Brooks and Partners Law Firm

Inheritance & Probate Lawyer

Brooks & Partners is a full-service law firm active all over the world based in the Uk. Our inheritance law specialist Dr Thomas Bichat advises clients on the legal issues arising, while at all times being aware of the sensitivity inherent in inheritance law disputes. With offices and conference rooms in Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin, we are available nationwide. We offer comprehensive support to clients based outside of Germany who require guidance on German inheritance law.

Law Services for Estate Planning

Having dedicated their time to building a successful business, entrepreneurs often face the challenge of safeguarding their company to ensure that future generations can benefit from its continued growth and prosperity. Having a solid business succession plan is crucial for entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes. Determining the right person, or group of people, to continue the running of the business is an important consideration.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our full-service approach can examine this situation from inheritance and corporate law angles and outline the legal implications of the chosen succession route. Our corporate and contract lawyers can determine whether the company’s articles of association allow the testator to make a gift to their successor or whether the successor can acquire the required shares within the company. If the chosen route is by family succession, our team will support you in designing a family foundation to protect your assets.

At Brooks & Partners, our lawyers assist our clients with drafting wills to ensure that they are legally valid. By working with our lawyers, you can make sure to avoid common pitfalls present within the will-making process. We also support our clients when they need to change elements within or revoke their wills. Often, wills have international elements, particularly for German testators with heirs abroad or testators from other countries with German heirs. Our team advises clients regarding issues, such as der Pflichtteil (the compulsory share) and how difficulties within the community of heirs (“die Erbengemeinschaft”) can be avoided.

The inheritance contract (Erbvertrag) is a binding agreement between at least two parties, including the testator. It is a means of disposition of property and assets following the testator’s passing. In comparison to a will, an inheritance contract is less flexible and subject to more robust legal requirements. Changing or cancelling an inheritance contract involves drafting an agreement with the other parties, and it must be notarized. An inheritance contract allows the testator to place specific demands on the prospective heir. An inheritance contract may consist of the testator leaving their property to the heir; however, the heir may face obligations to take care of the testator in their old age.

If you are a testator who has heirs based abroad or if you live outside of Germany but wish to leave property or assets to an heir in Germany, consulting with an inheritance lawyer may be in your best interest. Complex questions concerning inheritance tax, the power of disposition and obtaining bank account information can arise, preventing your heirs from obtaining their inheritance.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our German inheritance lawyers will outline the legal requirements specific to your personal situation. Once we have the required information, our team will support you by making you aware of the legal necessities and help you to avoid pitfalls that may cause your heirs difficulty in the future. We have worked with clients worldwide.

The compulsory (minimum) share of a person’s inheritance (in German: “ der Pflichtteil”) is an amount that a testator is obliged to (according to law) leave to certain family members. The Pflichtteil varies depending on the relationship between the heir and the testator and the family situation.  Generally, the Pflichtteil is present for the children and spouse of the testator but can also involve their parents and grandchildren, depending on the situation. The Pflichtteil is legislated for under § 2303 BGB and ensures that they are not left out of the will. However, there are some particular cases where a close family member can be excluded from the Pflichtteil. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our inheritance law team is ready to answer all of your questions and support you in your legal case.

Advice for Heirs – German Inheritance Lawyer

The death of a family member can lead to many legal difficulties, and at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers are here to support you. Inheritance law requirements in Germany can leave heirs with many questions over the final testament and the actions they need to take to acquire their property. Our lawyers will assist you with obtaining bank account information, the power of disposition, and gaining inheritance certificates (“Erbscheine”).

Aspects of an inheritance can also be controversial. There may be suspicions of undue influence in drafting a will that our lawyers can investigate. In cases where family members have been deliberately written out of the will, disputes can arise regarding the mandatory share of the inheritance (das Pflichtteil). Cases with multiple heirs (a “community of heirs”) is another area that often requires expert legal guidance from an experienced inheritance lawyer.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our inheritance law expert, Dr. Thomas Bichat, advises clients in Germany and further afield on all matters relating to German inheritance law.