The gruesome find came about only because the 39-year-old woman's deceased mother, a 70-year-old divorced pensioner, had died leaving outstanding debts, wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.
When an appraiser from the district court arrived on Thursday at the flat in the Moosach district of Munich to search for objects of value to settle the bill, the woman told him her mother was dead.
Not only that, said the woman, she could prove it – her mother's corpse was still in the flat, as she said she had not been able to afford the funeral costs.
The appraiser notified police, who had to force open the flat door to find the remains of the woman's mother lying on a sofa bed next to where the woman had been sleeping.
Police will now investigate whether the woman, who was taken into psychiatric care at her own request, had been fraudulently claiming her mother's pension. However, investigators told the paper they did not believe this was the motive behind failing to register her mother's death.
Police said the incident was all the more tragic because the woman, who had been living on unemployment benefits, would not have been expected to stump up the funeral costs in any case.
Those unable to pay for the burial of a relative can apply for up to €3200 from the state to cover the cost, wrote the paper.