In the literature on tax law the grant, in particular, of the high exemption for spouses and children primarily in comparison to third parties is justified by the lower financial ability of these persons at the time of inheritance. A variety of grounds are presented for this: the financial ability of close relatives of the deceased is not increased by the inheritance to the same extent as the financial ability of third persons (see Breitenbach, Erbschaftsteuer , 1969, p. 31; Meincke, op. cit., § 16 ErbStG , marginal no. 1; Oberhauser, in: Neumark, Handbuch der Finanzwissenschaft , Volume II, 3rd Edition 1980, p. 493; Oechsle, in: Wirtschafts- und Steuerordnung auf dem Prüfstand, Festschrift für Bayer , 1998, p. 242). During the lifetime of the deceased spouses and children benefitted from the deceased’s assets, shared in the deceased’s standard of living, and expected to be able to maintain the standard of living (see Breitenbach, op. cit., p. 32; similarly Meincke, op. cit., § 15 ErbStG , marginal no. 2). Typically, the deceased developed his assets not only for himself but also for his family members, particularly his core family, that is, spouse and children (see Breitenbach, op cit., p. 31; Mönter, Zur Steuerreform: Die Erbschaftsteuer , 1972, pp. 89, 95). Consequently, these persons are legally granted something that they already economically possessed (see Breitenbach, op cit., p. 31; Mönter, op. cit., p. 89). Spouses and close relatives not infrequently substantially participate in developing the assets (see Gutachten der Steuerreformkommission
1971 , Series from the Federal Ministry of Finance, 1971, Volume III, Section VII, p. 89). In addition, in many cases the inheritance by a spouse and the descendants of the deceased is bound with the moral duty to transfer the assets with as little reduction as possible to further descendants (see Breitenbach, op. cit., p. 32). The enrichment upon the death also corresponds to a loss of income and, thus, functions as a replacement of income (see Breitenbach, op. cit., pp. 31-32) Upon the death of the deceased the close family – unlike distant relatives and third parties who had no financial relationship to the deceased – usually loses a source of income and support payments (see Oechsle, op. cit., p. 242).