Embassy is not accepting any liability. Please refer to a legal professional should you require advice concerning your individual case.

After certification of your signatures, you will have to send the form to the competent German probate court. Further correspondence regarding receipt and validity of the renouncement has to be carried out directly between yourself and the German probate court.

Please note that the Embassy cannot offer individual legal advice. Please contact the competent probate court in case of legal questions or consult a lawyer if necessary.

Please book an appointment for the signature certification.

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • your passport or passport card
  • a form to renounce the inheritance
  • proof of your address, e.g. in form of a household bill
  • if applicable: birth certificates of your children and/or documents proofing guardianship

Please fill in the form but do not sign it yet.

If you are renouncing the inheritance on behalf of your children, please note that all guardians have to attend the appointment.


A renouncement usually involves two separate fees, one charged by the Embassy for certification, another for the probate court proceedings.

The fee at the Embassy is 56,43,- Euros. The probate court might charge an additional fee.

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