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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 often asked by his international clients. The questions are listed below with the respective start time, so you can jump right to the specific question you are interested in.


  1. What is an “Erbschein”? (00:11)

  2. Is the process for hiring a German lawyer different from hiring a lawyer in the States? (00:57)

  3. How much does it cost to hire a European Lawyer? (02:06)

  4. My deceased relative owned property in Europe. Do I need a separate grant of probate for those assets? (03:04)

  5. How does German or English probate differ from American probate? (04:01)

  6. Can I be personally held liable for the debts of an international estate? (04:47)

  7. What documents do I need to submit to the German and English probate courts to have access to he estate? (05:47)

  8. How long does the international probate process take? (06:58)

  9. Will I have to travel to Germany or England in order to access the assets my loved one land? (07:41)

  10. What are the rules of intestacy in Germany? (08:22)

  11. How can we sell foreign assets in an estate? (09:16)

  12. How can I get access to assets in Germany or England? (10:09)

  13. Who administers a foreign estate if there is no Will? (11:07)

  14. How can I swear the oath or give the affidavit with regards to the probate application? (12:11)

  15. How do I get an inheritance tax clearance from German and England? (13:20)

  16. Is there an estate tax on foreign assets? (14:29)

  17. I received a letter from German probate court because a relative has died. What do I need to do? (15:14)

  18. Is a United States Will valid in Germany and England? (16:04)

  19. What are “forced heirship” rules? (16:56)

  20. Am I entitled to a share of the estate if a foreign relative has died? (17:53)

  21. What happens if someone contests the Will in Germany? (19:01)

  22. Can I act as the executor or administrator abroad myself? (19:49)

  23. I have foreign assets. How can I ensure they avoid probate? (20:22)

  24. What is the principle of universal succession? (21:21)

The law firm Graf & Partners and its US-German litigation department GP Chambers was established in 2003 and specialises in British-German and US-German probate matters ever since. We administer international estates and  represent clients from the USA and UK in contentious probate matters. If you need qualified advice or representation in a German inheritance case, don’t hesitate to call the probate experts of GrafLegal.

For more on international probate and US-German estate administration visit www.internationalprobatelaw.com and  check out these posts:

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