GRP Rainer LLP

A Photocopy of a Will Is a Sufficient Proof of Inheritance of a Property

As a rule, a will in the original represents a valid proof of inheritance of a property. In individual cases, however, according to the Naumburg Higher Regional Court’s recent decision of 29.03.2012 (Case No.: 2 Wx 60/11), even a photocopy of the will may be deemed sufficient to prove the heir’s rights.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/24/2012 -- GRP Rainer lawyers and tax advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: The decision of the Naumburg Higher Regional Court makes it clear that a photocopy of the original will be a sufficient proof of inheritance in some cases when the original cannot be discovered.

In the case under consideration by the court, the judges were convinced of the accuracy of the wills copy. The capacity of the heir could therefore be established on the basis of the wills copy and a clear testimony. The Court concluded that it is fundamentally important in such cases that the original of the will undoubtedly come from the testator. It should be also evident that the original will was not destroyed deliberately by the testator, as such a destruction should be deemed as revocation of the will.

Thus, based on the decision of the OLG Naumburg, a heirs claim may under certain conditions and with some additional reservations be successfully proven by the submission of a copy of the original will.

If you want to draft a will, you should seek legal advice for questions regarding the constitution of a will. This will help you avoid making an ineffective testament or possible controversy among the heirs. Often the subsequent settlement can be made easier if a lawyer is consulted. This allows to create preconditions to avoid the dispute among the heirs.

For questions related to inheritance you will be assisted by an experienced lawyer in the field of inheritance law, testaments, legal heirs, testamentary contracts, execution of wills & estate administration. A lawyer will always treat confidently and sensitively, along with the legal issues related to inheritance, even the emotional situation in the family in the event of succession.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart, Germany and London UK.

Contact Michael Rainer
Lawyer, Managing Partner

GRP Rainer LLP
Hohenzollernring 21-23
50672 Cologne

Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0