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I am a US citizen. My husband was German. His inheritance in Germany comes to me, but I need a certificate of inheritance. Help!

Seabeck, WA |

The word is "erbsheim" in German. What is equivalent to this so I can send it to Germany? I live in Washington state. We were married over 20 years and lived in the USA.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

They are asking for proof that you are your husband's successor in interest to his assets. Did your husband have a will? Did he have a trust? Did he have any children?

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9 comments

Charles Adam Shultz

Charles Adam Shultz

Posted

I was waiting for your answers, but agree with Mr. Elder. You would need letters from the probate court.

Asker

Posted

My husband knew he was dying and made sure everything was in my name, so when he died, I had everything as sole owner, even a quick claim deed to my house. He did write out a hand written will saying he leaves everything to me. Now, this is coming up in Germany as his mother is dying. I was told I needed this "certificate of inheritance" proof from the government. We don't have anything like this here, do we? Thank you for your advice, btw. All of you!

Charles Adam Shultz

Charles Adam Shultz

Posted

The equivalent would be an order at the conclusion of probate that you are entitled to all of your husbands assets.

Asker

Posted

There was no probate. That's my issue. I was/am sole owner of everything ... our house, our stocks and bonds and our business.

Charles Adam Shultz

Charles Adam Shultz

Posted

The point is, you have to open a probate or as other counsel said, ask a German attorney what they would be willing to accept.

Asker

Posted

Okay. Thanks ... I'll investigate this now through a German lawyer. Yes?

Asker

Posted

You guys are great and so fast with your answers. THANK YOU!

Charles Adam Shultz

Charles Adam Shultz

Posted

That probably would be the most productive way to start. Ask them what they want? Letters Testamentary? An Order of Distribution? etc.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. I now have a place to start!!!!

Posted

If you have something from the probate of his estate here, that might work. Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with German inheritance laws, but my guess is that the closest thing in Washington would be Letters Testamentary issued when his estate here was probated.

I hope that helps!

This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.

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Posted

It is hard to tell what you need without seeing the request that you have received. I can't find "erbsheim," but "erbschein" means inheritance and doesn't seem to describe any particular document as far as I can tell (bear in mind that I know nothing about German law and my German is not very good). You may want to consult with an attorney in Germany. There are plenty of attorneys there who speak English. As the other answers have suggested, they may be looking for either 1) proof that you are entitled to inherit (ie a copy of the will or some proof of marriage or something) or 2) proof that you are the rightful administrator of the estate (Letters testamentary). In either case, many foreign countries will recognize the legality of a particular document only after it has been certified by the Secretary of State's office by affixing an "apostille."

I am not your attorney. My response is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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