All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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