Category

International Probate

German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Indebted Estate: How to avoid inheriting your German Relatives’ Debts

Make sure to renounce (disclaim) an Inheritance from Germany if you fear that the Decedent had severe Debts For English lawyers it is a rather shocking concept: The relatives of a deceased person or the beneficiaries mentioned in a Will can be fully personally liable for the debts of the deceased. Without any limitation.For details see here. Hard to understand from the perspective of Common Law jurisdictions, but this is exactly what the German legal…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 3, 2018
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateInternational Probate

Austrian Probate: How to Access Assets in Austria?

British Testator owned a Bank Account in Austria: Will an English Grant be accepted in Austria? No, unfortunately, it will not. If a British person who owns assets in Austria dies, the personal representative needs to obtain a separate Austrian grant of probate. The English grant is rather worthless in Austria, just as an Austrian (or German or French etc) grant of probate is not being accepted within the United Kingdom, because the UK has…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 2, 2018
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

How to deposit a Will in Germany

Keep your German will at home or have it registered with German probate court? If you live in Germany or have significant assets there you should consider making a separate last will with regard to those German assets. If you do so, the question arises where to store the will. In case you opted for a so called public will (i.e. a will recorded before a German notary), an official copy of your German will…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 26, 2018
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 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 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