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All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

Business in GermanyCivil actionDebt collectionGoing to courtInternational LitigationLitigation in Germany

Costs of Debt Collection in Germany

Pre-action letter and issuing civil claim against debtor in Germany If you have a claim against a person or a business who are based in Germany and who are unwilling to pay, you will in many cases have to take that debtor to court in Germany, unless you have been able to agree your own country as place of jurisdiction in a contract (which is not quite that easy to do, especially in consumer contracts).…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 17, 2024
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGoing to courtInternational Probate

What is a Vorbescheid in German probate proceedings?

German probate registry "announces" the content of the grant to be issued The standard German grant is called Erbschein, i.e. certificate of inheritance. In contrast to grants in common law jurisdictions, such an Erbschein does not name executors or administrators. Instead, the german Erbschein specifies the "heirs", i.e. the beneficiaries and - if more than one - their respective shares in the German estate. How to apply for a German grant of probate is explained…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 30, 2024
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Can Brits with domicile in Germany avoid the German Compulsory Share Rules?

Theoretically yes, by using a choice of law clause in the will, but German Supreme Court established high hurdles If the deceased - regardless of their nationality - had their habitual residence (which is essentially identical with the main residence) in Germany prior to their death, German inheritance law applies, including the provisions on the compulsory share / forced heirship (Pflichtteil). More on those Pflichtteil rules here: https://www.crosschannellawyers.co.uk/what-are-the-german-forced-share-rules/ Thus, spouses and offspring, and even parents…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 13, 2024
Civil actionCriminal LawGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtInternational Litigation

Covert Audio Recordings are illegal in Germany

Recording phone or video calls without all-party consent is a criminal offence Journalists from common law jurisdictions are often surprised or even shocked when they learn that any kind of audio recording - whether covert or open - is illegal under German law, unless the speaker who is being recorded addresses "the public", for example makes a political speech. Such an audio recording without all party consent is even a criminal offence in Germany, see…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 9, 2024
European ProbateGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

EU Court: Patients entitled to a full copy of their medical file free of cost

German law which stated that physicians / hospitals can demand reimbursement for costs no longer applicable Right to obtain the full patient records under German law Under German law, every patient is entitled to obtain a full copy of the patient file kept by their physician or the hospital (defined as "the treating party", see section 630g German Civil Code, titled "Inspection of Medical Records". However, this was subject to the patient being willing to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 6, 2024
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Is there a Residential Nil Rate Band in Germany?

Yes, but only if the decedent was resident in Germany or a EU-member state Under German inheritance tax law (Erbschaftsteuer), the beneficiaries may claim an additional German tax relief for property of the deceased used as the family home (Familienheim), if the deceased gives said property to offspring (children or grandchildren), see section 13 para. 1 nr. 4 German Inheritance and Gift Tax Act (link). However, this additional German inheritance tax relief is only available,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 4, 2023
Business in GermanyGerman Labor LawGerman Law

Termination of Employees during Parental Leave in Germany

Can an Employee in Germany be let off while in parental leave? German labour law is very protective of employees. Every business with more than 10 full time employees on the payroll must be aware of the specific German employee protention rules (Kündigungsschutzgesetz). For details see this post: https://www.crosschannellawyers.co.uk/german-labor-law-the-basics-of-employee-protection-against-dismissal/   Special protection of employees during parental leave Regardless of the number of employees, there are additional special German laws protecting all parents who are on…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 17, 2023
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawGerman Real Estate LawProperty in Germany

What is “Nachgenehmigung” in German conveyancing?

A simple trick to avoid having to travel to Germany for the sale or purchase of a German property Under German conveyancing rules, the seller and the buyer need to be present before a German notary public, who - in contrast to Common Law jurisdictions - is a highly qualified lawyer, a de facto court official. Said German notary records the sale by way of a sale deed (Übertragungsurkunde), ensures that the best interests of…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 7, 2023