Community of heirs: communication, agreement

From practice it is known that a community of heirs rather rarely agree. But from the disagreement and open disputes in relation to a real estate inheritance arise losses that you can avoid with prudence. Avoid conflicts over the estate by seeking advice from estate agents and, with our support, finding the best way forward. If the will does not provide otherwise, all co-heirs are equally entitled and obliged. This means that a sale is often the best solution and gives you the opportunity to divide the proceeds of the estate among all the co-heirs and thus avoid the problem of an inheritance dispute.

Estate settlement or house sale as a community of heirs?

For a profitable sale, it is important that you have already reached an agreement as a community of heirs before the sale of the property. The agreement can, which is of course the best case, be reached by mutual consent among all co-heirs. If an amicable agreement and joint decision is impossible, each heir has the right to demand an inheritance settlement and to have his or her share of the inheritance paid out. In the case of hardened fronts, this decision is usually accompanied by a partial auction and the corresponding financial loss for all co-heirs.

Community of heirs – Communicate openly and find agreement

We recommend that you decide together and, at best, sell. By selling the house, the community of heirs dissolves at the moment when the proceeds of the sale are divided between all the co-heirs and paid out. A community of heirs can sell without several owners in the land register and thus sell more quickly. For interested parties, the community of heirs is often an obstacle to decision-making, which can delay the sale of the house or lead to conditions below the market value.

Open communication in community of heirs excludes losses and risks!

As a civil law partnership, you face a number of tasks in a community of heirs. Once you have decided to sell, estate agents will act on your behalf and rule out the possibility of selling the inherited property for less than its value or only with great difficulty.

More information about inheritance:

Inheritance tax

For many heirs, grief, joy and sorrow are closely linked. When you inherit a house, this process is always linked to a painful, emotional loss. After some time, a slight joy spreads and you realize that you are a homeowner. At the same time comes the worry that the tax office will claim inheritance tax from you and you will only be able to pay this amount if you sell the house. You have an exemption amount, below which there is generally no inheritance tax. The amount of this allowance is based on your degree of relationship to the deceased. Spouses can inherit real estate tax-free up to 500,000 euros, children up to 400,000 euros. To ensure that you do not pay speculation tax, you should consider whether you would like to live in the inherited house yourself if it was acquired less than 10 years ago. Everything about inheritance tax.


Ideally, the heirs of a community of heirs would pay any debts swiftly from the estate and then dissolve the community of heirs by distributing the surplus according to shares. However, this is often not the reality. Disputes within the community of heirs often ensure that they remain unresolved for years after the inheritance. Each member of such a community of heirs has the right to demand dissolution at any time, even without good cause. Learn more about the dissolution of a community of heirs.

Partition auction

The partial auction is a special variant of the forced sale and is used when several persons have ownership of a thing. This often involves a plot of land or a property that is auctioned off and the proceeds divided among the owners. This situation often occurs in communities of heirs whose estates include real property or land. In a community of heirs, the heirs share ownership of the estate property. Learn more about the partition auction.

The most important questions on the subject of community of heirs:

Many issues often arise with joint heirs. From the correct tax return to the dissolution of the community of heirs, there are many points of contention that raise questions.

What is an undivided community of heirs?

An undivided community of heirs describes all heirs of a deceased. This comes into effect if there is more than one heir and thus a community of heirs is automatically formed. However, the undivided community of heirs loses its effect with the commencement of a community of heirs dispute. However, a community of heirs does not necessarily have to be divided.

What is the intestate succession?

If the deceased did not leave a will and the testamentary disposition is invalid, the law determines which persons are the heirs. The legal succession is based on certain specifications, such as the degree of relationship and the marital property status of the deceased.

What is meant by inheritance settlement?

If problems arise with the division of the inheritance in a community of heirs, each heir has the right to demand a division of the inheritance. The inheritance is then divided in equal parts. First the inherited money or similar securities and then the inherited objects, such as real estate and the like.

What is a fractional community?

A fractional ownership is understood to be several persons who jointly own a thing. The legal regulations find the fractional ownership in the paragraphs § 1008 to 1011 of the BGB.

How much does it cost to apply for a certificate of inheritance?

A certificate of inheritance can be applied for at the probate court. The costs for this depend on the value of the estate. For example, if the estate was worth €200,000, the certificate of inheritance costs €207.

When does the spouse inherit?

The spouse inherits only if there are no siblings, grandparents, parents or their siblings of the deceased. In all other cases, the legal right of inheritance of the surviving spouse is limited to a certain quota of the estate.

Can grandchildren inherit?

If the children of the deceased are alive, this excludes the grandchild from the legal succession (§ 1924 para. 2 BGB). Grandchildren can therefore only inherit from their grandparents if their own parents are deceased and have therefore disappeared from the succession.

What is a stratification contract?

A partition, partition agreement or partition contract is when the co-heirs of a community of heirs agree among themselves to exclude an heir from the community of heirs. This is usually compensated with a payment.