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Am I free to choose the notary for probate proceedings?

The competent notary is assigned by the respective district court on the basis of the last reported main place of residence. However, another notary may be appointed to handle the estate as the so-called "heir representative".

What is a notarial deed?

A notarial deed is a contractual document that is drawn up by a notary and read out and discussed in the simultaneous presence of all persons involved. For certain types of contract, e.g. gifts, waivers of inheritance, but also partnership agreements, this formal requirement is prescribed by law to protect the contracting parties. A notarial deed is no more expensive than a normal "private" contract document, but has a higher probative value.

What does a notarization cost?

The fee for notarizing a signature is based on the value of the object in question. The exact rates are set out in the Notarial Fees Act. These are usually cheaper than the court rates.

What documents do I need to bring with me for notarization?

To certify your signature, please bring the original certificate and an official photo ID (driver's license, passport or identity card).

What does a certified copy cost?

The cost of a certified copy varies depending on the number of pages. Please note that certified copies can only be made of original documents.

What is a compulsory portion and can it be withdrawn?

Certain close relatives cannot be disregarded under inheritance law after the death of a person. If the deceased has not left them anything in a will, they are entitled to a compulsory portion in money. The compulsory portion is normally half of what the person would inherit according to the law. Withdrawal of the compulsory portion - known as disinheritance - is only possible in exceptional cases (e.g. serious criminal acts).

Are siblings entitled to a compulsory portion?

Siblings, nephews, nieces or other collateral relatives are not entitled to a compulsory portion. However, if there are no relatives or if they are named as heirs in the will, they may inherit something as a result.

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