Find answers to the most common questions on German probate law

Common Questions

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Dr. Markus A. Hosser -  probate law germany
Dr. Marcus A. Hosser in Kanzlei - probate law germany
Are probate procedures (Nachlassverfahren) before a court in Germany required in any thinkable constellation?

Although the answer is no, with all regularity probate procedures in Germany are required, regardless if there is a testamentary disposition existing or an intestate succession.

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Will German banks or authorities be fine with a presentation of the last will by me?

No, with all regularity, the last will and testament´s (original´s) presentation in relation to a German bank is not sufficient.

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How can I prove my position as a heir or a co-heir of the German estate?

In order to prove your legal position in relation to German banks, the land registry office or to other authorities or third parties in Germany, you need a German certificate of inheritance (Erbschein), sometimes also referred to as German certificate of heirship.

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Will my appointment as an executor or estate trustee be accepted in Germany?

No, with all regularity any foreign court-document or certification like a grant of probate, grant of representation or a letter testamentary will not be accepted by German banks or authorities as a proof for a person´s position as an executor for a last will and testament.

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What do I need to prove/exercise my powers as an executor in Germany?

In order to prove your position as an executor of the last will and testament in relation to the assets in the German estate, you need a so-called certificate of executorship also referred to as certificate of execution (Testamentsvollstreckerzeugnis), which only a German probate court can issue.

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Are the inheritance law related rules of my country applicable in Germany, either?

Even when any probate court in your country already issued a decision about your (valid) appointment as an executor or administrator for an estate, this does not mean that the respective foreign law-provisions are applicable in relation to the German estate, either.

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Can I correspond with the German probate court in English?

With all regularity the answer is no, because the language in which court procedures in Germany take place and also the respective correspondence is German.

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Will I in any case have to travel to Germany in order to settle the German estate?

No, although we cannot promise you, that all of the legal measures in order to settle the German estate can be dealt with from abroad, most of the cases can even be handled from a distance and from your country, at least if you have a good advisor at your side.

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Do I have to pay any inheritance tax in Germany?

Such a duty to pay taxes in Germany is possible. Any duty to pay German inheritance tax must be checked in the concrete case and also if any inheritance tax liability in Germany exists.

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Is there any obligation to file inheritance tax returns for persons from abroad?

Basically, the duty to file an inheritance tax return in Germany or to fulfil other duties pursuant to German inheritance tax law, does not only exist for Germans or for persons who are based in Germany, but also applies for persons and beneficiaries from abroad.

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How long will the initial consultation (video) call with Dr. Hosser be?

The initial consultation will take up to 45 minutes, during which you can outline the most relevant facts and circumstances to us and you will be informed about our initial impressions of the case of succession your chances and some approaches.

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Is any study of documents in advance included in the initial consultation?

No, with all regularity we do not study any documents before an initial consultation. When you and we decide to enter a mandate, we will be very glad to read through documents.

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Will I be charged for an initial consultation by Dr. Hosser or is it for free?

For an initial consultation, we charge our customers with EUR 190 plus EUR 20 expenses, each plus German Value Added Tax (at present 19 per cent) on the overall amount, which makes EUR 249.90 with German VAT included, which is the statutory fee for initial consultation meetings about complicated legal topics and such in English language.

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What is the procedure of booking, making the payment, scheduling the (video) call?

You can simply book an initial consultation call over our web page by using the button “Buy now” on our site “Consultation”. You will receive our invoice for the initial consultation call in due course after your booking and an email with the invitation to the (video) call with Dr. Hosser, together with guidelines about our video-conferencing system.

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DR. HOSSER Rechtsanwalt

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