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Validity of Copied Last Wills and Testaments Confirmed by OLG Naumburg

Generally, the capacity of an heir may be proven by the original document. But now it shall be possible in certain cases to use a photocopy of the will as proof.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/31/2013 -- GRP Rainer lawyers and tax advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen Nuremberg and London conclude: Should it be the case that the original will disappears, the volition of the testator may be proven otherwise. According to the judicial decision it will henceforth be possible to verify the order of succession effectively by providing a copy of the will, provided that the will undoubtedly originates from the testator. It is moreover to be detected whether the testator wanted the original will to disappear, because that would equal a revocation.

In the present case, the court had no doubt in the validity of the copy. Furthermore, the order of succession is said to have been definitely determined by the testimony of a witness.

The decision of the Higher Regional Court Naumburg falls into line with former jurisdiction concerning the question of the burden of proof in such cases. Now it is generally possible to successfully verify a claim to an inheritance without the original will being present.

Many testators draw up their will without participation of a lawyer. The consequences are often an invalid will and conflicts among the heirs. A lawyer can prevent this by drawing up a legally admissible will. If you put your inheritance in order with the help of a lawyer experienced in law of succession, the subsequent processing can often be made a lot easier. Hereby, conflicts among the heirs may be prevented by clear regulations.

An experienced lawyer provides professional advice concerning all questions of law of succession: inheritance tax, last will and testament, legal heirs, testamentary contract, execution of wills & estate administration.

Beside legal questions concerning law of succession, emotions and family-internal feelings are almost always concerned in a case of succession. A lawyer knows how to deal with these exceptional circumstances confidently and empathetically.

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 Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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