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Probate - Will - Official custody and return

You can place a handwritten will in special official safekeeping at the local court.
Notarial wills are placed directly in special official safekeeping at the local court by the notary who notarised them. The testator does not need to be involved in this process.

As soon as a will is placed in special official custody, the respective court notifies the Central Register of Wills, which is maintained by the Bundesnotarkammer (Federal Chamber of Notaries), of the custody. There the deposit is registered electronically, but the contents are not recorded. This also applies to hand-written wills. Every registry office that records a death notifies the Central Register of Wills, which then informs the local courts where wills are held in the official custody of


A so-called deposit application must be completed, signed and submitted with the will to the local court.

What documents do I need?

  • for official custody and return:

    Deposit application: completed and signed, in case of joint wills both testators must apply for the deposit

    Testament: in the original

    Birth certificate : To register in the Central Register of Wills, it is necessary to indicate the
    birth registration. It is therefore essential to fill in the corresponding field in the filing application
    (registry office and registration number). Alternatively,
    can be used to file a copy of the birth certificate .

    On return: The identity of each testator must be proven by presenting a valid official
    photo identification (identity card, passport). It is not possible to hand over
    to authorized persons.