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German Law

German LawGerman ProbateGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

English Speaking German Lawyers and Litigators based in Munich

Experienced German Legal Counsel for British and American Clients Since 2003, the German law firm Graf Partners LLP with its headquarters in Munich specialises in British-German and US-German legal cases. Not only are the German lawyers at GP fluent in the English language, but they have many years of practical experience gained by working for commercial and private clients from Britain and the USA. From conveyancing of German property, drafting international agreements, representing foreign clients…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 10, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Important Facts on German Laws of Succession and German Probate

All you need to know about German inheritance law and probate proceedings Download the free brochure provided by the legal experts on international wills, cross border probate and British-German or US-German estate administration German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester) specialises in British-German and American-German inheritance law ever since his admission to the German bar association in 2001. Together with his team of British and German succession and probate law experts he has compiled an easy…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

What are the German Forced Share Rules?

If German Succession Rules do apply (and this is the case more often than one might think), then the surviving spouse, the children and even the parents of the deceased do inherit a portion of the estate no matter what, i.e. even if the deceased had expressly disinherited them in his Will! Under German law there exist strict forced share rules (Pflichtteil). In cases where the surviving spouse and/or close relatives, namely descendants or parents,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German Law

Want to become a German?

How to obtain German Citizenship The general rule is that, in contrast to US law, German citizenship is not automatically established through birth on German territory (birthright citizenship), but by descent from a German legal mother and/or a German legal father. In addition, there are other options to acquire German citizenship, in particular naturalisation (Einbürgerung). You can find more detailed information on this website of the German Federal Office. Also, you may contact a German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 9, 2016
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Everything about German Inheritance & Gift Tax at one Glance

German residents are subject to German inheritance tax. Always! Many of our blogposts deal with German probate and the tax implications of international inheritance cases (see list below). English solicitors and their clients are often stunned by the fact that German assets which are part of an English estate can trigger significant German inheritance and/or gift tax, in addition to UK IHT. Vice versa, if a beneficiary happens to be resident in Germany (even if…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 14, 2016
German LawProfessional Regulations

German Lawyers do not Renew their Practising Certificates each Year

How to check whether a German Lawyer (or other Professional) is properly licensed and insured Hiring a foreign lawyer (more here) involves a certain amount of trust, especially if this lawyer is supposed to handle the client's funds abroad. Many potential clients from the UK and the USA therefore ask their potential German attorney-at-law (Rechtsanwalt) to provide a copy of their current practising certificate. This request will, however, baffle a German lawyer (or tax advisor,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 21, 2016
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Formal Requirements to set up a valid Will in England, Scotland and Germany: What are the Differences?

One will per each country or one universal will? International families, expats or elderly people who have moved to another country after retirement often have the choice as to under which country’s legal regime they wish to set up their Last Will & Testament (see here for mutual acknowledgement of Foreign Wills). In this article we compare the formal requirements of German, English and Scottish law (the latter being surprisingly different from English law, in…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 12, 2016
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman Law

Buying a German Company

M&A Transactions Germany If you consider buying or merging with a German company or stock corporation (see checklist here), we can either structure and manage the entire acquisition process for you or merely assist with specific tasks like due diligence (e.g. financial, legal, business, IT) or contract negotiation. Our team of lawyers, financial and business experts has extensive experience with international M&A projects in various industry sectors. We will always keep matters as simple and…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 3, 2016
Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsFamily LawGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman LawGerman Probate

English Desk at German Law Firm Graf Partners LLP

The Munich and Regensburg based German law firm Graf & Partners LLP, established in 2003, specialises in providing professional legal services to English speaking clients, both business and private. Our British-German specialist teams of lawyers and linguists advise on all legal and tax issues connected to Germany and European Union law, from business, corporate and labour to international probate, family law and property. The English Desk in our Munich office is headed by dual qualified…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 3, 2016
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

The Infamous “Community of Heirs” in German Inheritance Law – And How to Avoid it

A German testator can have more than one beneficiaries, but should never appoint more than one "heirs" German Succession Law does not know the concept of a "Personal Representative". Instead, German inheritance law applies the principle of direct accession (more on this here). That is all very nice and efficient if there is only a sole heir. Or if, in case there are several heirs, they are reasonable and on good speaking terms. If, however,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 27, 2016