Should the disposition be registered and if yes, how?
Lodgement of Last Will (amtliche Verwahrung)
To counter the risk of a handwritten will being hidden away or getting lost or forgotten about after a person's death, it is advisable (but not compulsory) to lodge the will with the local court (amtliche Verwahrung at the German Amtsgericht) — or in Baden-Württemberg with the notary's office (Notariat) up to the end of 2017 — so it can be kept in safe custody.
The lodgement of the will at the local court costs 75 Euro.
A notarial will is kept in safe custody.
The same applies to a contract of inheritance (Erbvertrag), unless the contracting parties specifically state that it is not to be placed in official custody; in the latter case, the document is deposited with the notary instead.
Wills and inheritance contracts that are kept in safe custody must be opened upon the death of the person who made the dispositions mortis causa contained therein (to whom the law refers as the ‘testator’).
Electronic registration (Testamentsregister)
As of 1 January 2012, handwritten wills and notarized dispositions mortis causa (wills and contracts of inheritance) that are kept in safe custody by the local courts — or in Baden-Württemberg up to the end of 2017 by notary offices — are registered electronically in the Central Register of Wills at the Bundesnotarkammer [Federal Chamber of Notaries] - Testamentsregister.
In the case of dispositions mortis causa that were drawn up prior to this date and placed in safe custody, the relevant details will be transferred to the register.
As the registry authority, the Federal Chamber of Notaries is notified of all domestic deaths and informs the competent probate court (Nachlassgericht) which dispositions are registered and where these are held in safe custody for the purpose of opening any dispositions mortis causa held in safe custody.