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WF Frank & Partner LLP

Berlin, Germany Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers

WF Frank & Partner LLP

Leipziger Platz 9
Berlin D-10117

Phone+49 (30) 8871-2381
Fax +49 (30) 9203-72321

E-mail  Contact Jan-Hendrik Frank

Other Offices: Hamburg  Munich  

Law Firm Overview

WF Frank & Partner, LLP has for nearly 15 years provided clients worldwide with the skill and expertise of a proven team of multilingual and international estate planners. The firm's several tested lawyers and its network of partner offices around the world specialize in planning and managing inheritances and estates that cross international borders and cover multiple jurisdictions, a practice that requires a great many experts, linguists, and advocates whose attention to detail handles the complexities of retrieving and caring for property under the rule of several varied legal systems.

WF Frank & Partner maintains relationships with over a dozen partner offices worldwide, thereby providing access to the local expertise and counsel necessary for the administration of estates scattered about the globe. The firm's advice has been sought by individuals, corporations, non-profits, and even other courts, a testament to each lawyer's skill and expertise in managing with relative ease what is normally an extremely difficult, if not impossible, problem. The firm's Berlin office has hosted clients from around the world in the administration of their assets, providing legal services in German, Spanish, French, and English and a network of experts ably suited to navigate the roadblocks, customs, and linguistic difficulties that prevent the quick management of international estates.

These days, it is progressively rare to find someone with a sizeable estate that also happens to be centered in one location, a legal problem that, if not treated properly, inevitably results in a serious loss of assets for the inheritor. WF Frank & Partner has given the whole of its practice to solving this problem, a task that has met with an admirable level of success and satisfied clients around the world.

Year this Office was Established: 2000

Languages: German, French, Spanish, English.

Areas of Law

Additional Areas of Law: Estate Litigation; Trust Administration; Trust Litigation; Trust Contest; Undue Influence Claim Will Contest; Last Will and Testament Disputes; Foundation of Trusts and Foundations; Administration of Trusts and Foundations; German Probate Law; Spanish Probate Law and Estate Planning; US Probate Law and Estate Planning; Canadian Probate Law and Estate Planning; Probate Law in the UK; French Probate Law and Estate Planning; Australian and New Zealand Probate Law and Estate Planning; Southafrican Probate Law and Estate Planning; Swiss Probate Law and Estate Planning; Trust and Estates in Liechtenstein; Italian Probate Law and Estate Planning.

Areas of Law Description

At WF Frank & Partner LLP, we place high importance on specialization. Our lawyers are specialists in the following fields of law / jurisdictions:

- International Probate Law and Estate Planning

We are specialists in inheritances with international aspects (international inheritance law) and are one of the leading law firms in this field. There may, for instance, be an international connection if the testator was not German, if the testator or transferee had a (tax) domicile in Germany or if the estate is located partially or completely abroad. We provide comprehensive advice on inheriting and bequeathing. Standard situations include:

• estate planning
• probate administration
• wills and testaments
• judicial enforcement of inheritance law claims (estate litigation)
• trust administration
• judicial enforcement of claims against trusts (trust litigation)
• trust contests
• undue influence claims / will contests
• last will and testament disputes

If our clients so request, we can also provide solutions to issues that commonly arise regarding inheritance in the field of real property law (e.g., legalization of buildings built without construction permits, assistance with legally admissible sale of property, etc.).


  • Erben International e.V.
  • Deutscher Anwaltverein
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung


Attorney's Picture Mr. Jan-Hendrik Frank
Corporate Law, Elder Law, Estate and Trust, Estate Planning, Inheritance Law

Attorney's Picture Mr. Veit Klinger
Estate and Trust, Estate Planning, Inheritance Law, Personal Property, Probate

Attorney's Picture Mr. José Martinez Salinas
Elder Law, Estate and Trust, Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate


More Information on WF Frank & Partner LLP

German Probate Law Firm in Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany Spanish Estate Planning Law Office
US Probate Lawyers in Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany Canadian Estate Planning Law Firm
French Probate Law Office in Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany Swiss Estate Planning Lawyers
Italian Probate Law Firm in Berlin, Germany
WF Frank & Partner LLP News and Publications

Articles Published by WF Frank & Partner LLP

 German Inheritance Tax

This article provides a brief introduction to the German inheritance tax.

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 International Probate Law: Which Law Apply German Courts in Case of the Death of a German Citizen?

If a person domiciled in the U.S. dies leaving assets in Germany, the question arises which law German Courts apply with respect to succession. The article outlines the Basic principles of German Private International Law/Conflicts of Law.

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 The German Forced Share

If German law applies, some privileged persons may claim the forced share (“Pflichteil”). The article outlines the basic principles of the German forced share.

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 German Certificate of Inheritance and German Certificate of Executorship

Generally, German banks, land registries and other institutions do not recognize U.S. probate orders including U.S. Letters of Administration. Instead, German institutions typically require a German Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein) or a German certificate of Executorship. The article outlines how to obtain a German Certificate of Inheritance or a German Certificate of Executorship.

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 The Administration of a U.S. Domiciled Decedent’s German Assets

As globalization flattens the world, practitioners and individuals are increasingly confronted with estates that include assets in multiple jurisdictions. The situs of such assets can lead to the application of differing and, at times, conflicting legal domestic and international legal systems. This article examines the hypothetical example of an U.S. domiciled decedent who dies leaving assets in Germany.

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 EC Refers Germany to the Court of Justice for Discriminatory Inheritance Tax Provisions

The European Commission (EC) has decided to refer Germany to the EU's Court of Justice because of its legislation on inheritance and gift tax allowances.

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 Obama Care’s Impact on Permanent Residents and Expatriates

The re-election of President Obama ensures that the Affordable Care Act (“ACC”) will be implemented. The ACC imposes obligations that most individuals maintain health care coverage. Individuals who fail to comply with the law are subjected to penalties in the form of excise taxes. For permanent residents who may maintain coverage provided by a foreign company or government and for expatriates living abroad, the individual mandate creates a number of potential issues and concerns.

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 German Law on Inheritance and Gift Tax: New Regulations for Situs Taxation in Force

Under § 16 (1) of the German Law on inheritance and gift tax a tax free amount on the taxable acquisition of up to €500 000 (depending on the degree of kinship) is generally granted. However, this exemption is only €2 000 if both the decedent and the beneficiary are not resident in Germany. The new law now allows to avoid choose the application of the full tax free amount if the beneficiary taxes his worldwide acquisition.

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 German Inheritance Tax - Tax Liability in Germany

The article outlines the rules of tax Liability in Germany. According to § 2 Erbschafts- und Schenkungsteuergestz (ErbStG) unlimited inheritance tax liability results from the fact that either the deceased or the heir is a resident taxpayer upon his death.

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 German Law on Inheritance and Gift Tax: New Regulations for Situs Taxation in Force

The article outlines the new regulations for situs taxation in Germany. Pursuant to Section 16(1) of the German Law on inheritance and gift tax (Erbschaftsteuer- und Schenkungssteuergesetz) a taxpayer is entitled to acquire up to €500 000 tax-free depending on the degree of kinship. A taxpayer is entitled to acquire up to €500 000 tax-free over a ten year period.

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 Recognition of a German Will in New York / USA (Formal Validity)

This article provides an introduction to the recognition of German wills in New York / USA.

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 Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping U.S. Tax Treaties

The U.S. is a signatory to several important estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax treaties. The article gives a short introduction to the requirements and the benefits of the existing treaties.

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 Administration of Estate by a Testamentsvollstrecker in Germany

The article outlines the legal framework of a German “Testamentsvollstrecker” and points out basic differences to an Anglo–American personal representative.

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 Ancillary Probate Proceedings in Germany

According to the principles of the Common Law a personal representative has authority to seize the estate located abroad subject to recognition of the foreign courts. Do German courts recognize a personal representative?

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 German Inheritance Law - Intestate Succession

Under German succession law, intestate succession is determined by § 1931 ff. BGB.

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 How to Probate an Estate in Germany

If estate assets are located in Germany, German probate law applies. The article gives an introduction to German probate law.

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