Renouncement of succession


General Information

In German law, the estate of a deceased person passes directly to the heir or heirs. In some cases, for example if the estate is heavily indebted, it may be advisable to renounce the inheritance.

According to German law the heirs can declare the renouncement of succession to the German probate court within six weeks after being informed about the case of succession. This period is extended to 6 months if the heir is residung outside of Germany. The signatures on the declaration will, as a minimum requirement of form, have to be certified (signature certification). Both parents (one if it is a case of sole custody) of minor children, have to declare the renouncement of succession on the children’s behalf.

The declaration of renouncement may be executed before the consular officer at the German Consulate in Toronto or Vancouver or a honorary consul. After that, you have to send the declaration to the responsible court in Germany yourself.

Please note: When a parent wishes to also renounce the inheritance for their minor child, the birth certificate of the child needs to be presented as well to proove the parentage.


If you are (also) renouncing the inheritance for a minor, this must be done by the legal representatives. Additionally, you need to present:

  • valid ID of both parents
  • Minor's birth certificate (with parents names)
  • proof of sole custody (if applicable), e.g. by birth certificate, custody agreement etc.


see fees

Book an appointment

If you wish to declare the renouncement of succession at the German Consulate in Toronto or Vancouver, we kindly ask you to book an appointment through our online appointment booking system. For the renouncement of succession with one of our Honorary Consuls, please contact them directly for an appointment.

Book an appointment for consular services

Please note: Your signature may in some cases also be certified by a Canadian Notary Public. If you want to have your signature certified by a Canadian Notary Public, please confirm with the competent German probate court that the certification by a Canadian Notary Public will be acceptable.

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