Experts on U.S.-German Law & Anglo-German Law

CrossChannelLawyers.co.uk, its German language counterpart Cross-Channel-Lawyers.de, and InternationalProbateLaw.com are law blogs (blawgs) dealing with Anglo-German legal issues. A network of international lawyers who are experienced in cross border legal problems and who give practical and reliable advice. The law blogs are run by the lawyers of Graf & Partners, a firm of English solicitors and German Rechtsanwälte with many years of professional experience in cross border legal proceedings, who provide legal advice in a comprehensive, understandable and user-oriented manner. Our litigation department provides forensic services all across Germany and runs the expert law blog German Civil Procedure. Graf & Partners, with its international expertise, is well equipped to advise and represent clients from the USA, the United Kingdom and other English speaking countries. Visit us also on YouTube.

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European ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGoing to court

How to Dissolve a German Community of Heirs

What to do if co-heirs in Germany cannot agree on how to distribute the estate Under German law, as well as in most other EU jurisdictions, there is no personal representative (executor or administratror) who takes possession of and deals with the estate. Instead, the "heir" (Erbe) is the immediate and direct successor of the deceased. This principle of automatic and direct succession is called "unmittelbare Gesamtrechtsnachfolge". This is all swell if there is only…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 13, 2021
German LawProfessional Regulations

Can I Practise as a Physician in Germany post Brexit?

Are British Medical Doctors permitted to work in Germany after Brexit? Since 2021, UK professional qualifications are no longer automatically recognized by EU member states. Thus, if you studied medicine in the UK or have already worked in the UK as a medical doctor and intend to work in Germany or elsewhere within the EU, this is no longer possible. However, qualifications obtained in the UK can be recognized in Germany if the qualifications are…
German LawGerman Real Estate LawGerman Tort Law

German Civil Law Explained

New Article-by-Article Commentary of the German Civil Code English speaking lawyers who deal with German civil law issues on a regular basis can turn to a helpful new resource: The German publishing houses Beck and Nomos have teamed up for this project and have just released a 2,300 page article by article commentary of the first three parts of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch): Book 1: General Part Book 2: Law of Obligations (including…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 15, 2021
Civil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman LawGerman Tort Law

Research on German Law

German Law in English Language Obviously, German legal research is easier if you are able to read German. English-language resources are available, but mostly limited to general introductions or very specific special interest topics a German legal scholar has published about in English language. Still, if you are an English speaking lawyer or legal scholar interested in German law in English language, here are some sources you may find helpful: (1) Harvard Law School Library…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 30, 2020
Family Law

Experts on German-English Family Law

Specialists for International Pre-Nuptials, Marriage Agreements and British-German Divorces German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl is the author of the country report (Länderbericht) on Family Law of England & Wales contained in the German Family Law textbook and legal commentary published by NOMOS, available online here. Ever since 2000, Bernhard Schmeilzl specialises in British-German legal matters, from estate planning, to business litigation and cross-border family law matters. International Family Law Experts in London and Munich In alliance…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2020
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawLitigation in Germany

The German Elective Share

Children and surviving Spouse cannot be entirely disinherited under German Law Germany, like many other European countries (e.g. France, Spain, Austria etc), has mandatory succession laws to stop a person from leaving their spouse and/or their children penniless. These "forced heirship" laws in most European countries reflect public policy that a testator shall not be allowed to leave these close family members (spouse and offspring) destitute by making little or no provision for them in…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

German Experts in Estate Administration

We Deal With International Estate & Probate Matters Since 2003 Estate administration is what we specialise in. Our probate lawyers and inheritance tax specialists have the expertise to advise on all bereavement related issues with regard to the jurisdictions Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England & Wales. We know how to handle intestacy and how to interpret wills in foreign languages. We are able to deal with foreign shares and obtain Grants of Probate in the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 17, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateProfessional Regulations

Real German Lawyer or Fraudster?

Check the Official Lawyer Register of the German Bar Association Unfortunately, there are some criminals out there who pretend to be German lawyers. They come up with fake stories about an international inheritance or some other legal matter and try to trick their victims into paying (entirely bogus) court fees or taxes etc. There is, however, a simple way to protect yourself against such a fake lawyer. Whenever you are in doubt about the legitimacy…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 11, 2020
General

Best Lawyer Client Joke Ever

Here's my favourite lawyer joke of all times A man is flying in a hot air balloon when he realizes he is lost. He spots a man below, lowers the balloon and shouts to him, “Excuse me, I am late to meet a friend, but I don’t know where I am. Can you help me, please?”The man below says, “Sure, I’m happy to help. You are in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 2, 2020
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Sell Your Share in a German Estate — Even Before Probate

Renouncing the Inheritance Against Fair Financial Compensation If you have inherited in Germany but are not the only beneficiary, you may get tied up in the administration of such a German estate for years, because under German succession law, there is no personal representative (i.e. executor or administrator). Instead, the co-heirs (Miterben) deal with the estate themselves. Such a community of beneficiaries is called "Erbengemeinschaft". The practical problem: They have to work together and most…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 28, 2020
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

International Inheritance — Is Cherry Picking Permitted?

Can you accept an inheritance in one country and renounce the inheritance in another? To a continental European Estate lawyer, the above question sounds absurd, because the traditional approach of German and French succession law has always been that a deceased person (decedent) leaves behind one single global estate (holistic approach, in German referred to as "Prinzip der Nachlasseinheit"). Therefore, even if the decedent has owned property in various countries around the globe, a German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 14, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman Law

How to Dissolve a German Company

What are the necessary steps to wind down a German company? If the shareholders (Gesellschafter) of a German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, in short: GmbH) decide that they no longer have any use for this company, the German GmbH cannot simply be struck from the company register (Handelsregister) right there and then. Instead, in order to protect the creditors, suppliers and employees of said German limited liability company, German company law (Gesellschaftsrecht)…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 28, 2020
Civil actionGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Inheritance Disputes in Germany

Challenging a Will in Germany If you are involved in a German inheritance case and you have doubts whether a Will is valid, you can (and should) raise these issues with the German Probate Court (Nachlassgericht) as early as possible. You do not even have to initiate a form lawsuit in order to challenge the German will, because German Probate Courts are under the obligation to actively investigate the validity of the will. The court…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 24, 2020
Civil actionLitigation in Germany

German Civil Litigation Experts — Graflegal.com

How to Win a Civil Lawsuit in Germany! Going to court in Germany is entirely different from what a US or UK lawyer is used to. In a nutshell: It's all about the writs. The oral arguments are - in most cases - entirely unimportant. Since there is no jury in Germany, there is no need for flamboyant speeches by German trial lawyers. In other words: The judge is the only person you need to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 10, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman Real Estate LawProperty in Germany

Can I Buy or Sell Property in Germany Without Actually Being There?

Does "Remote Conveyancing" work in Germany? Is there a way to buy or sell German real estate from abroad, i.e. without physically being in Germany myself? Under German law, any property (real estate) transaction must go through a German civil law notary, who does not merely certify documents and verify signatures, but who is a state appointed judge like lawyer (more here). Only the best law school graduates have the chance to become public notaries.…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 23, 2020
Family LawGerman Law

German Pre-Nuptials are fully binding Contracts

German Family Law permits Spouses to enter into a Marriage Contract (Ehevertrag) London is referred to as the divorce capital of the world because English law and English family courts are famous for awarding large amounts to the "poorer" spouse. The legal principles "equal split" and "clean break" have brought many celebrities and other wealthy individuals to tears when the marriage went sour and the not so famous and not so rich spouse filed for…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 30, 2020
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

How do you avoid to inherit debts in Germany?

Renounce the inheritance or apply for estate curatorship German succession laws contain a dangerous pitfall, the principle of universal and direct succession (the German legal buzzwords being: Universalsukzession and Direkterwerb). In contrast to the succession laws in Common Law jurisdiction, where the liability is automatically limited to the estate of the decedent, the default rule under German civil law is that heirs also inherit debts of the deceased - automatically! Direct and automatic succession means…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 24, 2020
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in Germany

GERMAN WILLS ARE OFTEN VOIDABLE

A child or surviving spouse can challenge a German Will made "too early" German laws of succession are full of surprises, even for German lawyers who do not specialise in estate and probate law. One of those German succession law statutes which create shock among the testamentary heirs and beneficiaries is sections 2079 German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch).  The language of the statute is somewhat cryptic: A will is voidable if the testator has omitted a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 9, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Selling Property in Germany? Better hurry!

Corona Crisis will cause German Real Estate Prices to drop For two decades, the only way was up when it came to market value (Verkehrswert) of German houses, flats and apartments, especially in large German cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Berlin. In 2020, this will all change! Even before the Corona outbreak in Europe, the rise in German property prices was no longer as steep as in previous years, due to a combination of extensive…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 18, 2020