Inheritance, Inheritance & Probate:

Houses are among the most frequently inherited and often lead to doubts. As a spouse or child of a decedent, you face many questions and difficulties from one day to the next when you inherit. In the simplest case, if you inherit a house purchased jointly with your spouse, you will want to continue to occupy it. The situation is often different in the case of older parental homes, when the children themselves are property owners and rule out self-occupation due to the location, the condition of the property or other personal reasons. If siblings inherit a house in equal shares, this succession is known as community of heirs and is often accompanied by major difficulties due to disagreement.

Accept inheritance – sell the house, use it yourself or rent it out?

You have accepted the inheritance and thus assumed full responsibility for the property. This means that you have also agreed to any existing ties. Outstanding workmen’s invoices, a land charge or mortgage are in this case just as much part of the inheritance as the property itself.

Options: Sell, rent, own.

There are three options for dealing with your inheritance. You can live in the house yourself, decide to rent it out or sell it.

If several heirs are equal owners, the only option is usually to sell the property and pay out the proceeds of sale in the correct distribution to all heirs. As an heir, you apply to the probate court for a certificate of inheritance, which entitles you to inspect the land register and thus to know any mortgages and special features. If you are not the sole heir, you can obtain either a joint certificate of inheritance or a partial certificate of inheritance. As the holder of the certificate of inheritance, you are entitled to have yourself entered as the owner in the land register. Only now can you make decisions about the property and weigh up whether to sell, rent or move in yourself.

Inherited a house? Go step by step!

By accepting the inheritance, you have already made an important basic decision. As a sole heir, you can consider how to proceed with the house without consultation. In the case of joint heirs, this consideration is often more complex, so in the next point we will once again deal specifically with the community of heirs and its special features. If, as an heir, you wish to move in yourself and hold the property, all that is required is a change of ownership in the land register. If the market value of the house falls below the exemption amount, no inheritance tax is due. When selling, you should carefully consider whether there may be speculation tax. This is usually not the case when inheriting parental homes, as the parents have lived in the property for more than 10 years. Before selling or renting, you should consider whether renovations will be made or whether you will offer the property in its current condition.

Complexity community of heirs – unity is in the foreground!

In the context of a community of heirs, agreement on how to proceed with the property is paramount. None of the heirs can decide alone if the co-heirs do not agree and, for example, speak out against a sale.

Each heir receives an equal share, or the share agreed in the will. Until the regular sale, these amounts are an agreement value, as the direct proceeds are only known after the sale of the property.

More information about inheritance:

Inheritance settlement

Properties inherited in community pose a particular difficulty when selling. Within the framework of a community of heirs, there are several owners in the land register. This circumstance has a detrimental effect on the interest of potential buyers and makes the sale process more difficult. There is a solution to simplify the settlement and at the same time provide for a clear guideline of all heirs with equal rights. The settlement of an estate refers to the dissolution of a community of heirs, which is carried out on the basis of clear contractual regulations and is not bound by any particular form. Everything you need to know about inheritance settlement.

Community of heirs

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 about the estate by consulting an estate agent and finding the best way with support. 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 between all the co-heirs, thus avoiding the problem of an inheritance dispute. Learn more about the community of heirs.

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.

Certificate of inheritance

You are registered in the will as the sole heir of the parental home. If the will is notarised and legally valid, your inheritance will not be challenged. Nevertheless, without an additional certificate of inheritance, you will face a problem at the latest if you become the owner of the property as a result of the correction in the land register and wish to sell it on, for example. You should have a certificate of inheritance issued irrespective of the will and thus protect yourself when inheriting houses or apartments. Everything about the certificate of inheritance.

Partition auction in communities of heirs

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. Accordingly, each of them can dispose of his or her own share, but of the entire property only in agreement with the others. Everything about the partition auction.


The estate can be disclaimed by any heir. This is particularly important if the inheritance is overindebted or if, for example, dilapidated real estate is part of the inheritance. However, a disclaimer requires certain forms and deadlines that must be observed. Precise information about the assets and debts of the testator is therefore extremely important. The right advice is the key to success in such a case. Everything about the inheritance.

Mandatory share of the inheritance

The compulsory portion is an important topic for disinherited relatives, because they still have certain claims to the inheritance. However, in order to claim this correctly and to comply with the formalities, a number of things must be observed. The share always depends on the other heirs and the amount of the estate. Read more about the compulsory portion of the inheritance now.

Allowances for inheritance

In order to protect the heirs from a large financial burden, different tax rates and allowances apply depending on the degree of relationship. These allowances include various things that do not have to be taxed, so that the heirs do not have to hand over the most as taxes, especially in the case of a large estate. Everything on the subject of tax allowances!