Re: Proof of Inheritance #general

Ira Leviton

Dear Cousins,

Question: My wife has received notice >from the German government that
she in line for some sort of money because her grandfather lived in
Germany (before the war). They asked for proof of inheritance, something
indicating that she is a sole survivor in her grandfather's line. Her
uncle and his wife died in Florida, childless. She has no siblings. Her
father is dead. On what sort of document would I find that her uncle and
aunt had no children?

Response: the Florida death certificates should list the heirs of her
uncle and aunt.

My two cents: Not correct. The death certificate only names an
informant, not heirs. Heirs are named in a will, if one was made, or by
probate court, if the deceased had no will.

In this case, since there were apparently few relatives (and no 1st
degree relatives), the informant and heir might be the same person.
However, the last survivor (between the uncle and aunt) might have named
two or more heirs, in which case they'd have to split the proceeds, or
they could have given their earthly goods to one or more friends, in which
case surviving family members may be out of luck, or they could have given
everything to charity. A death certificate can be used for proof of
death, but not for proof of inheritance.

I also note that the original posting didn't mention whether the notice
from the German government turned up in the mailbox out of the sky, was in
response to inquiries about assets left in Germany before the war, or some
other situation somewhere in between. Beware of scams offering money when
none was sought.

Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.

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