Railroad and junk real estate: the country appears as heritage
Every year Saxony-Anhalt joins as heir. The country often inherits plots of land, but there are also curiosities such as model railways or animals. What is happening with all of this?
Real estate, cars, savings – every year Saxony-Anhalt inherits on a grand scale. Last year it was able to look back on a comparatively high number of so-called fiscal inheritances. A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance announced that 547 such inheritance cases were identified in 2021. There were 582 in 2020, and 535 the year before.
The land always becomes the heir if neither the spouse nor life partner, children or other relatives of the deceased can be identified and no other heir has been designated. The range of inheritance items is large: “Real estate, i.e. ownership and co-ownership shares in land and condominiums, motor vehicles, garages and gardens, account and savings accounts, deposits and other movable items from the households of the testator,” explained the ministry spokesman. More than 1,200 properties from fiscal inheritances are currently owned or co-owned by the state.
In principle, the country could inherit like a natural person, the ministry spokesman said. For example, the state owns a model railway collection and Saxony-Anhalt has also inherited animals. Special pieces are rare furniture or sometimes collections of the deceased. Movable objects, if they have a certain value, would then be sold, among other things, via a customs auction or various auction houses. Animals would be offered to a relative or acquaintance of the deceased to take over, or handed over to the animal shelter.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the income, which was largely derived from the sale of assets, rents and leases and the closure of accounts, savings accounts and deposits, amounted to around 3.3 million euros last year.
In 2021, around 2.7 million euros were spent in connection with the fiscal inheritance, according to the spokesman. However, the material and personnel costs incurred by the state authorities involved are not yet included, as it was said.
The spokesman said that the costs would be used for repair and safety measures, for traffic safety and the management costs of the properties. The inherited properties are often particularly dilapidated.
However, the refurbishment and development of such junk properties is not part of the Ministry’s area of responsibility. This is also due to the fact that the subsequent sale of the properties often proves to be very difficult due to land register encumbrances and partially unclear co-ownership relationships.
In view of the many empty and dilapidated houses in Saxony-Anhalt’s municipalities, such inherited properties are not the main problem, the Saxony-Anhalt Association of Towns and Municipalities declared last year. East German municipalities would have bigger problems with junk real estate anyway. The property ownership structure is often no longer comprehensible, or the putative owners have given up declarations of waiver.
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