Making a last will and testament

72 posts in this topic

On 15/01/2017, 09:31:11, Aihal said:

My parents, alive, bless them, live in a property that I own. Since the funds for this property was given by them, I morally feel like it's theirs in case I die.

 

Can i write a will that explicitly lists them as the beneficiary for this property and prevent my future wife (I am still single) from successfully challenging this will.

 

In case I am survived by my parents I don't want an ambitious wife to throw them out to a street.

 

 

 

I am in this situation now. I am married, and my parents want to give me and my sister the house. My wife and parents adore each other, but nonetheless it's something we have been thinking about. Especially considering what Panda says:

 

On 15/01/2017, 10:08:38, PandaMunich said:

 

A will won't help, the spouse has a legal claim to a share of at least half of what you owned when you died, should you die without a will.

If you have kids her legal share would be 50% of your assets, if you do not have kids 75%.

 

The minumum amount she then still has to get (= Pflichtteil) even if you cut her out of your will, will be half of that legal share, i.e. at least 25%/37.5% go to her.

 

If you have enough assets so that that apartment is worth less than all the Pflichtteile (kids also have Pflichtteile), then you can leave it to your parents and they will get it.

Or you could just do an Ehevertrag with her in front of a Notar when you get married, in which you exclude/reduce your wife's Pflichtteil, see the section starting with "Erbrecht" in here: http://www.notarin-jaenicke.de/leistungen/familie/ehevertrag/

 

I didn't know about this Pflichtteil, thank you.

 

I don't know about USA, but in England (see .gov website) it says that effectively, for a pair, up to £650,000 is tax free. This is effectively also increasing to £1,000,000 in 2021 assuming a house is involved. That's quite a lot to be fair. My parents have done well for themselves but I'm pretty sure they won't be leaving over a million.

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On 9.7.2013, 14:33:37, tenngirl said:

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!

 

I realise this  is an older post, but my husband and I are having a very similar discussion right now. Are there particular legal requirements? Must we complete such a document with an attorney.  Thanks :)

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I now have a little more information. It seems that a handwritten Sorgerrecht signed by both parents in the prescence of a witness should be sufficient. This is what we are planning to do.

Of course, with all these things it partly depends on whether it is something that is likely to be challenged. From what I have read concerning such legal documents, even an oral statement of what you want should be sufficient but of course this would be easy to challenge. Therefore something written is less likely to be challenged, a witnessed statement even less liklier to be challenged and something signed before a notary even less likely to be challenged. Therefore the question you may want to ask is how likely it is someone would challenge your decision. If you think you have difficult relatives you might want to go to a notary.

Here is a link to a Muster Document that I found online:

https://www.briefvorlagen-papierformat.de/fachartikel/infos-und-mustervorlage-zur-sorgerechtsverfuegung/

 

As ever though, Toytown is not a substitute for legal advice. Hope it helps

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@Gman & @Aihal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

You don't need a will to protect your parents from your wife/future wife and kids/future kids regarding a specific property. What you need to do is add a usufruct/Nießbrauch in the land register/Grundbuch. Contact a lawyer/notary who can speak English so he can explain the process and what it really means. 

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12 minutes ago, zoomer said:

@Gman & @Aihal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

You don't need a will to protect your parents from your wife/future wife and kids/future kids regarding a specific property. What you need to do is add a usufruct/Nießbrauch in the land register/Grundbuch. Contact a lawyer/notary who can speak English so he can explain the process and what it really means. 

 

Nießbrauch won't help, since that would only ensure that @Aihal's parents could stay living in the flat.

 

What he wants is that the flat would become the property of his parents, since they gifted him the money for the flat:

On 1/15/2017, 9:31:11, Aihal said:

My parents, alive, bless them, live in a property that I own. Since the funds for this property was given by them, I morally feel like it's theirs in case I die.

 

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Hi , I know this is an old topic but i was wondering if someone could recommend somebody in Berlin (English speaking ) to draft and notarize the will ? For an international couple living in Germany 

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On 10/23/2016, 12:29:06, emkay said:

Thank you Malt-Teaser, that is very helpful. And thank you for being my mentor today :).

 

I still can't quite grasp from googling how one's worth is calculated and what kind of evidence is necessary.  We pretty much only have our mortgaged house here in Germany. Are other assets like personal belongings relevant? Not that we have a Ming collection or anything similarly valuable.

 

From my google efforts, it sounds to me that a Notar takes off 50% of loans in calculating the Notar costs. So is that price of the house purchase minus 50% of mortgage loan? For the sake of example and round numbers...we bought our house for 300.000 with a mortgage of 200.000. Does that make our worth 200.000 (300.000 - 50% of 200.000)?

 

We are both apprehensive that without a rock solid will, our parents and step parents are highly likely, no, will make claim on our estate.  God forbid, if anything happens to us all (me, husband and kiddo), we would want to distribute to our named dearest friends and animal charity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 I know this post is from 4 years ago, but I just wanted to update with the info I learned from my notar today.

Regarding how they calculate the worth of a mortgaged property. They will value it at either the equity in it, or  50% of it's marketable worth, whichever is higher.

 

So, in the example given above, if a property is worth 300,000 and has a mortgage of 200,000 ie it has equity of 100,000, it will be valued at 50% of it's worth ie at 150,000.

If however, it had no mortgage it would be valued at 300,000. That is my understanding anyway.

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So, now that we are in Coronavirus Lockdown, my husband and I have been looking into making our wills.

 

Anyway, My husband is Italian and I am British. The notar claimed that despite we have a UK will, it would not be applicable to our German assets and we would need to make a German will for our German assets and since this is where we live, it will likely override our UK will also. That does not seem to be the consensus here...

 

The Notar fees seem to be an eyewatering 1% (he can't be sure since he is working from home and doesn't have the exact figures). I am now considering writing up a handwritten will. One question I have, would it be possible to lodge the will with the Amstgericht, as is the case with a will written by a notary? I understand that the Amstgericht will contact the benefactors listed in the will, which is a huge advantage for me, since my own kids are so  young.

 

Also, the notar could not advise me on wether it would be ok to nominate as a guardian someone who lives in Australia. Does anyone here know if this is possible?

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40 minutes ago, kthxcia said:

One question I have, would it be possible to lodge the will with the Amstgericht

Yes

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This is the best summary of wills that I found and is in line with the advice we got from a solicitor:

https://www.german-probate-lawyer.com/en/detail/article/wills-in-germany-1514.html

 

And yes (from my amateur understanding)

it is allowed and advisable to lodge it at the Amtsgericht.

Inheritance of property comes under German rules (this is the general international norm, the country where a property is located gets first dibs on it.)

Edited to add:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/family/inheritances/planning-inheritance/index_en.htm

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1 hour ago, Feierabend said:

This is the best summary of wills that I found and is in line with the advice we got from a solicitor:

https://www.german-probate-lawyer.com/en/detail/article/wills-in-germany-1514.html

 

That is a most helpful link.

What I don't see anywhere in there (unless I oversaw it) is any statement about in what language a will in Germany can be made in.

Whether is must be in German or if for example it could be in English or even arabic (which could open legal debates when it comes to translation later).

 

The bit about recognition of foreign wills is interesting - does that mean that I - as a British citizen (no dual nationality)- could still make a UK-conform will?

 

What I find odd (& knew about previously) is that the "Holographic Will" is required to be handwritten (possibly in a foreign language - see above).

I still have my parent's & aunt's wills somewhere - these UK wills were made on a typewriter with signatures of the person plus 2 witnesses

on each page of the will.  So simple.

 

Luckily I have a flying friend who is a Notar...

 

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My husband and I had the same dilemma when we first left Australia in the 1980s  We didn't know in what country we would end up  so we opted for  making our wills with a solicitor in Melbourne and they have been kept in trust for 30 odd years. At that time we had small kids so we had a clause inserted nominating who should care for our kids in the even of our demise.  My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly last year.    My husband's will was sent to me by courier and I had to have it translated by a court recognized translator.  I decided to use a Notar to submit it to the court although I could have done it myself.    The translation cost under €100. You can find the costs of the Erbschein (Probate) on the internet.  It is based on the value of the assets.  It should have been a simple and relatively fast process to obtain but it took 12 months to get and that was only after I started making a noise.  The court officials kept putting it in the too hard basket.  (Perhaps by making a will here it could expedite the process but I have heard it can be a very drawn out process even for normal German wills).

 

Also consider taking out Risk Life Insurance.  Do this while you are still healthy otherwise you will end up having to pay a huge surcharge once you develop a medical condition.  Consider also a Direktversicherung if your company has it as part of their Altersversorgung. These mechanisms are something you never expect you will ever have to call on but if the worst happens at least there will be something to help your family get through the financial loss and cover funeral costs. Get advice.  Talk to people and spread your options.

 

I am not a legal or insurance professional. 

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There is, I think, a better option for expats without family here. That is having your Steuerbreater settle you estate. I forget the German word but you basically give him power of attorney to settle your affairs. He will then registrar this with your local city and should you die unexpectedly the police can than run your details and contact your steuerbreater to get your estate settled. To me the big advantage to this is your overseas family is not under the stress of trying to settle your estate. This has been on my too do list for quite a while and I should really get it done as we have no wills or anything

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wow. Thank you all for the great advice. Unfortunately, my Steurberater has advised that he cannot assist in this matter.

 

One more question. So, we own a mortgaged flat here. Regarding the drawing up of the will, as I see it, we have 2 options:

1) I have been quoted around 1% of half the value of my property to write up my will with a solicitor.

2) I could have my UK will translated into German and write it out by hand, which is cheaper.

 

My understanding is that with the second option my beneficiaries would have to pay around 1% of the value of the property to get a certificate of inheritance - which they would not have to do if we went with option 1. So, it kinds works out to be the same.

 

Fast forward 30 years or so, I presume it could work out cheaper for my beneficiaries if i go with option 1 since the flat could have increased in value... OR would they make my beneficiaries pay the difference anyway?

 

Thanks in advance.

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You could also give your heirs general power of attorney ("Generalvollmacht") valid beyond your death. With that they could transfer the property (and anything else) free of charge and without certificate of inheritance (at least in Bavaria). The cost of that is negotiable (my mom was charged the equivalent of € 100 by the notary - but that was almost 40 years ago). If you don´t trust them enough simply keep the original  as they´ll need to show it each and every time they want to use it.

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On 4/16/2020, 6:55:21, jeba said:

You could also give your heirs general power of attorney ("Generalvollmacht") valid beyond your death. With that they could transfer the property (and anything else) free of charge and without certificate of inheritance (at least in Bavaria). The cost of that is negotiable (my mom was charged the equivalent of € 100 by the notary - but that was almost 40 years ago). If you don´t trust them enough simply keep the original  as they´ll need to show it each and every time they want to use it.

 

that's very interesting. I presume the Heirs in this case would have to be over 18?

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