Will - Testament
How is the disposition of property upon death (will, joint will, agreement on succession) drawn up?
A will can be drawn up in one of two forms: as a handwritten will or as a public will, also called a ‘notarial will’ (at a German notary).
A handwritten will can only be drawn up by persons who are 18 years or more, and must be handwritten from start to finish and be signed.
If the will has been typed with a typewriter or a computer, if the signature is missing or if it has been dictated (e.g. onto tape), the will is invalid and, as a result, only the legal heirs are able to inherit.
For reasons of proof, it is also very important that the testator sign with his or her full name (i.e. first name and last name) so that there can be no confusion as to who has drawn up the will.
Finally, it is strongly recommended to include time and place in the will to show when and where this official written record was produced.
This is important because an earlier will can be revoked — in whole or in part — by a new one. If the date is missing on one or possibly even both of the wills, it is often impossible to tell which one is more recent and is to be regarded as valid.
Married couples and registered partners can draw up a joint, handwritten will (gemeinschaftliches Testament).
In this case, the handwritten will is to be produced by one or both of the spouses or partners; the joint will must be signed by both of them .
If you want to avoid the risk of making mistakes when drafting your will, you should consult with a notary or lawyer.