All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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
German LawGerman Real Estate LawGerman Tort Law

German Civil Law Explained

New Article-by-Article Commentary of the German Civil Code English speaking lawyers who deal with German civil law issues on a regular basis can turn to a helpful new resource: The German publishing houses Beck and Nomos have teamed up for this project and have just released a 2,300 page article by article commentary of the first three parts of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch): Book 1: General Part Book 2: Law of Obligations (including…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 15, 2021
Civil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman LawGerman Tort Law

Research on German Law

German Law in English Language Obviously, German legal research is easier if you are able to read German. English-language resources are available, but mostly limited to general introductions or very specific special interest topics a German legal scholar has published about in English language. Still, if you are an English speaking lawyer or legal scholar interested in German law in English language, here are some sources you may find helpful: (1) Harvard Law School Library…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 30, 2020
Family Law

Experts on German-English Family Law

Specialists for International Pre-Nuptials, Marriage Agreements and British-German Divorces German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl is the author of the country report (Länderbericht) on Family Law of England & Wales contained in the German Family Law textbook and legal commentary published by NOMOS, available online here. Ever since 2000, Bernhard Schmeilzl specialises in British-German legal matters, from estate planning, to business litigation and cross-border family law matters. International Family Law Experts in London and Munich In alliance…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2020
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawLitigation in Germany

The German Elective Share

Children and surviving Spouse cannot be entirely disinherited under German Law Germany, like many other European countries (e.g. France, Spain, Austria etc), has mandatory succession laws to stop a person from leaving their spouse and/or their children penniless. These "forced heirship" laws in most European countries reflect public policy that a testator shall not be allowed to leave these close family members (spouse and offspring) destitute by making little or no provision for them in…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

German Experts in Estate Administration

We Deal With International Estate & Probate Matters Since 2003 Estate administration is what we specialise in. Our probate lawyers and inheritance tax specialists have the expertise to advise on all bereavement related issues with regard to the jurisdictions Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England & Wales. We know how to handle intestacy and how to interpret wills in foreign languages. We are able to deal with foreign shares and obtain Grants of Probate in the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 17, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateProfessional Regulations

Real German Lawyer or Fraudster?

Check the Official Lawyer Register of the German Bar Association Unfortunately, there are some criminals out there who pretend to be German lawyers. They come up with fake stories about an international inheritance or some other legal matter and try to trick their victims into paying (entirely bogus) court fees or taxes etc. There is, however, a simple way to protect yourself against such a fake lawyer. Whenever you are in doubt about the legitimacy…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 11, 2020
General

Best Lawyer Client Joke Ever

Here's my favourite lawyer joke of all times A man is flying in a hot air balloon when he realizes he is lost. He spots a man below, lowers the balloon and shouts to him, “Excuse me, I am late to meet a friend, but I don’t know where I am. Can you help me, please?”The man below says, “Sure, I’m happy to help. You are in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 2, 2020
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Sell Your Share in a German Estate — Even Before Probate

Renouncing the Inheritance Against Fair Financial Compensation If you have inherited in Germany but are not the only beneficiary, you may get tied up in the administration of such a German estate for years, because under German succession law, there is no personal representative (i.e. executor or administrator). Instead, the co-heirs (Miterben) deal with the estate themselves. Such a community of beneficiaries is called "Erbengemeinschaft". The practical problem: They have to work together and most…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 28, 2020