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What can I do if I don’t agree with the division of the estate?

You disagree with the division of the estate or there are differences of opinion in your community of heirs? We explain the available options.

The answer in detail

You don’t agree with the division of the estate?

What is the division of the estate?

The division of the estate is the legally prescribed procedure to distribute the inheritance. The heirs (which can be either legal or appointed heirs) form a community of heirs and can decide on the entire inheritance. They can even deviate from the will of the testator. However, if there is no agreement regarding the division, there are various options for taking legal action.

What can I do if I don’t agree?

If you do not agree with the division of the estate, you have the following options for taking legal action:

  • Action for declaration of invalidity: Wills or inheritance contracts with serious defects can be declared invalid in whole or in part;
  • Abatement proceedings: If the statutory compulsory entitlement has been breached, then the portions of the appointed heirs and beneficiaries are reduced;
  • Inheritance lawsuit: Restitution of an inherited object that is held by another person can be legally claimed;
  • Hotchpot proceedings: Gratuitous or partially gratuitous gifts during the lifetime of the testator are offset against the inheritance entitlement of the legal heirs to ensure their equal treatment;
  • Partitioning proceedings: Division of the estate by court order.

What do I need to bear in mind?

The invalidity, abatement, and inheritance action must be submitted within one year from the time you became aware of the reason for contesting the division of the estate. Proceedings can no longer be initiated from ten years after the inheritance procedure or will has been opened.
Hotchpot proceedings do not have a deadline and partitioning proceedings can be brought to court as long as the inheritance has not been distributed or has only been distributed in part.

Our fact sheet shows you the available options in detail and explains which succession lawsuit makes sense for you.


Important documents
Merkblatt Erbrechtliche Klage