The execution of a will can also harbour a high potential for conflict. The testator appoints the executor by will or unilateral disposition in the contract of inheritance. This is a person of their trust who ensures the execution of their last will. An experienced lawyer for inheritance law can be appointed as executor. Frequently, however, a testator also appoints a person from their family circle. Even a co-heir can be selected as executor. Especially in such a case, a dispute can quickly arise between the executor and the other heirs. However, the executor is supposed to ensure a smooth distribution.
The executor’s task is to carry out the testator’s testamentary disposition and, in the case of several heirs, affect the distribution (§ 2203 f. BGB). In the meantime, they must administer the estate. In addition, it is also possible to entrust an executor exclusively with the administration of the estate (§ 2209 BGB). In this case, the executor is obliged to administer the estate properly towards the heirs. However, it is not uncommon for there to be disagreement about the proper administration, which can lead to problems. Furthermore, there is an obligation to draw up a list of the estate and various duties to provide information.
If the executor culpably fails to fulfil their obligations, they must compensate the heirs (§ 2219 (1) BGB). Furthermore, the heirs and beneficiaries of the compulsory portion can apply to the dismissal of the executor with the probate court. However, there must be good cause for the probate court to dismiss the executor (§ 2227 BGB). This includes gross breaches of duty or the inability of the executor to manage the estate properly.
Another frequent cause of disputes is that heirs cannot effectively dispose of objects subject to the will’s execution (§ 2211 (1) BGB). As long as the executor executes the will, there is no possibility of intervening. The executor´s remuneration can also be a point of contention. This is especially the case if the testator has not fixed their amount. In this case, the executor is entitled to an appropriate remuneration under § 2221 BGB, and determining this amount is based on many factors. The heirs are jointly liable for the remuneration. Our lawyers will provide you with expert support in all disputes connected to the execution of a will.