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German lawyer for succession law

German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

UK Citizens with Property in Germany: Do I need a separate Will?

The Basics of British-German Inheritance Cases When a British expat lives in Germany for some time, he or she will most probably have a German bank account and other German assets, maybe even have bought property over here. The majority of these British expats have never thought about the inheritance law implications of such foreign assets. They simply assume that UK law applies. This is, however, not always the case. Especially if German probate law…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 1, 2013
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

German Inheritance Tax Rates and Personal Tax Exempt Amounts

What is the German IHT Nil-Rate Band? German inheritance law, including inheritance tax law, works very differently from the UK system (for German probate see here and here). While in the UK the estate as such is taxed (with one single nil-rate band of currently 325k GBP being available as tax relief) you find a completely different inheritance tax concept in Germany: German tax authorities do not look at the estate but at the individual…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 1, 2013
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Executors and Trustees in German Inheritance Law

How estates are administered in Germany There exist, as we have explained here, fundamental differences between the inheritance law concepts of the UK and Germany. Since UK probate law requires a personal representative, many testators in the UK appoint an executor in their will. In Germany, however, where a "personal representative" is unknown due to the principle of universal succession, the inheritors come into ownership as well as into possession of the estate automatically and…
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

When a deceased UK Citizen owned Assets in Germany

How to get access to an Estate under German Inheritance Law When a UK citizen dies while having possessions in Germany (bank accounts, deposits, shares, insurance claims or property), one must first determine whether the estate is governed by German hereditary law and thus falls into the competence of German probate courts: Basically, both from a UK and a German legal perspective this depends on where the deceased was domiciled, i.e. the place where a…
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Disinherit your no-good children? Not so easy in Germany

Close relatives are always entitled to a portion of the estate. Period! Really? According to German inheritance law, close relatives have a right to claim a portion of the estate, even if the testator did not want to leave them anything and has consequently disinherited them. This so called "Pflichtteil" is mostly translated with "statutory share", "forced share" or "compulsory share". However, it is difficult to find the correct English word, because this concept does…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 22, 2013
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Basics of German Inheritance Law (German Probate)

German Succession Rules and Probate Proceedings explained German inheritance law differs very much from UK law and there are many formal requirements which must be followed. A good starting point for basic information about the law of succession in Germany (or any other European country for that matter) is the official EU website "Successions in Europe". It answers a few basic questions and contains helpful links for more detailed research. In our CrossChannelLawyers blog we…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 10, 2012