Making a last will and testament

97 posts in this topic

On 9/9/2010, 1:00:50, pike said:

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,- €

 

Does this depend on what your investments are worth at the current time? What happens if your shares then double in price and you are worth much more?

 

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

Yes

 

I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine
Don't think you knew you were in this song.

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@LeonG and @JG52

 

You both address two related topics that too many people simply overlook when doing their "estate" (i.e. death) planning:

 

1) that wills are only one - and an increasingly less important - instrument of succession planning and

 

2) failing to review and modify existing or future succession planning to account for a divorce can be disastrous.

 

Will substitutes - POD/TOD bank and brokerage accounts and deeds, retirement plan (IRA, 401(k), etc.) designations of beneficiary, joint ownership of assets with right of survivorship, Life insurance designations of beneficiary, living trusts, etc. etc. - are not only increasing common they frequently are so widely used that it frequently happens that a decedent's duly executed will need never be offered for probate because the "probate estate" to which it applies is completely empty of any assets.

 

Because of this - and the general cluelessness of their constituents - many US state legislatures have enacted so-called "revocation on divorce" statutes that provide for the automatic revocation of certain types of beneficiary designations upon divorce.

 

The problem with this, of course, is that the existence of such statutes may lull people in states where they have not been enacted to assume that they apply to them and therefore don't have to worry about it.

 

Here is an article (directed at legal professionals) that provides an excellent overview of the problem:

 

When Clients Fail to Change Beneficiary Designations After Divorce (familylawyermagazine.com)

 

 

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Does anyone know of an easy template for a Berliner Testament that one can just write out giving everything to one's surviving spouse, and equally to one's children if you are both sadly wiped out by a juggernaught together?

 

I have googled this and just got more confused. Is that even what a Berliner Testament does in Germany?

 

Every now and then the whole thing comes up on TT and each time I think - right, must sort this out, and really it is very important. 

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7 hours ago, kiplette said:

Does anyone know of an easy template for a Berliner Testament that one can just write out giving everything to one's surviving spouse, and equally to one's children if you are both sadly wiped out by a juggernaught together?

 

Sure.  Here's one:

 

I name my wife as my sole heir.

 

If my wife does not survive me, then I give all to my children equally.

 

In order to survive me a person must live ___ days.

 

The "survivorship clause" allows for death from a mortal injury incurred in a common misadventure to follow your death yet still be regarded as a simultaneous or preceding death. Modern medicine being what it is even a survivorship clause is no guarantee that a severely injured spouse will be prevented from inheriting even though they are in no physical or mental condition to enjoy the inheritance.

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

I have googled this and just got more confused. Is that even what a Berliner Testament does in Germany?

 

No.  A Berliner Testament is a joint will between spouses only whose primary feature is that it BINDS the survivor to its terms, i.e. it becomes unalterable by the survivor upon the death of the 1st spouse. This feature makes them popular with (most men) who want to ensure that a subsequent remarriage of their spouse will preserve assets for his children.

 

They are much beloved by the Finanzamt since they are among the least tax efficient will forms around.

 

This website offers 4 variations:

 

Berliner Testament - 4 kostenlose Muster & Vorlagen als PDF (anwalt-erbrecht.de)

 

Under no circumstances should you and/or your spouse execute one of these things without getting professional counseling.

 

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I wanted to make my will. The notar is asking for the current value of my total assets, a large part of which is my real estate. She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets. That being so, in the short run, how might the ECB's decision affect the value of my stocks? And of my real estate? 
Is it enough to give a rough value of my real estate or do I need an offcial assessment from someone like an real estate evaluator?

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I wanted to make my will. The notar is asking for the current value of my total assets, a large part of which is my real estate. She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets. That being so, in the short run, how might the ECB's decision affect the value of my stocks? And of my real estate? 
Is it enough to give a rough value of my real estate or do I need an offcial assessment from someone like an real estate evaluator?

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2 hours ago, seeking said:

She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets.

 

More german nuttiness.  Most wills are simply boilerplate and unless you have some specific amount going somewhere, wills are based on percentages because you cannot determine future values.  It doesn't cost her more to fill in some blanks if you are a prince or pauper.

Get a new notar.

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2 hours ago, seeking said:

She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets.

 

More german nuttiness.  Most wills are simply boilerplate and unless you have some specific amount going somewhere, wills are based on percentages because you cannot determine future values.  It doesn't cost her more to fill in some blanks if you are a prince or pauper.

Get a new notar.

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2 hours ago, seeking said:

She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets.

 

More german nuttiness.  Most wills are simply boilerplate and unless you have some specific amount going somewhere, wills are based on percentages because you cannot determine future values.  It doesn't cost her more to fill in some blanks if you are a prince or pauper.

Get a new notar.

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@bobI did not submit the above twice.  When I hit submit I got an error to "try again".  When I hit my back button, two entries appeared.

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@bobI did not submit the above twice.  When I hit submit I got an error to "try again".  When I hit my back button, two entries appeared.

 

Happened again:

Something went wrong. Please try again.

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3 hours ago, seeking said:

She said that the her fee is a percentage of the value of my assets. That being so, in the short run, how might the ECB's decision affect the value of my stocks? And of my real estate? 

 

 

 

Standard German practice that her fee is based on a table of your worth.

 

Geschäftswert   Einzeltestament  

€50.000              €   280

€ 100.000.          €   440

€ 200.000.          €   670

€ 500.000         €   1.300

 

(Subject to annual change).

 

 

It's based on your 'worth' at time of completing the testament.

 

You can ask her for an hourly rate instead but be prepared for €150/hr and upwards...

 

See earlier in this thread for similar table from, say, 2010

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2 hours ago, HH_Sailor said:

You can ask her for an hourly rate instead but be prepared for €150/hr and upwards...

 

Unless your notar is doing estate planning, it's none of their business what your net worth may be, not to mention it could double overnight or be lost entirely that same night.  What's the point?

 

If I leave my entire estate to some charity, what's the difference if I'm worth 100k or 1Mil?  The wording on the will is the same.

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2 hours ago, HH_Sailor said:

You can ask her for an hourly rate instead but be prepared for €150/hr and upwards...

 

Unless your notar is doing estate planning, it's none of their business what your net worth may be, not to mention it could double overnight or be lost entirely that same night.  What's the point?

 

If I leave my entire estate to some charity, what's the difference if I'm worth 100k or 1Mil?  The wording on the will is the same.

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2 hours ago, catjones said:

Unless your notar is doing estate planning, it's none of their business what your net worth may be, not to mention it could double overnight or be lost entirely that same night.  What's the point?

 

 

Can't help you with the 'why'.

Put simply, it is so. The notaries have a tarif (as do lots of Freiberufler for their services here in Germany).

You can go off tarif if you want. Just might cost a great deal more.

 

As I mentioned earlier - it's a snapshot "worth" on a fixed date when the testament is completed / signed off.

(not upon death)

 

2 hours ago, catjones said:

If I leave my entire estate to some charity, what's the difference if I'm worth 100k or 1Mil?  The wording on the will is the same.

 

Maybe - but good legal advice may well point out that some direct relatives - assuming they exist - will ask for their Pflichtteil.

Their bit of your estate that German law guarantees them.

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