Inheritance matters


Applicable Law

On 17.08.2015, the European Succession Regulation (EUErbVO) has come into effect, stipulating important changes:


Before 2015, the question of succession was governed by German law if the deceased was a German citizen. Since 17.08.2015, the question of succession is governed by the law of the place of last residence, regardless of the person's citizenship, unless the testator made contrary provisions in his last will and testament. This major change in law will have considerable effect on questions of inheritance in a great number of cases.

See here for more information.

Have You Made an Inheritance?

An estate in Tanzania will be governed by and administrated according to Tanzanian law and procedure. You should contact Tanzanian authorities or a Tanzanian attorney for assistance. The German Embassy Dar Es Salaam cannot assist you with advice into Tanzanian inheritance law.

If there is an estate in Germany (for example a bank account or real estate), the heirs might be in need of a certificate of inheritance (“Erbschein”) as proof and in order to take possession of the estate. Read here

Renouncement of inheritance

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 receiving knowledge 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 German missions in Tanzania (including Honorary Consuls). After certification of your signature you will have to send the renouncement form to the German court.

certification of signature

A draft renouncement declaration is available here.

Competent court for the acceptance of the renouncement

According to German court regulations (Sec. 343 FamFG) the probate court (“Nachlassgericht”) competent for the proceeding is the court in whose administrative district the deceased had his residence, alternatively, if the deceased did not have residency in Germany at the time of the death, the probate court at his last residence in Germany.
In case the deceased never had any residence in Germany and he/she was German at the time of death or the estate or parts of the estate are in Germany, the following court is competent for the proceedings:

Amtsgericht Schöneberg
- Nachlassgericht-
Ringstraße 9
12203 Berlin


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

The probate court’s fee will depend on the value of the estate.

Form for renouncing an inheritance

Application forms / questionnaire

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