In general a will in the original characterizes a valid proof of inheritance of a property. However, in individual cases it should be also possible to use a photocopy of the testament as a proof. This was decided lately by the Naumburg Higher Regional Court at the 3/29/2012 (Case No.: 2 Wx 60/11).
Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/04/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London http://www.grprainer.com/en conclude: The Higher Regional Court determines that in certain cases when the original will cannot be found, a photocopy of the original will be a sufficient proof of inheritance.
In the present case the court approved the validity of the copy without any doubt. Furthermore the devisee should have been ascertained by a witness's statement. The capacity of the heir could therefore be established on the basis of the wills copy and a clear testimony. According to the court´s decision it is absolutely essential that the original of the will undoubtedly come from the testator. Moreover it is to be excluded that the original will was destroyed intentionally by the testator, as such a destruction should be deemed as revocation of the will.
The decision of the Naumburg Higher Regional Court agrees with the previous decisions of recent higher court case law in such cases. Now it is generally possible to prove a hereditary claim successfully without the existence of an original Testament.
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.
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GRP Rainer LLP http://www.grprainer.com/en/ 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.
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