German Inheritance Laws

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There is something about the German ?system? that I find really obnoxious? the way some Germans sue their own parents for their inheritance before their parents are even looking unwell let alone dead!

 

Also when one parents dies, the children automatically inherit a percentage of the family home and the surviving parent then has to ?buy? her/his ungrateful little shits out of the property so that the surviving parent can remain living in their own home.

 

German inheritance laws are totally barbaric and take away the parents right to do as one wishes with any riches acuminated.

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I had no idea about that. That's disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

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However under "normal" circumstances the kids can agree to wait for their % until their remaining parent has croaked.

 

Having said that our neighbour's husband died a couple of years ago and immediately after her husband died her son was demanding his %!! (I don't think too much of her son!!) If she had to pay him off she would have had to mortgage her house... In the end he decided to wait until his mother dies, because he will ultimately get more. But talk about insensitive!!

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There is a similar system in uk (or at least in Scotland, maybe english law is different) when my dad died I had to go to our family lawyer to officially renounce my legal entitlement to my share of his estate, otherwise my mother would have had to pay me out too. Don't know anything about sueing parents though ...that sounds a bit more German ! :blink:

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it sounds not german it sounds that this people must have real problems in their families or the kids wouldnt sue their parents :rolleyes:

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Isn't this some kind of hangover from the Napoleonic Code?

 

I know of a similar case in Belgium (France -- and I think much of Europe and Canada -- has similar inheritance laws too). My wife's uncle became a widower when her aunt died of cancer. He fell out with his daughters because -- perish the thought -- he remarried within two years, which they deemed 'too soon'. They effectively forced him to sell up the family home to pay out their share. He hasn't had any contact with his daughters (besides via lawyers) for five years and has never met his grandchildren.

 

It's sad when a 200 year-old code can override the common sense in a person's will. I think the original logic behind unalterable inheritance rights was revolutionary zeal - to share wealth more equitably. These inheritance laws are certainly a recipe for dysfunctional families.

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This sound barbaric, but there is some sense to this too. It stops the parent being reckless with his money. Perhaps for thoughts that have earned all their money themselves it sound barbaric, but let us suppose that the family inheritance passed down through 3 or 4 generations is about to be squandered by the father, on horses or women! Suddenly it makes a bit of sense that one can sue the father for money that was intended to remain within the family. In most modern cases this is now obsolete and somewhat unethical, but for old money there is some sense to this! Most laws are written by those with money to benefit others with money!

 

About getting the money from a living parent after a death! Yes this is immoral, but again the law was written to stop the remaining spouse from marring and the children then loosing their share to the new spouse.

 

Neil mentioned some similarity to a Scottish law, as far as I know there is no such law in the England. There have been more than a few cases of a spouse having died the remaining partner remarrying, the new partner has then walked off with all the money, when the other partner has died. Result is that the children have ended up with NOTHING, neither from the first death nor from the second. And you can defiantly say that the first spouse to die would not have wished for one cent to go to the new partner!

 

The truth is that law are most often written to protect the population. The problem is that in practice loopholes are there, and some people are willing to abuse them. The arrogant child in Germany, the new husband or wife in England.

 

I myself am not sure which on I prefer or would chose. But as the Germans say "there are two side to every metal"!!! :D

 

Bye,

Stuart (Gentleman)

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:doh: Metal or Medal what is one consonant between friends. :lol:

 

I suppose you right, but I am sure the people around here say "metal". I recon that they can’t pronounce their own language. Reine-hessisch für Ausländer! ;)

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Most people in England do not have a will and so die Intestate. This gives similar outcomes as the German system...

 

It is important to be aware that the spouse of a deceased person who dies Intestate, DOES NOT, automatically inherit the whole of the estate if the total value of the free estate passing on the death is of substantial value. The Law prescribes what a surviving spouse can automatically receive, this is known as the Statutory legacy and the amount is dependent on whether or not the deceased was also survived by issue and certain other relatives, again in order of strict priority.

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It's not just the kids that are allowed a percentage of the evertything. It also works if you are married and you and your husband have bought a house or have money etc together, if one of you dies his/her family are entitled to a part of evertything too unless there is a will that states otherwise.

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But then most of you don´t have to worry about that. International inheritance law is based on citizenship. So if someone with British citizenship (from England) dies in Germany, English law is used to determine who inherits what.

There are similar laws elsewhere, for example in all former Jugoslavian states, the wife/husband and children all inherit the same percentage, while in Germany the spouse gets 50%.

And then most children show enough respect to not take the other 50% until both parents are dead. You got a problem when you have greedy kids, though.

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Eolair, you have answered a question that has plagued me for years... I even rang the Australian embassy once to find out whether our Wills which we had made out in favour of each other were valid in Germany. (Hubby and I are both Aussies). They weren't much help.

 

However, what happens in the case of dual nationality?

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I've often wondered about that as well - raises the question of what happens with all us mixed marriage types. Sounds like it could get a bit complicated over the stuff that has been jointly acquired since the marriage.

 

It also raises the question of what happens in the UK for a Scot who's living (or rather died!) in England and vice versa, since officially we're all British, even if the inheritance laws are different!

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We've agreed to make a will barring any new spouse from taking any right to the house which we've built together for the children.

 

Must get round to making a will I spose, make it all official like.

 

It's a bit morbid, but its got to be done sooner rather than later.

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yep i dont have one either...its very bad of me especially as i am a single parent of 3 kids...tut tut Hellie!

 

*adds it to 'to do' list...*

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Mac don't forget me too in the will :P and no don't want the dog :P

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We've got a will on the so-called Berliner Testament basis.

 

Basically this is a handwritten (important) free-form document that states that whichever one of my wife or I dies first, the other is automatically sole heir, signed first by the person who writes it and subsequently with the additional handwritten sentence that this is also the desire of the other spouse and again signed by him or her.

 

If we had children, which we don't, it would shut them out of the first round, so to speak, but it also prevents arguments with other relations in that case. It is also possible to extend it to determine what happens if both die together.

 

To what extent you could shut children out of inheritance soley on this basis I don't know, but I know that it is possible if the child has demonstrated gross ungratefulness, or otherwise seriously disrupted normal family circumstances.

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Are you sure that it is only dependant on which country you come from! It is only that I remember the fuss that James Goldsmith (arrogant pig that he was) made whilst just about to die. He flue from England to Spain in order to kick the bucket and so leave the maximum to his inheritors (several children, 3 + wives (ex), and any number of mistresses)! :angry:

 

Apparently the last thing he wanted was to die in France (I can agree with this one), the reason being was that the inheritance tax would have wipe out a large proportion of the 1.6 billion pound that his estate would have left! (Up until the time when “F*ck Chirac

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