Lawyer for inheritance advice, prices?

8 posts in this topic

Looking for legal advice about overseas estates and inheritance questions. There's no court case or anything, so I guess it would be an hourly rate just for advice.

 

I was quoted €297 (i.e. €250 + VAT) for an initial discussion of up to one hour (Erstberatung) by a Berlin lawyer, and €452 (€380 + VAT) per hour after that. Is that something like the going rate? From browsing some other threads like "How much do lawyers in Germany cost?" and from the regulations, I was expecting €190 + VAT for the Erstberatung, and somewhere around €200 or so for hourly rates, but maybe that's outdated. I'm probably already on the hook for the Erstberatung. Just wondering if it's reasonable or if I should try to keep shopping around after that, and if so, if anyone has a good recommendation. Thanks...

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I got a lawyers advice over the phone a couple of months ago and their rate was 250 including VAT.  Actually 190 basic fee, +20 for a telephone charge + VAT.

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9 hours ago, sumguy said:

legal advice 

€297 (i.e. €250 + VAT) for an initial discussion of up to one hour (Erstberatung) by a Berlin lawyer, and €452 (€380 + VAT) per hour after that.

 

I think 300 per hour is a reasonable rate, 380 is pushing things but is not crazy.   You can likely find a lower rate. 

 

You also can propose a lower rate and see how they react, OR you can propose a flat fee rather than hourly billing. Usually European lawyers love flat fee billing.  Flat fees have pros and cons, but one pro is generally you know how much you are in for.

 

It's all negotiable, though could be the lawyer won't be interested in negotiating. 

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On 9/7/2021, 2:15:20, sumguy said:

Looking for legal advice about overseas estates and inheritance questions


Why do you think you need a German lawyer's advice?

 

Inheritance law is highly localized.

 

If by "overseas estates" you are referring to the estate of a decedent or "decedent-to-be" who lives outside Germany and/or whose property (real or personal) is located in another country, you will likely find that there is no German lawyer competent to advise you on the laws of the foreign jurisdiction whose laws will govern succession to that person's "overseas estate". 

 

Incompetence, of course, will not stop the German lawyer from billing you so I suggest you first ensure you are asking the professional with the right qualifications; i.e. someone who is an expert in the applicable law.

 

 

 

 

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It has to do with the German inheritance tax that applies to anyone living in Germany. The lawyer I got the quote from advertises as being an expert in international estate and inheritance issues.

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OK.  There is an important distinction between "overseas" estate and inheritance legal issues, which could easily involve one or more foreign legal systems (and the involvement of foreign lawyers) and tax issues, which will almost always involve exclusively domestic, i.e. German, tax law and either a German tax lawyer or - usually cheaper:  a Steuerberater.

 

Why don't you pose your question on TT's "Finance" forum and see what responses are elicited for free.

 

 

 

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The distinction isn't that clear-cut between legal issues and tax issues. I asked my Steuerberater, but he said that he (and a Steuerberater in general) is likely not competent to answer questions about how German tax laws and courts interpret and apply German rules to things like foreign trusts etc., that don't have a direct counterpart in German civil law. Nor to give advice for tax planning in a foreign jurisdiction, with the goal of minimizing taxes for involved German residents. It can be complex, and require a team of multiple lawyers and tax advisers in both countries.

 

I'll consider posting in the finance forum, thanks for the suggestion.

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10 hours ago, sumguy said:

I'll consider posting in the finance forum, thanks for the suggestion.

 

You might want to start by reading the last page of this thread here and then either continue it or initiate a new one:

 

 

 

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