Research report 2021 - Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Is the compulsory portion still appropriate today?

Zimmermann, Reinhard
Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg
In Germany, freedom of testation prevails. Everyone can freely dispose of his/her property and therefore also determine by means of a will who is going to inherit it. The right to a compulsory portion fixes a clear limit concerning that power of disposal: The deceased’s closest family members are entitled to quotas of the estate. It does not matter whether they were economically dependent on the deceased. Today, however, it is increasingly rare that children are still entitled to financial support from their parents when the latter die. Hence, the compulsory portion needs to be reconsidered.

For the full text, see the German version.

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