WILL AND CONTRACT OF INHERITANCE
The statutory provisions for succession often do not correspond to the actual wishes of the deceased. The notary assists in the preparation of wills and contracts of inheritance. He advises on provisions for the distribution of the property (“directions for apportioning”) and on the consideration given to individual persons and the objects of the estate (“bequest”). The aim of such provisions is usually to avoid inheritance disputes or to preserve the integrity of the property. A notarial will can serve as a replacement for a certificate of inheritance which may possibly be required at a later date, and prevents disputes regarding the testamentary capacity of the deceased and his actual wishes. Classic provisions such as the mutual appointment of heirs by married couples with common children (so-called “Berlin will”) also need to be drafted, as well as sophisticated arrangements for patchwork families or in the case of extensive real estate or corporate holdings.
INHERITANCE INTER VIVOS
Often described as a “inter vivos gift” or “inter vivos donation”, this type of inheritance in advance enables the enjoyment of tax advantages and may also avoid the necessity of a certificate of inheritance. Depending on the chosen arrangement, it frees the real estate transferor from maintaining the property and grants him a right of abode or claims to care and support. The notary can provide various security options in the transfer agreement, e.g. in the event that the transferee predeceases the transferor without leaving children, or if he should become destitute.
By establishing a foundation, the founder’s intention is that his assets are used to benefit a specific purpose in the long term. In most cases, the intention is for the assets to remain intact while the yields are used for charitable or family purposes. The preferred legal form depends on the chosen purpose and the available tax law scenarios. The notary assists with drafting the articles of incorporation, selecting the foundation’s organizational and supervisory bodies, as well as a tax-beneficial transfer of assets. If the assets transferred include plots of land, the establishment of the foundation must be certified by the notary.
CERTIFICATE OF INHERITANCE
The certificate of inheritance serves as proof of the legal position of the heirs and is required in all cases where the deceased has left real estate assets without a notarial will. The certificate of inheritance can be used to verify the identity and the respective share of the inheritance of the heirs, or whether limitations exist, such as to the execution of the will, or to prior and subsequent heirs. In comparison to an application for a certificate of inheritance filed at the probate court, obtaining certification from the notary has the advantage of being a faster process. There is no difference in costs, since this is determined by the value of the estate.