Inheritance Law Specialist

Attorney Leander J. Gast has been a specialist lawyer for inheritance law since July 28, 2010.

In Berlin there are a total of 70 specialist lawyers for inheritance law, nationwide there are 1629 (as of January 1st, 2012; source: Federal Chamber of Lawyers, .

The prerequisite for being awarded a specialist lawyer title is three years of admission and activity within the last six years before the application, § 3 Specialist Lawyers Act (FAO).

The acquisition of special theoretical knowledge usually presupposes that the applicant has taken part in a preparatory course for the specialist lawyer title, which covers all relevant areas of the specialist area. The total duration of the course must be at least 120 hours, § 4 Para. 1 FAO.

The applicant must have undergone at least 3 written performance assessments (supervised work) from different areas of the course. A performance assessment must take up at least one hour and may not exceed five hours. The total duration of the passed performance assessments must not be less than fifteen hours, § 4a FAO.

Attorney Gast passed all performance tests for the title of specialist lawyer in inheritance law with the top grade of "very good".

According to § 14f FAO, knowledge in the following areas must be proven for the specialist lawyer in inheritance law:

  • substantive inheritance law, including inheritance law references to debt, family, company, foundation and social law,
  • international private law in inheritance law,
  • anticipated succession, drafting of contracts and wills,
  • Execution of wills, estate administration, estate insolvency and estate custodianship,
  • tax law references to inheritance law,
  • Special features of the procedure and process management.

According to § 5 paragraph 1 lit. m FAO, the acquisition of special practical experience requires that the applicant has worked personally and independently as a lawyer within the last three years before the application in the specialist area:

  • 80 cases, of which at least 40 are judicial proceedings (of which a maximum of 10 are non-contentious proceedings);
  • the cases must relate to all areas specified in § 14f No. 1 to 5 FAO, with at least 5 cases each from three areas;
  • The importance, scope and difficulty of individual cases can lead to a different weighting, Section 5 (4) FAO.

The special theoretical and practical knowledge must be proven in accordance with § 6 FAO.

The committee can hold a technical discussion to demonstrate the special theoretical knowledge or practical experience. However, he can refrain from doing so if he can give his opinion to the Board of Directors with regard to the special theoretical knowledge or the special practical experience based on the overall impression of the submitted certificates and written documents without a technical discussion, § 7 Para. 1 FAO.

Anyone who holds the title of specialist lawyer must publish scientifically in this field annually or at least attend one advanced training event for lawyers, either as a lecturer or as a listener. The total duration of the training must not be less than 15 hours. This must be proven to the bar without being asked, § 15 FAO.


Our law firm was selected as an experienced law firm with a central focus and specialization in inheritance law, to work on the nationwide BGB comment - the online BGB comment, publisher: von Göler - in inheritance law. We have commented on the provisions of inheritance law in Section 2038 BGB (joint administration of the estate) and Section 2039 BGB (inheritance claims) as well as Section 2078 BGB (challenging wills due to error or threat). Extensive explanations can be found with detailed references to literature and current case law, including the following topics:

- Challenge of wills

- Interpretation of wills

- Disputes among the co-heirs

- Legal enforcement of estate claims by the heirs or for the heirs

- Claims against co-heirs

- Majority of heirs/ community of heirs

- Resolution in the community of heirs

- Types of management

- Reimbursement of administration costs / recourse against the co-heirs

- Claims for compensation for use against co-heirs

- blocking co-heirs / duties of co-heirs to cooperate

- Information to co-heirs

- Challenge of resolutions of the community of heirs

- Attack of resolutions/proceedings in legal action/declaratory action

- Exclusion of heirs

- Settlement of the estate

- Disinheritance

- disappointed expectation of care

and much more

The comments are available at:

  1. § 2038 BGB
    (Zitiervorschlag: Gast, Wenzel in von Göler/BGB/Kommentar/2015/§ 2038, RN. …)              
  2. § 2039 BGB
    (Zitiervorschlag: Gast, Wenzel in von Göler/BGB/Kommentar/2016/§ 2039, RN. …)        
  3. § 2078 BGB
    (Zitiervorschlag: Gast, Döring in von Göler/BGB/Kommentar/2015/§ 2078, RN. …)

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