How to look after partner and child..

15 posts in this topic

Posted

Dear all,

I was just reading the Berliner Testament thread and while it's related, it's not the same as my "problem". I have been with my GF for several years now and we're expecting a baby (imminently) together.

 

I now want to make sure both are at least financially secure, should I kick the bucket (have no reason to think I will, but my dad passed away suddenly and had left no will and it was, well, messy).

 

I own a flat in Berlin and we plan on buying/building a house together in the not too distant future. That house would be in joint names and I presume (dangerous I know) that should either party die, the other would become full legal owner (and also be responsible for the mortgage in its entirety). So far so good (we'll take out term life assurance/mortgage protection to cover the mortgage).

 

Now, I also have a house and some commercial property (jointly owned with my brother) in Ireland which is rented out and "washes its face". I also have some savings which I intend to put towards the house purchase, but for the moment they are in a bank.

 

So, as I understand it with no will in place, our child will inherit all my property directly (at least that is the case in Ireland for sure and I am pretty sure it's the case here too). This "works" but is clearly not a great solution as a child cannot manage money and I do not want my GF to be left with no ownership of any of my property. I am unsure who/how the money would be managed in this case.

 

Ideally, I would like to leave ALL my property to my GF to manage it as she sees fit for the benefit of herself and our child (though there might be a more tax efficient way that leaves some property directly to child because of the German rules about inheritance limits applying to the parents individually). She can then pass on ownership in turn. The problem here is that she would be liable to hefty inheritance tax, both in Ireland and Germany as we are not married. Is the only solution here to get married (no problem, but we weren't in any rush to do so) or can a trust fund be established or something else I haven't thought of?

 

I'll seek specialist advice on this I think as inheritance can be tricky in a single country, never mind when 2 are involved (child will have dual Irish-German citizenship as well) but I'd like to hear any thoughts anyone might have, maybe someone has been in a similar situation?

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Posted

 

I own a flat in Berlin and we plan on buying/building a house together in the not too distant future. That house would be in joint names and I presume (dangerous I know) that should either party die, the other would become full legal owner (and also be responsible for the mortgage in its entirety).

Nope, the other would be joint owner together with your/her heir(s).

 

 

So, as I understand it with no will in place, our child will inherit all my property directly (at least that is the case in Ireland for sure and I am pretty sure it's the case here too).

Real estate in ireland would be passed on according to irish law. Real estate in germany and all other assets according to german law (if your domicil is in germany at the time of your death).

 

 

Ideally, I would like to leave ALL my property to my GF to manage it as she sees fit for the benefit of herself and our child (though there might be a more tax efficient way that leaves some property directly to child because of the German rules about inheritance limits applying to the parents individually). She can then pass on ownership in turn. The problem here is that she would be liable to hefty inheritance tax, both in Ireland and Germany as we are not married. Is the only solution here to get married (no problem, but we weren't in any rush to do so) or can a trust fund be established or something else I haven't thought of?

I have no clue about the taxation issue, but there are a few ways in which you can leave it to your gf, but make sure she has to pass it on to your child, namely for example Vor- und Nacherbschaft. You should talk to both a notary and a tax consultant.

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Posted

Marry her.

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Posted

I would have thought you could buy some life insurance thing to protect your family should the worst happen? (where is john g...?)

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Posted

I second getting married, you are having a kid together and planning on presumably taking out a mortgage together getting married is trivial by comparison.

 

For the other stuff make a will just so its all clear.

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Posted

If you want the child to inherit anything you will need to prove/declare that you are the father. If you get married before the child is born you are automatically recognised as the father (whether or not the child is yours!); otherwise you're well advised to do it as soon as the child is born. This requires going to the Jugendamt (I think it was them) with the mother, who has to agree with the whole thing. (We were in the same position, and decided that if we had to run round to all the authorities we might as well run round to the registry office.)

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Posted

Take out some life assurance as well.

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Posted

You can also do the Vaterschaftsanerkennung (declaration that you are the father) before the birth, and after the birth at the Standesamt. In my case we did it whilst getting the birth certificate which contrdicted what I'd read online about the process so not sure if it was an exception or not...

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Posted

 

If you want the child to inherit anything you will need to prove/declare that you are the father. If you get married before the child is born you are automatically recognised as the father (whether or not the child is yours!); otherwise you're well advised to do it as soon as the child is born. This requires going to the Jugendamt (I think it was them) with the mother, who has to agree with the whole thing. (We were in the same position, and decided that if we had to run round to all the authorities we might as well run round to the registry office.)

 

Hi, the Vaterschaftsannerkennung and gemeinsame Sorgerecht are already done :-)

 

Thanks for the thoughts folks. Marriage is fine, but we wanted to do it "properly" when funds permit (in a couple of years), so I was thinking about an interim solution tbh.

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Posted

Honestly? I think people make too much of the actual wedding event. If you want the truth I bet most of your friends and family would be ecstatic if you ran off to Vegas for a weekend. Nobody actually likes attending weddings. Especially in Germany. The dresses are hideous.

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Posted

By 'properly' you mean a massive, expensive stress-filled event at which everything has to be 'perfect'? We had a low-budget wedding and party arranged by my mum, and that was my idea of perfect - simple, stress-free, close friends and family. I wasn't even phased by my sister-in-law wearing what appeared to be a wedding dress (white and everything) and giving us a gift of a set of photos from childhood to adulthood of my husband on one side, and on the other side - HER! :-D

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Posted

Germans usually* have two weddings anyway. The official wedding is a low-key event at the Standesamt. The "real" wedding, with church, vows, dress, cake, guests, reception, the works, takes place any time afterwards -- can be months or years later!

 

*meaning, if they want to make a big deal of it, that's usually in addition to, not simultaneously to, the official one.

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Posted

 

Germans usually* have two weddings anyway. The official wedding is a low-key event at the Standesamt. The "real" wedding, with church, vows, dress, cake, guests, reception, the works, takes place any time afterwards -- can be months or years later!

 

I don't want to appear heretical, but many Germans aren't members of any churches.

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Posted

 

I don't want to appear heretical, but many Germans aren't members of any churches.

 

That's why I listed church, ceremony, etc. (Secular) ceremony as alternative to church.

 

Oops, I see I didn't have ceremony in my list after all. It was supposed to be there. Mea culpa.

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