Making a last will and testament

49 posts in this topic

Does anyone have advice regards making a will for someone like me, who now lives and works in Germany?

 

I've no property in the UK, my future wife is German and, while we will stay here for the forseeable future, we do not rule out a move some time, probably either to France or even to the UK. Should I, can I, make a will here, in the UK, or what?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Under German Law when you die you leave everything to your wife and kids anyway. It's simply divided through the number of family members. The kids can claim their share early - that is, before you have gone! To prevent this you can write a "Berliner Testament", in which you say your wife will inherit everything. This is because when you die, the kids can make your wife sell the family home in order to pay them their share of the inheritance.

 

Check with a solicitor first, depending on your family circumstances.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We discussed this a while back, you can read all about it here:

 

 

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And don't forget this: Form des Testaments

 

 

Ein Testament muß grundsätzlich – und zwar vom ersten bis zum letzten Buchstaben – eigenhändig geschrieben und unterschrieben sein. Ein mit Schreibmaschine oder Computer geschriebenes Testament ist daher unwirksam, ebenso eine letztwillige Verfügung, die der Erblasser auf Tonträger gesprochen hat. Wird die Form nicht eingehalten, ist das Testament ungültig mit der Folge, dass die gesetzliche Erbfolge eintritt. Bei der Form gilt es also aufzupassen. Andererseits ist die vom Gesetz verlangten Form auch nicht schwer einzuhalten. Wie gesagt: Sie benötigen lediglich einen Blatt Papier und einen Kugelschreiber und können binnen kürzester Frist ein wirksames Testament verfassen. Andere Formvorschriften gelten für Testamente, die vor einem Notar gemacht werden. Der Notar ist natürlich berechtigt, sich einer Schreibmaschine oder sich eines Texterfassungssystems zu bedienen. Mit seiner Unterschrift bestätigt er von Amts wegen, dass es sich beim dem mit Maschine geschriebenen Dokument um den letzten Willen des Erblassers handelt.

...which means a testament must be hand writen from start to finish and signed by that person. Only person allowed to use typewriter or computer is a notar who will sign and stamp it as an official testament.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just bought a house here in Munich after being here for the last 4 years. So settling down slowly !!! I'm wondering if anyone has an tips or recommendations on making a will in Germany. I'm not married to my partner and without a will I have no idea where or who all my stuff will go to. So can anyone offer any help or advice ? We've bought the house together so I hope it would go to her if anything happened, but hey this is Germany who knows...

 

Cheers

Dicky

 

Topics merged by admin

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some useful links on the subject...

 

http://www.janus-online.de/sorgen/testament.htm (in german)

http://www.erbrecht.de/dvev-erbrecht/ (in german)

http://www.erbrecht.de/pdf/Erbrecht_Verstaendlich.pdf (NB: PDF) (in german)

http://www.horst-bestattungen.de/testamen.htm#was_kostet_ein_Testament (in german)

 

http://germany.angloinfo.com/countries/germany/wills.asp (in english)

 

Costs for a notarial will (notarielles Testament) which is prepared and sworn to in front of a Notary depend on what you're worth, e.g.

5.000,- € 42,- €

20.000,- € 72,- €

50.000,- € 132,- €

100.000,- € 207,- €

...

The cost doubles for joint wills, and 25% is added on for the certification.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Related to wills/testaments, does anyone know if the same rules apply when laying down guardianship for a child? I.e. in a worst-case scenario, if my husband and I are killed at the same time, we would like to pass on guardianship/custody of our daughter to certain family members (who live in the US). Can we just hand-write a statement to this effect, perhaps in German and English, and then give said family members a copy? Or do we need to visit a notary? We don't have wills at the moment - we don't own property and only have life insurance and some savings in the bank.

 

Thanks for any advice!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you want to google Sorgerechtsverfügung

 

http://www.hessenfinder.de/portal/?SOURCE=PstListAZ&PSTID=10681947

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Under German Law when you die you leave everything to your wife and kids anyway. It's simply divided through the number of family members. The kids can claim their share early - that is, before you have gone!

 

None of these statements is correct!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Under German Law when you die you leave everything to your wife and kids anyway.

Yes. If you don't have a will this is - in general - correct (let's leave second and third degree heirs out of the equation to keep things simple).

 

 

It's simply divided through the number of family members.

No. Without a will - in general - the surviving spouse gets one quarter or one half (depending on special property agreements such as Zugewinngemeinschaft, Gütertrennung or Gütergemeinschaft) of the estate while the children divide the other share equally among themselves (again, let's disregard second and third degree issues of the deceased's parents, grandparents and/or multiple degrees of relationship).

 

 

The kids can claim their share early - that is, before you have gone!

No. Before 1 July 1998 an illegitimate child could claim a premature payment from the estate, relinquishing all other claims to his or her father's estate. Premature transfer of the estate is still sometimes the case in rural society when a son or daughter takes over the farm, obligating him or herself in exchange to tend to the parents surrendering control of it.

 

 

Die vorweggenommene Ausgleichsregelung wird zumeist in der Land- und Forstwirtschaft eingesetzt. Übergaben des Hofs oder eines Land- und forstwirtschaftlichen Betriebes geschieht traditionell immer noch auf der Grundlage eines Altenteils.

 

 

To prevent this you can write a "Berliner Testament", in which you say your wife will inherit everything. This is because when you die, the kids can make your wife sell the family home in order to pay them their share of the inheritance.

Yes. See above the sharing system between surviving spouse and children. Under a Berliner Testament the surviving spouse inherits the complete estate. The other heirs cannot demand payments from the estate. However, and here's where it gets nasty, the surviving spouse from a patchwork family can make a will installing his or her issues as heirs, excluding the predeceased spouse's issues of the whole blood and second and third degree heirs!Or he or she marries again and makes another Berliner Testament.

 

This is where your head may start spinning.

 

 

Check with a solicitor first, depending on your family circumstances.

An unconditionally uncontested sentence. Estate law is some of the most intriguing and complicated material in any legal system and not easily set down as a rule of thumb.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are British, childless and own a house in Germany. If one of us dies the other inherits all. However, what if we are involved in an accident and one dies before the other. We have written a will whereby, once we are both dead, we wish our property to go 50/50 to our famillies. (my husband has one brother and I a sister). I fear that a handwritten will could easilly be disposed of by the first relative to arrive here, and all our property will go to the family of the one of us that dies last. Thus we shall seek a solcitor to sort this out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I fear that a handwritten will could easilly be disposed of by the first relative to arrive here,

 

It has to be hand-witten, otherwise it would be invalid according to German law. Whether German law applies to British citizens is another question - don't know. However, you can deposit your will at the local court to avoid that somebody disposes of it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys,

 

I´m unsure on this one. In Australia you can go to post office and buy it, fill it out and get it stamped.

How is the procedure here? and how much would it cost?

 

Thank you

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess that a will made in a different country would still have to be "valid" in Germany, since it still contains your wishes for who should get what from your estate.

If so, and I hope somebody can confirm this, then it might be best to simply make out a will next time you are in Australia, Dave.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See the previous posts. You will must either be made by a Notary in return for a fee, or else completely handwritten, signed and dated, stating clearly who is to get what.

 

Trying to rely on the forms from a different legal system would not be wise if you are resident here, as that would incur considerable costs for your estate in trying to sort out the probate with exciting questions of conflict of laws.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since a couple of people I knew well, and who were younger than me, have passed away recently, I am starting to think that I really should write a will, just in case.

 

Does anybody know if it would be acceptable in Germany if I write it in English? Or is there something in the small print somewhere stating that it has to be in German?

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: I wanted to thank you both for your prompt replies, and especially John for his concern - no, I have no plans to leave either TT or this world just yet, but who knows what tomorrow will bring?

 

Sorry to reply like this, but I am over my posting limit!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..looks like non-German is also fine, Rob! Don´t kick the bucket just yet, though...we´re losing too many regulars on Toytown right now as it is! :D

 

http://www.finanzfrage.net/frage/muss-ein-testament-in-deutschland-eigentlich-in-deutsch-geschrieben-sein#answers

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can be written in any language.

 

But since after your "cought"... it would have to be translated in German. Means getting an approved translation, cost, time, confusion .

 

I'd suggest to either have your will translated and put in form by someone fluent in German (and then put down handwritten and signed) or go and see a Notar .Plus having your will deposited at the local Amtsgericht. Safe. No worries, no bureaucracy in a moment no one is ready for . The cost for Notar and deposit aren't really high,less than 500,. , as far as I remember. Minus the costs for a translation, minus the risk of any legal trouble.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now