Category

International Probate

German ProbateGerman Real Estate LawGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

How to obtain probate and administer an estate in Germany

Download your free guide to German probate and estate administration If an inheritance includes German assets or if the last will names a person resident in Germany, it is important to understand the different requirements and effects of UK and German inheritance law and probate proceedings. The basics of German succession laws and intestacy rules as well as German inheritance tax are explained in the brochure “German Probate”, which is available for download here. To…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 13, 2022
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Bereavement in Germany: Information and Assistance

What to do if a relative dies in Germany When a relative dies abroad, the very different European probate procedures, foreign succession laws and the language barrier cause additional distress in already very difficult times. The law office Graf & Partners specialises in UK-German bereavement matters since 2003 and is ready to guide you through the legal, tax and practical problems of an international inheritance situation. EU Succession Regulation If the deceased had his/her "habitual…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 24, 2022
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Typical Pitfalls of UK-German Probate Case

What English will and probate solicitors should know If an English testator owns assets in Germany, or if they decide to gift all or part or their estate to someone resident in Germany, a “standard” English will does not adequately cover all the client’s needs. Foreign IHT consequences, for example, are often completely ignored, as is the fact that German law does neither know the concept of “personal representative”, nor does it recognise trusts. Standard…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 5, 2022
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
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in Germany

GERMAN WILLS ARE OFTEN VOIDABLE

A child or surviving spouse can challenge a German Will made "too early" German laws of succession are full of surprises, even for German lawyers who do not specialise in estate and probate law. One of those German succession law statutes which create shock among the testamentary heirs and beneficiaries is sections 2079 German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch).  The language of the statute is somewhat cryptic: A will is voidable if the testator has omitted a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 9, 2020
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

TYPICAL GERMAN WILL FOR SPOUSES – THE SO CALLED EHEGATTENTESTAMENT

German Spouses usually set up a Joint Will called Berliner Testament Under German succession laws, a will must either be officially recorded by a German notary public or the entire will must be written in the testator's own hand, so called eigenhändiges Testament (holographic will). More on the formal requirements to create a valid will is explained here. Married couples in Germany usually opt for the so called "Berliner Testament" or "Ehegattentestament", i.e. a joint…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 3, 2020
European ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

German Elder Law Experts – Since 2003

GrafLegal focuses on International Probate, Estate Planning and Elder Law Overseas probate law expert Bernhard Schmeilzl, Esq. has 20 years of experience dealing with international estate matters between the USA and Europe. He runs the leading blogs www.internationalprobatelaw.com for American families with assets in Europe and www.GermanCivilProcedure.com which both provide practical information on estate planning, on how to obtain foreign probate, on how to draft wills which are valid in multiple jurisdictions and -- if it comes…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 28, 2019
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

International Probate Law – German Lawyers for Americans with Assets in Europe

Specialist Lawyers for the Administrations of Estates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England American families with assets in central European countries will find all they need to know about estate planning, creating living wills in Europe, probate proceedings and inheritance tax (also called estate tax or death tax) on the website InternationalProbateLaw.com, provided by the international probate law experts of Graf Legal LLP, a firm that specialises in German-American law since 2003. Many U.S. families…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 30, 2019