Inheritance law

Your partner in inheritance law

Inheritance law is a special area of law. Inheritance law is about responsibility for family members, employees and assets, it is about the past and the future, and above all it is about people - families.

In this area of conflict between financial interests and personal concerns, we support you as qualified and experienced lawyers, understanding advisors and assertive advocates. We are there for you when it comes to drafting testamentary dispositions and partnership agreements, administering estates and realising claims.

This is us

With two lawyers specialising in inheritance law, two lawyers specialising in tax law and four notaries, we are at your disposal as a competent partner for all questions relating to inheritance law.

Our clients particularly appreciate our speedy communication, the trusting cooperation, our view of the family situation, our clear evaluation of the legal and economic situation and our consistent action.

Our services at a glance

  • Advice and drafting of testaments
  • Drafting of partnership agreements with regard to succession arrangements and continuation of the partnership
  • Tax saving models
  • Transfer of real estates and other assets during lifetime
  • Support of heirs in the administration of the estate
  • Support of heirs in the settlement of the estate
  • Execution of wills
  • Representation in legal proceedings such as inheritance certificate proceedings, contentious proceedings for the determination of heirs, prosecution of claims of the heir/heiress or the beneficiary of the compulsory portion and partition auction proceedings

Lawyers for inheritance law in our law firm

Design: Would you like to settle your estate and/or tackle your succession planning in the company?

The business, the farm, the real estate, the other assets and the testamentary disposition are those things that remain from the deceased in addition to memories. With our help, create regulations that avoid disputes and personal injuries to the surviving dependents and ensure the continuation of the business or farm. With our support, formulate your last will and testament legally in a way that after your passing there is no doubt about what you really wanted.

You have observed that real estate prices are rising and are concerned about whether your heirs will be able to hold on to your property/properties at all after your death or will have to sell the property/properties to pay the inheritance tax?

  • In cooperation with your tax advisor, we will altogether design your succession in asset positions, taking tax aspects into account.

Are you thinking about transferring assets to other persons/family members during your lifetime in order to take advantage of tax allowances?

  • Together with your tax advisor, we will examine the tax advantages and disadvantages of transferring assets during your lifetime and discuss your financial security in old age. We also advise you on the inheritance law implications and the relevance to compulsory portions of a transfer of assets during life.

We will be happy to assist you in the drafting of a transfer agreement either as lawyers in an advisory function or as notaries in an executive function.

Are you self-employed, a merchant, a partner in a partnership or a corporation and wondering what the consequences of your death would be for the company and your heirs? Do you want to actively shape your succession in the company, appoint a successor or define the criteria for selecting a successor?

  • We advise you with regard to the granting of a power of attorney which already takes effect during your lifetime and, if applicable, beyond your death.
  • We inform you about the legal consequences of your death for the company and the heirs, for example, whether companies continue to exist by law or are dissolved, or who assumes liability for existing liabilities. Together we discuss possible succession clauses in partnership agreements.
  • In this respect, we also draft your testamentary disposition, powers of attorney and, in particular, partnership agreements with you - either as lawyers or as notaries.

You are the owner of a farm within the meaning of the farm regulation and plan to hand over the farm to an heir during your lifetime? At the same time, you want to settle the compensation of the heirs?

  • We will check the conditions and consequences of a farm transfer for you in accordance with the farm regulations and, as notaries, draw up a farm transfer contract for you that also takes into account your provision for old age.

You have assets abroad or would like to establish a residence abroad and wonder whether this circumstance changes anything in your intended succession arrangement?

  • We will inform you about the effects of the foreign reference, the regulations of the EU Inheritance Law Regulation that may apply in this respect and the possibility of a choice of law.

Do you have assets over whose preservation and use you would like to have an influence even after your death?

  • We advise you with regard to possible testamentary arrangements such as the arrangement of a pre- and post-inheritance succession or reasonable alternatives.
  • We are also happy to assist you as notaries in the establishment of a (family) foundation.

Would you like to discuss the succession of your assets with other family members and make binding arrangements for your estate while you are still alive?

We accompany and moderate discussions within your family and draft an inheritance contract for you as notaries.

Are you divorced, remarried and/or living in a patchwork family?

  • In this case, there are a number of things to consider with regard to the divorced spouse, children from the first marriage who may still be minors, children of the new spouse and the hedging of the new spouse as well as joint assets of the spouses. Who manages the assets of minor children? How do you ensure that your divorced spouse does not participate in the assets that belong to your children? How do you manage to find an inheritance arrangement that prevents disputes between your children and your current spouse?
  • By means of our long-standing experience, we will find a solution tailored to your family situation and assist you in formulating your testamentary disposition.

Would you like to make provisions for the scenario that you are no longer able to make decisions by yourself for health reasons?

We can support you - also as notaries - in drawing up a health care proxy and a living will.

Manage: You have inherited and are possibly a member of a community of heirs?

A family member or friend has died and the estate falls to you. You are wondering what to do and what to consider.

You have a bereavement in your family or circle of friends, need time to cope with your grief, but at the same time are confronted with numerous tasks as an heir.

  • We stand by your side. We take care of the correspondence with banks, insurance companies, the tax office and the probate court for you.

There is no will of the deceased person, there is an unclearly formulated will or there are several conflicting wills?

  • We evaluate the legal situation for you and check who has become heir and, if applicable, to what share of the inheritance.
  • We help you to observe deadlines and limitation periods and to assert your rights in good time.

Many banks and insurance companies require the submission of a certificate of inheritance as proof of inheritance in every case of death.

  • However, this is not correct. A certificate of inheritance does not have to be presented in every case. If necessary, the succession can also be proven by a notarial will and the opening record of the probate court.
  • We will assist you in obtaining information about the estate from banks and insurance companies.

Is there any real estate in the estate?

  • We will prepare the application for a certificate of inheritance, which is to be submitted by you personally to the probate court, or our notaries will notarise your application for a certificate of inheritance directly for you.

Is the succession to the deceased unclear or disputed among the potential heirs?

  • We will represent your interests in the context of disputed inheritance certificate proceedings or an action for the determination of heirs.

One of the co-heirs administers and "distributes" the estate without involving the other co-heirs? Or one of the co-heirs does not participate in necessary measures such as the repayment of the testator's liabilities?

  • As your representatives, we ensure that the estate is jointly taken possession of and administered by the community of heirs and that a plan for the settlement of the estate is jointly drawn up. If necessary, we apply to the competent court for the ordering of protective measures or the issuing of an interim injunction.
  • In the event that co-heirs do not cooperate, we will enforce your claim for the consent of the remaining co-heirs to measures for the proper administration of the estate - if necessary by taking legal action.

The estate includes considerable liabilities and you are afraid of being liable for these liabilities (debts) with your private assets?

  • Together with you, we will take the necessary measures to limit the liability to the estate and to secure your private assets.

You would like to agree on a "distribution" of the estate with the other heirs?

  • We will compile the estate clearly for you on the basis of a list, check whether the estate is ready to be divided, moderate a discussion among the co-heirs and formulate an inheritance division agreement for you.
  • If real estate is part of the estate, notarisation is also required here. Our notaries are at your disposal.

Realise: You cannot find an agreement among the co-heirs and now want to enforce your claims as heir?

The regulations on inheritance law are complex and therefore it is often not possible for a legal layperson to determine for himself or herself what claims he or she is entitled to in the estate of a deceased family member. Do not be afraid to seek legal assistance in this regard. Seeking legal assistance is not a sign that you want to "argue".

We will find "the right tone" in communicating with your other family members.

Sometimes, however, disputes cannot be avoided due to the lack of insight of persons involved. In this case, we will consistently pursue your rights and, if necessary, assert your claims in court.

You have been disinherited as a descendant or spouse or partner of the deceased and are wondering what claims you now have?

  • We advise you with regard to your so-called claim to a compulsory portion against the heir/heirs. We assert your claim for information on the existence and value of the estate against the heir/heirs, clarify gifts made by the deceased during his or her lifetime that are subject to compensation or that are relevant to the compulsory portion, and finally calculate your concrete compulsory portion and claims for augmented compulsory portion.

The heir/heirs refuse to provide you, as the beneficiary of the compulsory portion, with information about the estate and gifts or the information provided is demonstrably incomplete?

  • We will enforce your claims to information and your claims to a compulsory portion calculated on this basis in court.

Have your parents transferred their farm to another person as heir within the meaning of the farmyard regulations?

  • Please note that the case of inheritance with regard to the farm is deemed to have occurred with the transfer. We will assert your claim for compensation in due time.

You have been appointed as heir under an inheritance contract or joint will by spouses. However, the testator gave away his or her substantial assets during his or her lifetime?

  • We can advise you on whether you can claim the return of the assets given away in the event of inheritance and assert the claim for return on your behalf against the donee.

Does the estate include real estate or other assets that cannot be divided among the heirs? You cannot reach an agreement with the co-heirs on the value, the division and/or the realisation of the property/object of the estate?

  • We will support you, if necessary with the help of experts, in reaching an amicable solution among the co-heirs. If such an agreement is not possible, there is a risk of a partition auction. We initiate such a judicial partition auction for you or represent you in the partition auction proceedings.

Are you a member of a community of heirs that has fallen out regarding the "division" of the estate and the crediting of gifts already received during your lifetime against the inheritance?

  • We will work with you to develop a strategy to get out of this situation and represent your interests in the inheritance dispute. If necessary, we develop a partition plan and file an action on your behalf against the other co-heirs for approval of this partition plan.

Get in touch with us

You can reach our lawyers in the field of inheritance law by telephone.