If you or your relatives reside in Europe for a longer term you should make sure, that you are prepared for legal struggles concerning inheritance issues. Wills and trust structures need to reflect the specifics of different legal systems. We will help you navigate through the special requirements of European / German regulations on wills, trusts and real estate.
Having ties with a European country and the US or Canada might lead to consequences for the applicable inheritance law. European restrictions can have an impact on matters in other countries legal systems for many reasons. For example, an estate may include German assets that have to be handled in accordance with specific regulations pertaining to German corporate law. Or, the estate may have to be administered according to US law even though it only consists of assets in Europe. Furthermore, we help American and Canadian nationals understand their rights with respect to inheritance in Germany.
In the event that a business is impacted by an inheritance, there are specific corporate and inheritance regulations that must be complied with. This is particularly true when more than one country is involved.
But even private estates that cross national borders give rise to a plethora of questions.
During the planning stage we assist you structure your assets with your estate and the appropriate countries laws in mind. If necessary, we consult with your representatives or our associate attorneys abroad.
Even when just one party involved in an inheritance either the deceased or a beneficiary resides in Germany, German estate tax laws apply. We look at the relevant double taxation treaty and find ways to minimize the effects of estate tax.
Considering all aspects of wealth succession early on can significantly help in the establishment of a tax-favored estate structure during the planning stage.
In the event that any portion of an estate is to be disposed of for philanthropic purposes, planning the estate becomes of utmost importance. The type and structure of the philanthropy depends greatly on your needs and objectives. Some options include foundations, nonprofit GmbHs or stipulations for the beneficiaries. Any stipulations should be linked to the order of succession of the wills beneficiaries.