Contentious Probate in Germany – GermanCivilProcedure.com

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Lawyer Video on Probate in Europe

Our special interest blog www.internationalprobatelaw.com deals with the matter of how to administer German-American estates, how to obtain probate in Europe (especially Germany, Austria and England), the overseas succession laws and estate taxes (death taxes) in Europe.

Contentious Probate Proceedings in Germany (Erbscheinverfahren)

Normally, German probate cases are dealt with the local surrogate court (Amtsgericht). They issue the German grant of probate (also referred to as letter of succession or letter of administration) in a quite straight forward proceeding. Compared to the USA, German probate courts are not involved in the administration of the German estate. Once, the court has issued the grant, the judge’s job is done. For more on non-contentious probate in Germany see the post “How to challenge a will in Germany” as well as various articles about this topic on Cross Channel Lawyers.

In the unfortunate case that someone challenges a will in an international probate case (contentious probate), matters become much more complicated and expensive.

This Video deals with the 24 most frequently asked Questions on Overseas Probate

The overseas probate law experts at Graf Legal assist with international estate matters between the USA and Europe since 2003. In our experience, these are the questions most American clients run into when they are faced with an international inheritance case. German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl answers them in the video below. The list of questions contains the respective start time for each question so you can jump right to the specific topic 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)

Or just watch the entire video here

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