All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

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
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