How to Access a Loved One’s Foreign Assets Upon Their Passing

Are you a U.S. citizen whose loved one recently pass away, leaving you assets that are located overseas? If so, you may be concerned about how you will access your inheritance and how it will be taxed. Read on to learn what you need to know about this process.  If your deceased loved one was not a U.S. citizen and did not live in the United States, you will not have to pay U.S. estate taxes on your inheritance. Read More

How to Avoid Foreign Probate in Germany

Probate is expensive and involves lengthy waiting periods abroad just as it does in the United States, and most people who inherit foreign assets want to avoid probate. Luckily, if you are in Germany, or live in the United States but own property in Germany, and want to leave some of your assets to someone who lives in another country, such as the United States, you have some legal tools at your disposal that can Read More

Challenging a Will Overseas: A Brief How-To Guide

If you are the beneficiary of an overseas estate, you may have a reason to celebrate. If no one challenges the Will, you can proceed with the non-contentious process of obtaining probate in Germany – aka Erbscheinsverfahren, which is usually conducted at the German Circuit Court (Amtsgericht) in the decedent’s last place of residence. But what if you are disappointed with the contents of the Will and decide that you Read More

What to Consider When Drafting a Will with Overseas Assets

As we embrace diversification in the modern world, it has become common – even commendable – to buy and own assets abroad. However, due to the complexities of estates and estate planning and the discrepancy of legal systems in different jurisdictions, this has raised concerns over the issue of succession, particularly writing a Will during estate planning. Is it appropriate to have a separate Will for every country, Read More

Understanding German Disinheritance Laws

Although it is rare, there are parents who are strongly against their offspring inheriting anything from them after they pass away. In the US, you have the “testamentary freedom” to leave your wealth to whomever you like – at least according to the Inheritance Act of 1975. Theoretically, this means that you have the option to disinherit your children altogether. In Germany (and other European countries like France or Read More

4 Reasons a Will Might Be Contested

Understanding your rights as an heir or beneficiary is challenging under the best of circumstances, and it is even more difficult when you’re trying to secure your inheritance from thousands of miles away. If you are inheriting property overseas, there are several reasons that you or another beneficiary may contest the Will. This can delay the disbursement of assets and, if successful, change how assets are Read More

International Estate Planning 101: The Grant of Probate

When you find out that you may be a beneficiary to assets or property in Germany or another European country, you likely have lots of questions. Probate is considerably different in Europe than it is in the United States, and it’s important to be familiar with the process, its steps, and requirements at each step. What Is a Grant of Probate? The Grant of Probate, in some cases also referred to as Certificate of Read More