Category

Wills and Succession Planning

Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawWills and Succession Planning

Overseas Inheritance? See My Answers to FAQs on Probate in Germany and England

Watch this Video by Cross Border Probate Expert Bernhard Schmeilzl, Esq. Overseas probate law expert Bernhard Schmeilzl has 20 years of experience dealing with international estate matters between the USA and Europe. He runs the leading blogs www.internationalprobatelaw.com and www.crosschannellawyers.com which provide practical information on how to obtain foreign probate and how to win contentious probate litigation in Europe. In this video, Bernhard answers the 24 questions on German and British probate that are most…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 27, 2019
German Succession & Inheritance LawWills and Succession Planning

The Number One Blunder made by English Wills & Probate Solicitors

What English Solicitors (and U.S. lawyers) tend to overlook when preparing Wills for overseas Clients We see cases like this all the time: A British (or American) expat lives in Germany for a few years and unexpectedly passes away while having his or her permanent residence in Germany. A British (or American) family moves to Germany permanently but keeps their English wills in place. Or they ask their English solicitor to prepare a new will…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 23, 2019
European ProbateGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in GermanyWills and Succession Planning

How to speed up German Probate Applications

Avoid common mistakes in your application for a German grant of probate (Erbschein) The basics of the German non-contentious probate procedure are explained in the post How to apply for German Probate. There you can also find an example of what a genuine German grant, i.e. the “Erbschein” (certificate of inheritance) looks like. For those who want to dig deeper and get really technical about German probate, we now examine the central statutes of German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 26, 2018
Austrian ProbateGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

German Probate: What to do if a beneficiary (co-heir) cannot be found?

Does anyone know where Great-Granduncle Fritz lives? In some probate cases (Nachlassverfahren), especially if a decedent had no children, no surviving spouse and no surviving siblings, the next of kin cannot be located, either because the relevant persons have died so long ago that the closest living relatives of the testator can’t be identified (e.g. died in the war) or because they have moved to another country and nobody knows their whereabouts. Even if only…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 7, 2018
German LawGerman ProbateInternational ProbateWills and Succession Planning

Does anyone know about Great-Granduncle Fritz?

What to do in Germany when an Heir (Beneficiary) cannot be found In Germany, due to the principle of universal succession (which is governed by  §§ 1922, 1937 BGB of the German Civil Code), it is the heir´s duty to look after the estate. Under German inheritance law, there is no personal representative to take possession of the estate. The German Probate Court (“Nachlassgericht”) will also not interfere with the administration of the estate. The…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 23, 2018
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawWills and Succession Planning

If your Parent or Child passes away while having been resident in Germany…

... then German Succession Rules do apply to the Estate! Since August 2015, all EU members (except for UK, Ireland and Denmark) apply the same basic rule: The national succession laws of that country shall apply in which the decedent had his or her last habitual residence (EU Succession Regulation, EU 650/2012). Thus, if your parent or your child has been permanently living in - for instance - Germany, France or Spain and sadly dies…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 6, 2018
German LawGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawWills and Succession Planning

“I want to make a Gift to my Child in Germany…”

... but my son-in-law / daughter-in-law shall not benefit from such a gift or inheritance! Is that possible under German law? Yes, it certainly is possible. Spouses are sometimes under the impression that they have an automatic entitlement to any gift the other spouse receives, whether as a lifetime gift or as an inheritance. Simply by virtue of the fact they are married. Under German law, this is certainly not the case. Unless the spouses…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 8, 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