The Experts on 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 German lawyers (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 experienced team of German litigation lawyers provides forensic services all across Germany and runs the expert litigation 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.

+49 (0) 941 – 463 70 70
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Applying for German Grant of Probate from the UK?

Probate applicants must travel to Germany to swear the oath! Under German succession laws (rules for probate proceedings) at least one of the applicants must swear an oath that the content of the application is complete and true. This oath must be talen in person either directly at the German probate court (Nachlassgericht) or in the presence of a German (!) notary. A UK notary or a UK solicitor is NOT sufficient! Can I take…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 14, 2022
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Cause of Death is Confidential Information in Germany

How to prove to an insurer that a decedent did not commit suicide As so many other things in Germany (e.g. land registry information), the question of how and from what a person has died, is considered strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to the public. Not even to the next of kin or the spouse! Therefore, in contrast to the UK and most states in the U.S., a German death certificate (Sterbeurkunde, see…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 14, 2022
German ProbateGerman Real Estate LawGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

How to obtain probate and administer an estate in Germany

Download your free guide to German probate and estate administration If an inheritance includes German assets or if the last will names a person resident in Germany, it is important to understand the different requirements and effects of UK and German inheritance law and probate proceedings. The basics of German succession laws and intestacy rules as well as German inheritance tax are explained in the brochure “German Probate”, which is available for download here. To…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 13, 2022
Family LawGerman LawWills and Succession Planning

How to Appoint a Legal Guardian for my Child in Germany

Can parents decide who shall be the legal guardian of their children? Yes, under German family law rules, they certainly can and should in fact do so. The German buzzword for this is "Vormundschaftsanordnung", meaning "provident appointment of a legal guardian for a minor". Guardianship is regulated in sections 1773 to 1895 German Civil Code. The most relevant statute for the topic discussed here is section 1776 German Civil Code, which states: Right of the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 9, 2022
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Bereavement in Germany: Information and Assistance

What to do if a relative dies in Germany When a relative dies abroad, the very different European probate procedures, foreign succession laws and the language barrier cause additional distress in already very difficult times. The law office Graf & Partners specialises in UK-German bereavement matters since 2003 and is ready to guide you through the legal, tax and practical problems of an international inheritance situation. EU Succession Regulation If the deceased had his/her "habitual…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 24, 2022
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Typical Pitfalls of UK-German Probate Case

What English will and probate solicitors should know If an English testator owns assets in Germany, or if they decide to gift all or part or their estate to someone resident in Germany, a “standard” English will does not adequately cover all the client’s needs. Foreign IHT consequences, for example, are often completely ignored, as is the fact that German law does neither know the concept of “personal representative”, nor does it recognise trusts. Standard…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 5, 2022
Business in GermanyCivil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Less Cricket. More Baseball!

GrafLegal creates US-German Legal Desk Too much cricket, not enough baseball! That's essentially what our marketing people told us after finding that 65% of all posts on our various law blogs deal with UK-German legal issues, only 35% with USA related topics. We may just have gone a bit too much Downton Abbey on everyone. Enough of that, let's balance the scales! The German law firm for US-German legal matters To start off our US…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 29, 2022
Business in GermanyCivil actionGerman LawGoing to courtInternational LitigationLitigation in Germany

Guide to Civil Litigation in Germany

101 on German Civil Lawsuits Download your free brochure If things go sour in international business relationships, U.S. or British businesses may find themselves in a German legal dispute. In this situation, many American and British business owners and CEOs make the same mistake: They assume that a German civil lawsuit will be “somehow similar” to what they know from home. They couldn't be more wrong! Very different Procedure Rules. Litigating in a German court…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 21, 2022
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

The German Court System

Structure of the German Civil Courts explained If you need to bring a claim before a German court of law, this chart shows you which German court has jurisdiction and how many judges will hear your case:   The chart is taken from our expert law blog https://www.germancivilprocedure.com on which our German expert litigators explain many aspects of German civil procedure. You can also ask for our 20 page brochure: Civil Litigation in Germany -…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 18, 2022
Family Law

How to Change Your Name in Germany

German law is quite restrictive when it comes to changing last names In England, anyone can change their last name by simple deed poll. Not so in Germany! Under German law, one is usually stuck for life with the name selected by one's parents. The only easy method to get rid of one's last name is to marry. Because, upon marriage, each spouse is free to either keep their own last name, take on the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 14, 2022
Civil actionDebt collectionInternational LitigationLitigation in GermanyProcess Server Germany

Process Server in Germany

How to serve legal documents in Germany We have previously explained why there is no tradition of instructing a private process server in Germany (see here). Since our law office GrafLegal specialises in international civil and commercial litigation, we are frequently contacted by British, US and Canadian law firms who need to serve court papers or other important legal documents on a party who is resident or has their legal seat in Germany. In order…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 10, 2021
Civil actionEuropean ProbateGerman ProbateGoing to court

Experts on Contentious Probate in Germany

How to challenge a German Last Will and Testament  German Probate Courts routinely issue a German Grant of Probate (Erbschein) to the applicant without any pro-active investigation into the question whether the testator did possess legal capacity or not. In other words, if nobody comes forward to challenge the validity of the last will, the German court will issue the Erbschein even if the German testator had suffered from severe dementia at the time the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 29, 2021
Civil actionGoing to courtInternational LitigationLitigation in Germany

Dispute Resolution in Germany

GP Law - Leading Anglo-German Litigation Lawyers since 2003 British-German dispute resolution has been the focus of Graf Legal LLP ever since the firm was established by litigation experts Birgit Graf and Bernhard Schmeilzl about 20 years ago. Based in the south of Germany, with offices in Munich and Regensburg, we provide English speaking clients with bespoke advice in commercial and high profile private client litigation cases throughout Germany. Head litigator Bernhard Schmeizl has more…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 27, 2021
Civil actionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Graf Legal – The German Litigation Lawyers

We specialise in German commercial litigation since 2003 When German civil litigation expert Bernhard Schmeilzl co-founded Graf Legal LLP back in 2003, the goal was to provide top notch German legal advice for British and US-American clients, with a clear focus on high stakes civil litigation cases. And this is exactly what the Bavaria based boutique litigation firm has done ever since. Every day, we explain German law and especially German civil procedure rules to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 27, 2021
Business in GermanyCivil actionLitigation in Germany

How to Win Commercial Lawsuits in Germany…

... is something we explain to our UK and US clients for more than 20 years now. Our German commercial litigation boutique specialises in advising and representing British and American businesses in civil and commercial courts throughout Germany. More on the German court system here.  In a German courtroom, pretty much everything is different! If you are a British or American litigator dealing with a German civil lawsuit: Forget everything you think you know about…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 15, 2021
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Litigation in Germany is Different — CPR Explained

Typical Misconceptions about Civil Litigation in Germany Since Brexit, less German companies are willing to accept English law to govern their business relationships with UK trading partners. As a consequence, if things go sour between the parties, UK businesses may find themselves in a German legal dispute. German Civil Procedure Rules permit immediate Court Action In this situation, many British company directors and their solicitors make the same mistake: They assume that a German civil…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 22, 2021
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateLitigation in Germany

German Desk at London Law Firm

Experts in Anglo-German Law The German law office Graf & Partners provides legal advice on German civil and commercial law matters for English speaking clients since 2003. The Bavaria based lawyer team around co-founder and managing partner Bernhard Schmeilzl specialises in German-British civil litigation, commercial and corporate law, international probate cases and estate planning. German Civil Litigation Experts With more than 20 years of courtroom experience under his belt, Bernhard is a renowned German civil…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 9, 2021
Civil actionGerman Corporate LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

German Litigation Boutique Graf & Partners fends off EUR 26.5m Claim by UK Manufacturer

German Lawyers Settle 7-Year International Dispute for their German Client For seven years, from 2014 to 2021, a British manufacturing company based in Wales, and a south German constructor of energy plants fought an all out legal battle about whether the wood fired plant designed and built by the Germans in 2013 in Wales, was performing according to the contractual specifications. The UK claimant, a subsidiary of an international group with 14,000 employees, did not…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 17, 2021
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