Inheritance Law & Criminal Law in Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Dr. Markus Wessel

Inheritance Law and Criminal Law: When Civil Law is Insufficient

In general, inheritance matters are adjudicated in civil courts when no agreement can be reached. The court makes its decisions based on the facts presented and proven by the parties involved. However, there are cases where parties attempt to gain advantages to which they are not legally entitled.

Inheritance Law Violations: Testament Forgery, Embezzlement, Document Forgery, Breach of Trust

It happens that parties involved in inheritance disputes try to gain an advantage by altering facts. This may include not disclosing existing wills, manipulating existing wills, providing false or incomplete information about estate values, or destroying documents. Both the public prosecutor's office, which can initiate criminal investigations, and the tax authorities, which can initiate tax evasion proceedings, are interested in such cases. These are offenses such as document forgery, suppression of documents, embezzlement, fraud, perjury, or tax evasion.

Criminal Consequences of Fraud in Inheritance Law

A final conviction for any of these offenses can result in fines, imprisonment, and in certain cases, the loss of reliability required under commercial law or public law (e.g., hunting law or civil service law). This can lead to the withdrawal of licenses and the loss of positions, regardless of whether civil law claims for surrender, compensation, or replacement exist.

Penalties Can Also Arise Outside of Civil Disputes

It is important to note that even outside of civil disputes, an heir who makes false statements in an affidavit before a notary to obtain a certificate of inheritance can be criminally prosecuted. The heir is also obligated to provide true information to compulsory heirs and to swear to it.

Trespassing, Suppression of Documents, and Burglary in Inheritance Law

There have been cases where an heir or another party involved had unauthorized access to the deceased's household after the inheritance, which constitutes trespassing. If this intruder then takes things (documents, objects, etc.) without the explicit permission of the heir, suppression of documents and burglary could also be subject to criminal prosecution.

Ignorance does not protect against punishment - Legal advice provides clarity

As is customary in criminal law, ignorance is no defense. Parties involved in inheritance matters should therefore be extremely cautious. If you have any questions, I am available to assist you.

Inheritance Law and Criminal Law in Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf - Schedule an appointment with Attorney Dr. Markus Wessel:
(030) 985 12 411