Category

German Succession & Inheritance Law

German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

This is what a German Gift Tax & Inheritance Tax Bill really looks like

Understanding a German Inheritance Tax Statement Inheritance tax in Germany is calculated very differently from the IHT in the United Kingdom. First of all, under German law, not the estate as such is being taxed but each individual beneficiary. Secondly, each beneficiary has an individual tax rate and an individual tax allowance, based on the amount received and the degree of kinship. And, last not least, German law applies the concept of gift tax which…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 18, 2018
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

“See the Big Picture”: The Preparation of International Wills

One-Day Workshop for English Wills & Probate Solicitors Clients these days often own foreign assets, have close relatives (i.e. future beneficiaries) who live abroad or even move to a non-UK country themselves. In all of these cases, a "standard" English last will and testament does not adequately cover all the client's needs. Foreign IHT consequences, for example, are often completely ignored. As is the fact that many European jurisdictions do not recognise an English trust…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 18, 2017
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

British Expats Beware of Foreign Succession Laws and Foreign Inheritance Tax

Children of British Expats in Europe often are entitled to the Estate without even knowing it. EU Succession Laws are full of surprises. British expats who are resident in Europe, let's say in Germany, Austria, France or Spain, rarely are aware that ever since the introduction of the EU Succession Regulation (August 2015), if they pass away while being resident in that country, the Inheritance and Succession Laws of that country of residence will most…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 11, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

The Perils of the “Free of Tax” Clause in English Wills

What is meant well by the testator and their solicitor can create a tax monster English lawyers and tax consultants must beware of personal liability when designing Wills for families who either may own assets abroad or who wish to make gifts to beneficiaries living outside the UK. The harmless seeming "free of tax" wording as is commonly used by English solicitors when drafting wills for English clients can lead to unexpected quarrels between executors…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 2, 2017
Austrian Inheritance LawGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawWills and Succession Planning

If a British Testator relocates to Europe…

... the surviving spouse may be in for an unpleasant surprise Since 2015, according to the rules of the EU Succession Regulation, the criterion "last habitual residence" of the deceased determines which succession laws apply to the estate. If, for instance, a British national moves to Spain, Germany or France and later on dies there, then the respective national succession laws, i.e. Spanish, German or French succession laws, do apply (except with regard to UK…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 28, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Living Wills and Advance Directives for Medical Decisions in Germany

Advance directives in Germany: How to plan for medical care in the event of loss of decision-making capacity Our law firm specialises in international wills and succession planning for German-British and German-American clients. In this context, our international clients often also ask us to assist with the related matters of creating a Living Will, a Healthcare Proxy, a Lasting Power of Attorney or Advance Directives for Care or End of Life Medical Treatment. All these…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 21, 2017
German LawGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Preparing International Wills: A Checklist for Clients and their Lawyers

Complete Questionnaire for International Families and Expats who are resident or own Assets in Germany or Austria If you or your client owns assets in more than one country, or if a beneficiary is resident in another country than the testator, chances are that the executor and/or the beneficiary need to obtain probate in more than one country. Since the EU Succession Regulation neither applies to the United Kingdom nor to Ireland, the option to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 14, 2017
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational ProbateProperty in Germany

Workshop “Clients with Foreign Assets” for British Inheritance & Probate Lawyers

Testators with assets abroads Why would an English or Scottish solicitor even give a toss about German or Spanish inheritance tax laws or about French or Italian forced heirship rules? Well, for starters, in order to avoid the client's survivors yelling at him/her some years later because they ran into probate or/and foreign tax problems abroad. Or, and this is of course the far better reason, to really impress your client with advice on international…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 25, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateProperty in Germany

International Wills: What your English Solicitor does not tell you (but should)

Drafting Wills for British or American Clients with Assets outside the UK / USA You are a British or American citizen but have assets abroad, let's say in Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Spain. Your English solicitor or your American lawyer suggests you make a Will which deals only with your national estate, i.e. the Will is restricted in such a way that it shall only apply to your assets located within the UK or…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 24, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in Germany

Does a German Last Will & Testament become void if the Testator later marries or has Children?

Does marriage automatically void previous wills under German law? Not automatically, but the surviving spouse and/or the child may challenge the Will for being "outdated". The German legal term is "Anfechtung" according to section 2079 German Civil Code (Section Wills & Probate), which states: Section 2079 German Civil Code Avoidance for omission of a person entitled to a compulsory portion A testamentary disposition may be avoided if the testator has omitted a person entitled to a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 29, 2017