Inheritance and inheritance tax
Inheriting and bequeathing are not only legal, but also fiscal matters. Not to mention the emotional and family-related impacts. The inheritance law specialists at LSV counsel and represent heirs and/or persons entitled to a compulsory portion as well as third parties exposed to claims before and after a case of inheritance, both out-of-court as well as in court for all matters related to Inheritance Law as well as the Gift and Inheritance Tax Law [Schenkungs- und Erbschaftsteuerrecht - ErbStG].
Taking precautions ahead of time creates clarity
A responsible decedent will not rely on the statutory right of succession, but instead arrange his succession individually by way of testament or inheritance contract. To do this, the Inheritance Law provides a wide range of options (e.g. designation of heirs, nomination as provisional heir and remainderman, making a bequest, conditions stipulated by the testator, etc.).
The transfer in life by way of accelerated inheritance may be a feasible legal and fiscal option, in particular for real properties and business assets.
Persons entitled to a compulsory portion (e.g. children of a decedent) often wonder whether gifts and transfers to third parties are effective vis-à-vis them and valid under the law, or whether corresponding entitlements to a compulsory portion, a supplementary compulsory portion and/or compensations and even direct demands opposite the bequeathed asset recipients (e.g. new common law partner of the surviving parent, caregiving friends and relatives) may be considered.
Execution of a will
If the decedent wants to ensure that the heirs follow his or her instructions, this can be achieved with the appointment of an executor. The inheritance law specialists at LSV are also available to take on the role of executor. Not only does the appointment of an executor prevent an impasse among the community of heirs because of individual heirs, but also an arbitrary divestiture of the inheritance or the premature access to the heritage.
Certificate of inheritance, European certificate of succession
The situation is especially complicated for heirs if the inheritance includes real estate or accounts in a foreign country or if the decedent was residing abroad. A new EU regulation (EU succession regulation) was designed to simplify these cross-border inheritances in the future.
A certificate of inheritance is generally required for the authentication as heir opposite banks, authorities, creditors and debtors. However, the certificate of inheritance is only valid within the country. Starting from August 17, 2015 a so-called European certificate of succession is required for the authentication in other European countries. The inheritance law specialists at LSV provide help and advice to their clients in connection with the application for a certificate of inheritance or a European certificate of succession.
Communities of heirs
Communities of heirs are not voluntarily but coercively and often randomly assembled communities. For this reason, communities of heirs rarely cooperate with each other in harmony. Disputes among heirs are common, unfolding during the division at the latest. The legal provisions governing the joint administration and the division of the inheritance are often difficult to grasp, even for lawyers. In these cases, our clients benefit from the extensive experience of our inheritance law specialists.
General and full power of attorney, health care proxy and living will
The health care proxy and living will protect against unwanted third party decisions during the last stage of life. With the health care proxy, the client rather than the court determines the person who will take care of all personal and financial matters in the event this is necessary. The living will ensures the right to die with dignity.