Write Testament: 6 + 4 tips on last will (+ checklist)

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing your last will. We will inform you about the benefits of a will, give you important tips for writing and help you with a checklist.

4 reasons why everyone should write a will

Only a third of Germans set up a will. Most avoid the deliberate confrontation with their death. Everybody should write a will, because the estate scheme not only manages valuable assets and money to avoid disputes, it also has many other benefits.

Even with a small legacy, a will fulfills the purpose of capturing the author’s final wishes and ensuring that every survivor gets what was intended for him. For example, even if you have no family members, you can donate your property to an organization that you select. We’ve put together four benefits for you that will convince you to write a will for posterity.

Rest in peace

If you want to provide for a peaceful basis with your survivors after your death, you should definitely write a will. If that is not the case, then the legal succession and it could come to disputes.

The legal succession:

In the first place are children or grandchildren and the spouse. Although the spouse’s law does not ensure that the spouse is sole heir, but that the estate is shared between him and the children. In second place are parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. In third place are grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. In the case of death, it is looked at from the first place, whether there are heirs. Once there is an heir on one of the three levels, the bereaved on the lower levels will not receive anything. If there are several heirs on a level, the estate is divided among them.

For example, if a will was not taken, it can happen that only your children or spouse will receive all of your estate and your parents, siblings or faithful friends will not receive anything.

Living on after death

A will is often used to divide certain valuables among the bereaved. So you know that your favorite things stay with your loved ones, who appreciate them too. Even if you did not keep them, you certainly made them happy with this trusting gesture. It does not even have to be valuables, just things that are part of you and that you particularly like. They are memorabilia that can be passed down through generations or help the bereaved in mourning.

The will for a good cause

It does not matter how much possession you have. For many people it is a matter of the heart to do something good after their death. You can donate your possessions or just parts of them by stating in your will what organization you want them to receive.

One last personal document

The will has to be written by hand. This is especially nice for relatives. On the one hand, because it is something special to write things in handwriting in today’s age. On the other hand, because it is a very personal souvenir and the individual font has character as opposed to computer fonts.

Important: A legible handwriting is the prerequisite to be able to guarantee that everything is understood correctly. Thus, the survivors are spared the puzzle and the last will can be implemented with certainty. If in doubt, find a notary who can prepare the will for you. Although this involves costs, but keep within limits and are usually in a very reasonable financial relationship to the actual inheritance. If there is a need for short-term liquidity to pay the notary, for example, the lending side of smava will provide you with favorable financing options.

My Testament: Important facts at a glance

You can write your will yourself or have it written by a notary. He then takes it into official custody or you have the opportunity to take it home and keep it yourself. In this chapter you will find more important information about prerequisites, possibilities, content and form.

Requirements for a will

If you want to write a will, you must be at least 16 years old and in possession of all your mental abilities. If you are under 18, you will need to have your will written by a notary.

Possibilities of a will

A will fundamentally abolishes the legal succession. However, if heirs come first (spouse, children, grandchildren) legally they are entitled to half of the legal inheritance. There is the possibility to circumvent these obligations by determining a single sole. Just in case he dies before you, you should also appoint a replacement heir.

Another possibility is to determine a first and second heir. For example, you may appoint your spouse as a single heir, but add to your will that after your death your common child (Nacherbe) should receive his inheritance. This way of self-determined succession is particularly suitable for large properties, such as a house on. It prevents the spouse from simply selling the house as it is still to have the child.

Write formalities in the will

There are no strict guidelines regarding the will of the will. The most important thing is handwritten writing and adding the date and place. If your will consists of multiple pages, you should provide each page with a date and a place and sign on each page. This means the full signature, abbreviations or signatures in the header are not enough.

Content of the testament

The exact content of the will is left to each writer himself. However, you should consider your entire estate and leave nothing out. So you can pass this into equal parts to your loved one or you can make certain unique pieces and “the rest”. You can also inherit this remainder in parts. There is no specific number of people you need to comply with in your will. The only important thing is that everything is clearly formulated and can be assigned. In case you want to pass something on to friends, you should include name and address.

6 important tips for your will

Here are some important tips to help you write your will. With them you avoid important mistakes and can guarantee that your will is valid.

A must: handwritten the will

If you want to write your will, you have to do it by hand. Otherwise it is not valid. Often there is the misconception that a will has to be formatted in a certain way or that it suffices to sign the typed text afterwards. But only if the entire will has been written by hand, it is also final.

Do not forget the date

Although your will is valid without a date, it could cause confusion or hassle as more versions emerge. It is not uncommon to change his will over time. But that’s exactly why the date is essential. It determines exactly which one is really the last “last will”. When managing the estate, the most recent document always counts.

Use clear formulations

The content of the will is not fixed. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention to clear formulations and to renounce funny or sarcastic formulations. Always make sure that your statements are legally enforceable. It is therefore advantageous if you express your wishes in great detail and clarity. If you are unsure, look for a notary examining your phrasing.

The will primarily serves the purpose of clarifying the legal status of the heritage. Of course, you may use phrases like “my beloved wife,” but flowery or even poetic passages of text do not belong in a will. If you would like to create a memorabilia for your family that shows how much you love them, you can do so in an additional personal letter.

Not just inherit individual pieces

It is not uncommon that certain individual pieces are inherited to the loved ones. This is not a problem in principle, but many an essential mistake happens: What about the rest? If the will does not clearly define who receives the rest of the possessions, this can quickly lead to litigation or complication issues. Spare your relatives the circumstances and clearly define who should receive the remainder of your estate.

To appoint a replacement heir

Writing a will also means being prepared for eventualities. Even if it is not easy to deal with the death of his beloved fellow human beings, it is still necessary to appoint at least one replacement heir. It can always happen that the main heir dies and then the legal succession comes into force again. But if you wanted to do just that, you should set one or more substitute heirs. So you are prepared for everything and know exactly what will happen to your estate after your death.

The right storage

The will loses its benefit if it can not be found or if nobody knows it exists. So it can happen that the beloved stamp collection is not continued by the grandson, but is sold under value with many other things from the estate. The certainty that the last will is fulfilled helps many people deal with their death and find peace. Ensuring that the will reaches loved ones also helps both sides.

Storage at home

If you have a specific repository for important documents (box, box, safe) and your family members know about it, this is an appropriate place for your will. You will probably look there first if you have written your last will. Another option is to dedicate one or more family members to where you keep your will.

A slightly extravagant way to make sure that your will is found is this: write several notes that indicate where your will is and keep it in the house. Make sure not to hide them too well so they can be found. So you know that nobody knows the place of storage before and could read your will even before you die, and that it is definitely found.

The official custody

In order for the relatives to receive your will with certainty, you can use the official custody. For a fee (75 euros) you leave your last will then at the district court in your place of residence. As soon as the district court learns of your death, the beneficiaries are notified and the will opened. You can submit a new, updated will at any time. Even if the New Testament is still at your home, it is valid if it can be identified as the younger document. So you should definitely write a date on it.

Checklist: What is in my will?

Here we have created a small checklist for you. It shows you clearly what you can not forget if you want to write a will. Help her with the letter and use it for completeness.



Headline “My Testament” or “My Last Will”

Your name, date of birth and place of birth (for example, “I, Wilhelm, born on July 23, 1936 in M√ľnster, hereby make my will.”)

Clear assignment of possessions and persons

Assignment of the “remainder”, if there is one

One or more replacement heirs (depending on the probability of death)

Signature with first and last name