Category

German Probate

Civil actionEuropean ProbateGerman ProbateGoing to court

Experts on Contentious Probate in Germany

How to challenge a German Last Will and Testament  German Probate Courts routinely issue a German Grant of Probate (Erbschein) to the applicant without any pro-active investigation into the question whether the testator did possess legal capacity or not. In other words, if nobody comes forward to challenge the validity of the last will, the German court will issue the Erbschein even if the German testator had suffered from severe dementia at the time the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 29, 2021
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateLitigation in Germany

German Desk at London Law Firm

Experts in Anglo-German Law The German law office Graf & Partners provides legal advice on German civil and commercial law matters for English speaking clients since 2003. The Bavaria based lawyer team around co-founder and managing partner Bernhard Schmeilzl specialises in German-British civil litigation, commercial and corporate law, international probate cases and estate planning. German Civil Litigation Experts With more than 20 years of courtroom experience under his belt, Bernhard is a renowned German civil…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 9, 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 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
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
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