German Succession & Inheritance Law

German Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Higher Probate Fees in the UK as of May 2017

Update 25 April 2017: The below post is outdated because due to Theresa May's snap election called for 8th June 2017, the British government has dropped the plans to raise probate fees (at least for now). More on the matter here. Please note that the UK Probate fees will change from May 2017. For estates with a value of up to £50,000 (pre IHT) the fees will be nil. This is an improvement, because the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 7, 2017
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

German-American Law Firm based in Munich

Need a German lawyer who knows how to swing a baseball bat?  Looking for a German lawyer who is aware of the fact that "morning joe" is not a coffee brand and that "take me out to the ball game" does not refer to soccer fans? Look no further. The lawyers of the Munich based German corporate, litigation and probate law firm Graf & Partners LLP specialise in German American legal issues since 2003. Founding…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 16, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawTrustee & Escrow Services

German Tax Clearance Certificate (Inheritance Tax)

What is required to get German assets released to British or US-American executors or beneficiaries? In order to get German assets released, the executors or beneficiaries must be able to provide the German banks or insurers with a German (or European) Grant of Probate - unless the testator has made the will in notarial form or the testator has granted a transmortal power of attorney. For more on how to access German assets without having…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 13, 2017
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in GermanyProperty Lease

How to sell inherited German Property

An English or American Executor finds that the Testator's Estate comprises a Flat, House or Plot of Land in Germany. What now? If the deceased owned real estate in Germany which the executor or the beneficiaries now wish to sell as soon as possible, this legal guide explains what needs to be done to sell an inherited home in Germany. The sale of the German property may be complicated further if the house or flat…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 12, 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 ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in Germany

How to Access German Assets without having to go through German Probate

There are Practical Alternatives to German Wills German law provides for a number of legal tools which enable a testator to transfer some or all of his assets outside of the German probate rules, i.e. the transfer will then happen automatically upon the testator’s death. This has many advantages: No need for a will, nor a German grant of probate, i.e. no waiting period and no probate costs. These tools are "conditional transfers in contemplation…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Want to Inherit the Debts of your German Relatives?

Of course not! But inheriting debt from a family member who lives abroad is a real risk under German law! The concept of inheriting debts from deceased relatives stuns people, especially lawyers, from common law jurisdictions like Britain or the USA. There the basic rule is: Personal debt dies with the borrower. The executor of the estate will attempt to sell whatever collateral there is and pay off the creditors to the extent possible. All…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 16, 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
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in Germany

Received an Inheritance in Germany? Be ready for Taxes, Taxes, Taxes!

Check the German Capital Gains Tax situation before you sell your inherited property! Waiting a few years may avoid significant taxes. If you have received an inheritance which comprises German assets, in particular German property, this inheritance may or may not trigger inheritance taxes in Germany and / or the UK. We have explained these IHT issues in detail in the following posts: The Perils of German IHT and Gift Tax Basics of German Inheritance…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 7, 2016