Inheritance contracts

In the course of succession planning for entrepreneurs, but also in the case of the transfer of private assets, the parties involved may wish to formulate and agree upon the succession of assets as a whole and in certain objects in a binding manner. For these purposes, the parties involved have various instruments at their disposal, in principle wills, gifts and inheritance contracts. If the testator wishes to keep his or her decision open until the end and unilaterally revise it if necessary, he or she will record his or her decisions in a will. If the assets are to be channeled bindingly to the spouse after death, the surviving spouse may also make use of the joint testament of the spouses. For a potential consideration, this means only a prospect, but not a binding claim to later transfer of the assets.

On the other hand, a succession can be organised by anticipated inheritance, for example through one or more gifts to the beneficiary. With the gift, the beneficiary becomes the new owner of the asset; however, the transferor may, to a certain extent, determine rights of repurchase or reversion. The irrevocable granting of rights of use or a beneficial interest may also constitute an anticipated succession of property.

If, however, the testator does not wish to transfer his assets during his lifetime, but for certain reasons commits himself bindingly to give them to a certain beneficiary, the instrument of the testator’s contract of inheritance is an obvious choice.

Round Table

We rightly talk about these topics in our Round Table meetings. The Round Table is an action of Herfurth & Partner and serves to clarify and secure wishes and decisions in the family in connection with assets, provision and succession.

The next dates can be found in the Round Table section (welcome homepage).


Further information on many topics can be found in the Publications section (welcome homepage).

Your counsellor

Angelika Herfurth

Attorney at law and specialist lawyer for family law

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