One in five Germans will bequeath at least €250,000 in inheritance

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One in five Germans will bequeath at least €250,000 in inheritance
File photo depicting a will: DPA.

The next generation of Germans is in luck: a new survey shows one in five will pass on a quarter of a million euros to their posterity.


The survey by YouGov and Quirin Privatbank, reported on by Die Welt on Wednesday, interviewed more than 7,400 people. Participants were asked how much they had already inherited, how much they themselves expected to pass on, and what they saw as the biggest obstacles in the way of inheritance.   

Forty percent of Germans said they estimated they would pass on at least €100,000, while 20 percent said their estate would be worth a minimum of €250,000.

Those with the biggest assets lived in Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Those with the least to give were in Saxony and Berlin.

More than a third of German adults over 18 had already inherited something, with 66 percent of these people receiving cash or someone else’s bank savings. Another third found themselves in possession of land, houses or apartments, while a fifth took in jewellery.

And the report found that in the future, every second German who receives inheritance can expect to get real estate, and more so for people living in western states.

What people do with their inherited homes is also changing. The report found that in the past, about a quarter of those who received real estate lived in the home themselves, while about half would sell. The rest would rent out their inheritance.

But going forward, the report predicted that this behaviour would change due to the housing market. It is now more difficult to find buyers for properties in more rural areas, and therefore heirs may be more likely to use the housing themselves.

The survey also asked about how Germans determine how to divide their assets upon their death. It found that 51 percent said equal distribution should be made among children and partners. Another 21 percent said it was fair to give more to those who need money more.

And about one in four heirs reported having conflicts over inheritance.


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