All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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 hires Mia Duda for 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…
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