Renouncement of an inheritance

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 Australia (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 for download on the right.

Attention! The draft declaration is a template only; it must be amended/changed by the person renouncing according to the individual case as necessary. The German Missions explicitly remind you that the draft is provided as a non-binding service without accepting any liability. Please refer to a member of the legal profession should you require advice concerning your individual case.

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 last residence or stay.
In case a German citizen passes away without residence in Germany, the following court is competent for the proceedings:

Amtsgericht Schöneberg

- Nachlassgericht-

Ringstraße 9

12203 Berlin

If a person without German nationality passed away without residence in Germany, the court in whose administrative district the assets are located is competent. In case there are assets in multiple administrative districts, the court initially approached becomes competent for all assets in Germany.


A renouncement usually involves two separate fees, one charged by the German Mission for certification, another for the probate court proceedings. The fee payable cash at the German Foreign Mission is the equivalent of 20 Euros in AUD according to the day’s exchange rate. The probate court’s fee will depend on the value of the estate.

All statements mentioned on this website are based on knowledge and experiences of the German missions in Australia at the time the website was published.  As far as correctness and completeness are concerned this information is supplied without liability.

Renouncement of an inheritance

Frau in ihren Siebzigern sitzt im Wohnzimmer am Laptop

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map of Australia with German missions

Two German Missions and ten Honorary Consuls throughout Australia offer consular services. Each mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, what the hours of operation are and how to reach it please use our interactive Consulate Finder.