Advice On Inheritance and ethics of a German Notar

6 posts in this topic

Hi everyone. I’m new to these forums. I hope I’m asking in the right place.

Where to begin. In a nutshell. Our Notar has been just acting poorly when it comes down to communication and keeping his own word.

1 year and  3 months ago, my mothers aunt passed. Due to Corona we remotely hired a notar from Berlin that was recommended through my sisters husbands coworker.

There was a will naming my elderly mother the only heir , nobody contested such will.

We gave the notar power of attorney to act on our behalf. The notar at the time stated. “Usually these matters take no more than 6months.” So far it has take 1 year an 3 months and still not done.

The aunt Left behind a house and an account worth 2x value of the house.

During this, the notar has blamed corona restriction, holidays,  etc for taking so long.

The notar was consistent on some of the things he has said up to a point.

Initially he thought the house will be worth the entire value of the cash account saying that all the funds will be released.

Meanwhile services for the house {Getting cleaned out etc,} people went unpaid for a few months. They began to reach out and contact us ,because they have not heard from our notar.

Eventually after nearly a month of putting pressure. Phone calls and emails. He said it was a misunderstanding.


Fast forward to over a year of delays later. The notar received word from the bank (documents unprovided to us) of funds being released in July. Then stalling. Waiting.  The notar exhibited some really odd behavior and blaming service and transfer failures. Until I got really mad to the point of calling him every day. Finally, after a whole month.  1/3 of the funds were sent to us from the Notar trust account. I demanded a screenshot of the account. A letter from the bank. Something. But never received anything other than a link to transferwise and his statement that I can rest assured it is in his trust account. It took over 35 days to finally make it though. I still don’t know the status of the other 2/3rds of the account.

Shortly after we received forms in the mail from the city about taxes getting paid. He did mention taxes will need to get paid, but it all sounded like he was taking care of it. Now he is suggesting we work with his tax attorney.

One thing that bothers me is I have repeatedly asked for documentation showing the release of the fund and showing funds left. It has been over a month and his only reply was. These things take time to get scanned and sent.

Recently he flipped his narrative and said that the bank released the funds when they were not supposed to at all. That if it wasn’t for him it would not have happened. “The bank made a mistake. “ Even though this is what he was telling us all along that fund will get released against the value of the house.  He also stated that this is a very hard case suddenly. That he has worked very hard for this to happen. Initially when we signed him. He stated he works very efficiently and this is just a cut and dry process.

I guess I just want to run this by this group and to see if this is indeed the way things are getting done.

I only found out today after asking a very specific question. That he took $5k euro for himself as a retainer without ever communicating that prior to my question.  I still have zero actual documentation of this. He also now stated that this has been aa very hard case suddenly and that he has to bill accordingly.

Throughout this entire course it has been mentally and emotionally draining trying to get information from our Notar. Multiple questions ignored. Having to ask multiple times. It eventually comes down to me trying to call him multiple times after waiting a week to months for replies to emails. It builds a certain level of distrust because of his behavior. He always has some excuse, but won’t even communicate it till you corner him.

He has since asked for broader powers of attorney (to have apostille services for paragraph 181 of german code) in order to sell the house so the rest of the fund get released. ( I am very weary of continuing with this point, in case something is going on)

I have tried to contact the original bank numerous times to try to figure out if the funds are what they are. But they have told me to contract the German tax office without releasing information.

I am unsure of what to do at this point. Because verbally he always says. “Oh yes ,yes, this is coming. I will get that to you.” But he does not. Not sure if firing him and hiring another person in the middle of this process is a good idea as he has named himself on all the forms and communications. Nor do I know who to hire.  How does one revoke the power of attorney in an emergency situation?

I am overwhelmed and beyond my comfort zone. At the end of the day I’m not a notar and do not enjoy dealing with legal proceedings. I am just very worried at the end of all this he somehow walks away with 1/3 to half the money. As I have not ever dealt with such a communication averse person in my professional life. That I have to, what feels like, literally beg for updates and information.

Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, SnowGlow said:

I have tried to contact the original bank numerous times to try to figure out if the funds are what they are. But they have told me to contract the German tax office without releasing information.

 

Your experience with the Notar sounds most unpromising. The fob-off from the bank also has me perplexed. Makes no sense to me at all. Bit I am not a lawyer. I would first get back to the bank and ask if they are allowed to give you information about the monies in the trust fund. Persist. You need a simple yes or no answer. And if not, why not. And an explanation if the answer is no. If you are not getting that information ask to speak to someone else until you get that clarified.

 

Your Notar sounds like a shark. I would not give him any more power until he gives you the concrete information you have been seeking.

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The Rechtsanwaltkammer polices lawyers. Do they also police notaries, or is there a different Kammer.

 

Basically the Kammer is responsible for maintaining the "high standards" of their members. 

Kammers normally want to stamp out malpractice as it bring their industry into disrepute.

 

It might also be worth setting a lawyer on him, where the lawyer poses a set of questions in writing with a deadline for answers. One sees a pattern that he bullshits on the phone and puts nothing in writing.

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42 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

The Rechtsanwaltkammer polices lawyers. Do they also police notaries, or is there a different Kammer.

 

There is a different Kammer.  https://www.notarkammer-berlin.de/

 

43 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

It might also be worth setting a lawyer on him, where the lawyer poses a set of questions in writing with a deadline for answers. One sees a pattern that he bullshits on the phone and puts nothing in writing.

 

Just fire him.  I'm not sure if the appropriate profession for this task was a Notar or a Rechtsanwalt.  But in any case, if you don't like your service provider, hire another and order the current guy to send all the files to your new service provider. 

 

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Any time I've dealt with notaries and there is money being transferred, they have voluntarily sent me excerpts of the accounts in question. That he seemingly refuses to send you something that simple after you have explicitly requested them would worry me personally. Sadly these professions also include a small minority of thieves.

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Thank you for the quick responses. I have not made much progress due to the weekend.

To clarify he is a " Rechtsanwalt & Notar  " as per his emails. 

Just sent off another email request requesting the documentation again.

Does anyone have any recommendation of a reputable Rechtsanwalt & or  Notar  to take over. I also need a reputable tax attorney.

 

If I were to go over there myself. What do I need to to do to ensure that I can revoke his power of attorney quickly and that mine is recognized to represent my mother? Would a simple signed notorized form be sufficient or does it need to be sent and registered to some authority.

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