All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

International Inheritance — Is Cherry Picking Permitted?

Can you accept an inheritance in one country and renounce the inheritance in another? To a continental European Estate lawyer, the above question sounds absurd, because the traditional approach of German and French succession law has always been that a deceased person (decedent) leaves behind one single global estate (holistic approach, in German referred to as "Prinzip der Nachlasseinheit"). Therefore, even if the decedent has owned property in various countries around the globe, a German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 14, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman Law

How to Dissolve a German Company

What are the necessary steps to wind down a German company? If the shareholders (Gesellschafter) of a German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, in short: GmbH) decide that they no longer have any use for this company, the German GmbH cannot simply be struck from the company register (Handelsregister) right there and then. Instead, in order to protect the creditors, suppliers and employees of said German limited liability company, German company law (Gesellschaftsrecht)…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 28, 2020
Civil actionGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Inheritance Disputes in Germany

Challenging a Will in Germany If you are involved in a German inheritance case and you have doubts whether a Will is valid, you can (and should) raise these issues with the German Probate Court (Nachlassgericht) as early as possible. You do not even have to initiate a form lawsuit in order to challenge the German will, because German Probate Courts are under the obligation to actively investigate the validity of the will. The court…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 24, 2020
Civil actionLitigation in Germany

German Civil Litigation Experts — Graflegal.com

How to Win a Civil Lawsuit in Germany! Going to court in Germany is entirely different from what a US or UK lawyer is used to. In a nutshell: It's all about the writs. The oral arguments are - in most cases - entirely unimportant. Since there is no jury in Germany, there is no need for flamboyant speeches by German trial lawyers. In other words: The judge is the only person you need to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 10, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman Real Estate LawProperty in Germany

Can I Buy or Sell Property in Germany Without Actually Being There?

Does "Remote Conveyancing" work in Germany? Is there a way to buy or sell German real estate from abroad, i.e. without physically being in Germany myself? Under German law, any property (real estate) transaction must go through a German civil law notary, who does not merely certify documents and verify signatures, but who is a state appointed judge like lawyer (more here). Only the best law school graduates have the chance to become public notaries.…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 23, 2020
Family LawGerman Law

German Pre-Nuptials are fully binding Contracts

German Family Law permits Spouses to enter into a Marriage Contract (Ehevertrag) London is referred to as the divorce capital of the world because English law and English family courts are famous for awarding large amounts to the "poorer" spouse. The legal principles "equal split" and "clean break" have brought many celebrities and other wealthy individuals to tears when the marriage went sour and the not so famous and not so rich spouse filed for…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 30, 2020