All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

TYPICAL GERMAN WILL FOR SPOUSES – THE SO CALLED EHEGATTENTESTAMENT

German Spouses usually set up a Joint Will called Berliner Testament Under German succession laws, a will must either be officially recorded by a German notary public or the entire will must be written in the testator's own hand, so called eigenhändiges Testament (holographic will). More on the formal requirements to create a valid will is explained here. Married couples in Germany usually opt for the so called "Berliner Testament" or "Ehegattentestament", i.e. a joint…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 3, 2020
Civil actionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Are TV-Cameras allowed in German Courtrooms?

Videotaping and broadcasting is prohibited in Germany - with only very limited exceptions You will not see any video footage of a German court case, neither from a civil nor from a criminal trial. German law is very conservative and restrictive when it comes to photography and videotaping in a German court of law, let alone broadcasting the actual court hearing. The only exception to this rule applies to the highest Federal Courts of Germany…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 24, 2020
Family Law

Experts on German Family Law

German Pre-Nuptials, Post-Nuptials, Divorce Proceedings, Separation Agreements and Divorce Mediation International families as well as British and American expats in Germany are somtimes faced with German family law issues. Either because they wish to get their personal and financial affairs in order and ringfence their property by way of a pre-nuptial agreement which must "work" (i.e. be enforceable) in Germany as well as in the UK and the USA. Or because the marriage is in…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 5, 2020
Civil actionGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

WHY ARE GERMAN TRIAL LAWYERS SO LAME?

Or are they, really? That's a question I often get asked by U.S. clients who need to sue (or have been sued) in Germany. These American clients have certain expectations with regard to what a good and hard nosed litigation lawyer does. Harvey Specter style shock and awe tactics. The German civil litigation counsel, in their view, does not live up to these Hollywood or Netflix expectations. Well, what creates the impression of a German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 4, 2019
Property in Germany

When Buying Property in Germany – Do Not Make Any Upfront Payments

Don't Get Ripped Off by "German Real Property Online Auctions" The conveyancing process in Germany is very different from buying property in the United Kingdom or the USA. In Germany, as in France and other civil law jurisdictions, every property transaction must go through a civil law notary, who is a quasi court official and who must ensure that the rights and interests of both parties to the transaction are being protected. In other words:…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 14, 2019
European ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

German Elder Law Experts – Since 2003

GrafLegal focuses on International Probate, Estate Planning and Elder Law Overseas probate law expert Bernhard Schmeilzl, Esq. has 20 years of experience dealing with international estate matters between the USA and Europe. He runs the leading blogs www.internationalprobatelaw.com for American families with assets in Europe and www.GermanCivilProcedure.com which both provide practical information on estate planning, on how to obtain foreign probate, on how to draft wills which are valid in multiple jurisdictions and -- if it comes…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 28, 2019
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawWills and Succession Planning

Overseas Inheritance? See My Answers to FAQs on Probate in Germany and England

Watch this Video by Cross Border Probate Expert Bernhard Schmeilzl, Esq. Overseas probate law expert Bernhard Schmeilzl has 20 years of experience dealing with international estate matters between the USA and Europe. He runs the leading blogs www.internationalprobatelaw.com and www.crosschannellawyers.com which provide practical information on how to obtain foreign probate and how to win contentious probate litigation in Europe. In this video, Bernhard answers the 24 questions on German and British probate that are most…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 27, 2019
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

International Probate Law – German Lawyers for Americans with Assets in Europe

Specialist Lawyers for the Administrations of Estates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England American families with assets in central European countries will find all they need to know about estate planning, creating living wills in Europe, probate proceedings and inheritance tax (also called estate tax or death tax) on the website InternationalProbateLaw.com, provided by the international probate law experts of Graf Legal LLP, a firm that specialises in German-American law since 2003. Many U.S. families…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 30, 2019