HG.org Legal Resources

Estate Planning Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.

Pitfalls of Estate Planning by Deed

  October 18, 2016     By JensenBayles, LLP
The motivation appears to be a desire to avoid probate, but probate may be the least of one’s problems if one utilizes any of the above scenarios.

Prenuptial Agreements: Are They Really Necessary?

  October 17, 2016     By JensenBayles, LLP
Why are your children so concerned about your new life? Are they overreacting?

Estate Planning: Clarifying Your Wishes

  October 17, 2016     By JensenBayles, LLP
The reality is that estate planning is necessary for everyone — no matter the value of their assets.

Utah’s New Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

  October 17, 2016     By JensenBayles, LLP
A Durable Power of Attorney allows the principal to authorize another person (your agent) to make financial decisions the principal specifies in the document. It is important to name an agent or agents you can trust to act in your best interest because of the significant authority typically granted in a power of attorney.

Undue Influence: A Form of Elder Abuse

  October 17, 2016     By JensenBayles, LLP
A proactive approach in this situation is to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to guide the individual through the estate planning process which may help avoid some of the pitfalls of undue influence that can arise from caregivers, friends, family and others.

Contract of Inheritance Has Strong Binding Effect in Germany

  October 12, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
Anyone who does not wish to be subject to the rules of intestate succession can set out arrangements for their estate in a will or contract of inheritance. A contract of inheritance has a strong binding effect.

Wills Are a Good Idea Even in Relation to Childless Marriages in Germany

  October 7, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
Even if a married couple has no children, this does not mean that the spouses automatically become sole heirs. That can only be achieved by means of a will or contract of inheritance.

Probate of Wills and Administration of Estates in Queensland, Australia

  October 6, 2016     By Carter Capner Law
At the demise of a loved, there is the need to administer their estate as per their wishes. If the deceased died testate, then the process of legally administering an estate with a will follows. This process is known as probate.

Composing a Valid Testament and Disposable Portion of the Inheritance in Cyprus

  October 6, 2016     By Antonis Paschalides & Co LLC
The law of succession and inheritance in Cyprus is regulated by a number of statutes, the chief of which are the Administration of Estates Law and Wills and Succession Law. In Cyprus, unlike many other countries, one may not exclude completely from his will his/her spouse and/or children. There are statutory restrictions on someone's freedom of testamentary disposition.

Basic Aspects of Cyprus Inheritance and Succession Law

  October 7, 2016     By Antonis Paschalides & Co LLC
The law of inheritance and succession in Cyprus is regulated by a number of statutes, the chief of which are the Administration of Estates Law and Wills and Succession Law. In Cyprus, unlike many other countries, one may not exclude completely from his will his/her spouse and/or children. There are statutory restrictions on someone's freedom of testamentary disposition.

European Succession Regulation (650/2012) and the Impact on Cyprus Inheritance & Succession Law

  October 7, 2016     By Antonis Paschalides & Co LLC
Succession law varies considerably from one EU country to another . A major step to facilitate cross-border successions was the adoption on 4 July 2012 of European Union rules which will make it easier for citizens to handle the legal side of an international succession.

Trusts in Cyprus

  October 7, 2016     By Antonis Paschalides & Co LLC
Cyprus offers a reliable and popular solution for foreign nationals who wish to freely administer their estate through a Cyprus International Trust. A Cyprus International Trust can be created by anyone provided of course that the Settlor is of sound mind and of right age.

Wills and Succession Law in Cyprus

  October 3, 2016     By Danos & Associates LLC
The provisions of Cyprus succession law are applicable in cases where the deceased in question had been domiciled in Cyprus at the time of death. The issue of 'domicile' can be complicated but generally speaking a deceased person must have lived permanently in Cyprus at the time of death. Even if the deceased person was not a permanent resident in Cyprus at the time of death, Cypriot law will still be applicable if the deceased owned immovable property in Cyprus.

The Legal Impact of Brexit on the Real Estate Investments of UK Nationals in Bulgaria

  September 29, 2016     By Law office Dr. Cornelia Draganova
Many UK nationals have purchased in Bulgaria an apartment, a house with land or simply a piece of land in the mountains or near the seaside to build on it or just as an investment. Such properties have been acquired either personally by the investors or through an investor´s owned Bulgarian entity that represented a vehicle to overcome the legal restrictions applicable at that time for the acquisition of land in Bulgaria.

Application of Pflichtteilsstrafklausel (Compulsory Portion Penalty Clause) in a Will in Germany

  September 29, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
If, after becoming aware of what is termed a “Pflichtteilsstrafklausel” (compulsory portion penalty clause), an heir refrains from asserting his right to a compulsory portion of the estate, he will not be limited to this compulsory portion in the event of succession.

Inheritance in Germany: Gifts During Testator’s Lifetime To Be Considered for Purposes of Compulsory Portion

  September 28, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
A testator who makes a gift during his lifetime may give rise to tax advantages. However, any gifts need to be taken into account when calculating the compulsory portion.

How Estate Executors Can Successfully Navigate the Florida Probate Process

  September 27, 2016     By Jurado & Farshchian, P.L.
If you have been named the executor (a/k/a personal representative) of an estate, you will probably have some questions about your exact duties and responsibilities when it comes to Florida probate.

Inheritance Tax Reform in Germany: More Stringent Requirements for Company Heirs

  September 21, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
Germany’s federal government has settled on reforms to inheritance tax. Company heirs can continue to expect favourable tax treatment in the context of business succession.

Understanding the Process of Probate in Florida: What You Need to Know

  September 19, 2016     By Apfelbaum Law
According to the Florida Bar Association, probate is a court-supervised process of finding and collecting the assets of a deceased person (called the decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the remainder of the assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries

The Pitfalls of Berliner Testaments in Germany

  September 16, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
A Berliner Testament (Berlin will) is a widespread form of will in which spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. While this spousal will offers many advantages, it also entails potential disadvantages.

Contesting a Will in Queensland: How It Works

  September 12, 2016     By Carter Capner Law
Challenging a valid will is very tricky, and the courts are, especially wary about interfering with the wishes of a deceased. Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to contest a last will if a beneficiary believes that the provisions are insufficient. There are justifications that the courts look at when dealing with a will contest.

Avoid Mistakes in Drafting a Will in Germany

  September 12, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
Anyone who does not wish to have their estate distributed in accordance with the rules of intestate succession needs to prepare a will or contract of inheritance. In order to prevent disputes from occurring, it is important that the testator’s final wishes be clear.

Inheritance Tax Where Estate Includes Real Estate

  August 29, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
In succession cases involving real estate, it is particularly important to pay attention to details when it comes to inheritance tax. Those who are not careful may be asked to pay up by the exchequer.

Succession in Patchwork Families in Germany

  August 23, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
While what are sometimes referred to as patchwork or blended families are no longer unusual today, succession law continues to lag behind social change. For this reason, those concerned ought to give thought to preparing a will early on.

Wills: Intention to Prepare a Will and Testamentary Capacity Prerequisites in Germany

  August 18, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
A valid will presupposes a clearly discernible intention to draw up a will and testamentary capacity. These elements are necessary if the testator’s testamentary dispositions are to be implemented.

Buying Property in Queensland - What Does a Conveyancer Do?

  August 15, 2016     By Carter Capner Law
Deciding to purchase a property is a critical decision. Once you decide to go ahead and make a real estate transaction, you will have to follow all the right and legal channels including conveyancing for you to have peace of mind that you are buying a legitimate asset.

Estate Includes Property in Germany: No Exemption from Inheritance Tax in the Event of Demolition

  August 10, 2016     By GRP Rainer LLP
Properties in an estate can often become a problem, not only because this might lead to disputes in cases involving multiple heirs, but also in connection with inheritance tax.

Post-Divorce in Germany: Geschiedenen-Testament

Divorce results in any mutual inheritance claims between former spouses lapsing. However, it is possible for these to indirectly arise again. A “Geschiedenen-Testament” (divorcee will) can then prove to be useful.

Wills in Germany: Compulsory Portion Revoked for Causing Bodily Harm

Under a very narrow set of circumstances, it is possible for legal heirs to have their entitlement to the statutory compulsory portion revoked. This is evident from a ruling of the Landgericht (LG) Landshut [Regional Court of Landshut] of March 4, 2016 (Az.: 54 O 2287/12).

A Living Trust, Just What Is That?

Many probate and estate planning attorneys act as if everyone should have a trust yet most Americans don’t even have a simple hand written will. Given that trusts can easily cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, it’s a big purchase that shouldn’t be taken lightly, consider the consequences if you do not have a proper trust:

Changes to a Berliner Testament in Germany

A “Berliner Testament” is a popular form of will in Germany among spouses, as it enables them to provide each other with financial security and mutually appoint one another as sole heirs. However, it also entails disadvantages such as its strong binding effect.

Common Misconceptions about Probate

The number one misconception people have about probate is that having a will means no probate; all wills go to probate, whether it was a handwritten or typed, primarily because only the judge can sign over the assets to the beneficiaries.

How Do You Know if Your Probate Attorney Is Qualified?

What Should I Ask an Attorney that Handles Probate and Estate Planning? Ask about their experience; ask them how many probates have they handled in the last 10 years, and ask if they’ve been sued for one.

Elder Law and Estate Planning

Today it's more important than every before to plan your estates. People are living longer and thus acquiring more assets, it is imperative that you protect those assets.

BGH: Unworthy of Inheriting in Germany Due to Discontinuation of Life-Sustaining Measures

According to a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, discontinuing life-sustaining measures can render the personal responsible unworthy of inheriting in the absence of a living will (Az.: IV ZR 400/14).

Understanding and Defending a Will in California

Probate is a division of the Superior Court of the State of California. The Probate court has jurisdiction over what are deemed “legally incompetent parties”, generally that includes deceased, disabled, and incapacitated persons. The responsibility of the Probate court is to protect these individuals and their assets.

Disinheritance Only Possible with Will or Contract of Inheritance in Germany

Family disputes can become deeply entrenched and are then no longer capable of being resolved. This can give rise to the desire to disinherit one’s relatives. For this to happen, a will needs to be prepared.

A Trap in Romanian SRL Statutes for the Unwary

Most investors and companies that wish to incorporate a company in Romania chose to form a limited liability company (SRL). As Romanian lawyers we are often asked to advise on the type of company to be formed. In many cases we agree with the client’s initial instructions as to the form of the company to be incorporated.

Inheriting and Bequeathing under EU Succession Regulation

Enjoying one’s twilight years abroad is a dream that an increasing number of Germans are pursuing. However, it is important to bear in mind that this may affect the distribution of one’s estate.

Always Open Mail in Inheritance Cases in Germany

It is particularly easy for disputes to arise in cases involving communities of heirs. Anyone who refuses to accept an official or notarial letter in the context of inheritance disputes may end up drawing the short straw.

A Trustee’s Responsibilities Administering a California Living Trust

Estate planning clients often have a lot of questions about their obligations as a trustee of their living trust. Where the acting trustee is also the creator or “grantor” of the trust, the trustee typically has plenary power to act on behalf of the trust and may amend or even revoke the trust in its entirety.

Enhanced Life Estate Deeds in Florida

Enhanced life estate deeds, commonly known as “Lady Bird Deeds” provide a legal mechanism for property to pass automatically to a person or group of people without going through Florida probate.

In Italy, the Luxury Market Speaks Chinese

Beijing has recently held the twelfth edition of the Luxury property showcase, Real Estate Luxury Fair, promoted by the Ferretti group and Bank of East Asia, which granted space to 120 exhibitors from 35 countries and, above all, welcomed over 6000 visitors.

OLG Bamberg: Berliner Testament Cannot be Unilaterally Altered in Germany

Spouses that mutually appoint each other as sole heirs in what is termed a “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will) need to be mindful of the binding effect associated with this kind of joint will.

Property Purchase: Investments in Italian houses

Chinese attracted by investments in Italian houses: In the last few years Chinese people have been attracted by investments in Italian houses. The are several reasons behind it: obtaining a Schengen Visa is one of them.

Wills, Estates, and Trusts

A person’s estate is comprised of everything you own, including your car, house, bank account, life insurance, personal possessions, and retirement account. Estate planning is the process of arranging to distribute your possessions upon your death. It does not need to be expensive or complicated, and knowing your family is taken care of can give you peace of mind.

Assessing Intention to Prepare a Will in Germany

A prerequisite for an effective will is a serious intention on the part of the testator to prepare one. Assessing any intention to draft a will can prove to be critical.

Succession Law in Germany

There are many pressing issues that arise when it comes to succession. For instance, testators have to decide whether they want to rely on the rules of intestate succession or prepare a will or contract of inheritance.

Inheritance Tax Reform Must be in Place by June 30, 2016 in Germany

The reforms to inheritance tax need to be in place by June 30, 2016, yet company heirs in particular still do not know what burdens they will be faced with going forward.

OLG Düsseldorf: Will Effective Despite Removal from Official Custody in Germany

If a will is withdrawn from official custody it is deemed to have been revoked according to the law. Having said that, it is possible to contest the revocation under certain circumstances.

Prerequisites for a Nuncupative Will in Germany

Faced with his imminent death, a testator is still able to prepare a nuncupative will, i.e. a will to which three persons are witnesses. However, this needs to satisfy strict conditions for it to be effective.

Heirs According to Shariah Principles of Succession in UAE

Shariah lays down the relations that qualify as heirs following the death of an individual. The deceased's estate can only be transferred to persons who qualify as heirs under Shariah Law principles. Anyone who does not qualify as an heir gets nothing from the estate.

Rules of Succession in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

What law governs The main source of law in the UAE is Sharia in which all laws are formulated and based on. It is considered a public order.

What Is Ancillary Probate?

  By HG.org
Ancillary probate is a mechanism of having two probate proceedings going on at the same time in different states. Whether a person’s estate will be subject to ancillary probate depends on the status of the property he or she owns and state law.

Benefits of a Florida Land Trust

A Florida land trust is a legal agreement under which the title of real property is vested to a trustee. The beneficiaries of the trust direct the trustee on how to maintain the property. The trust also allows the beneficiaries to collect rent without holding legal title to the property.

Valid Will Requires Serious Intention to Draft a Will in Germany

For documents to be recognized as a will, it needs to be possible to discern a serious intention to prepare a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 155/15).

Grounds for Challenging a Will

Heirs who are disappointed with the content of a will may under certain circumstances be able to challenge the will if they have good cause to do so.

What is Florida Probate?

Florida Probate Guide - a discussion of the different types of probate options in Florida.

OLG Hamm: Discernible Intention to Prepare a Will Necessary for Will to be Effective in Germany

In order for a will to be effective, it must be possible to discern a serious intention to draft a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) in its ruling of November 27, 2015 (Az.: 10 W 153/15).

GmbH Shareholder’s Estate: Passing on Company Shares in Germany

The shares in a GmbH form part of a GmbH shareholder’s estate. Accordingly, it is important to settle early on who the company shares will go to in the event of succession.

Inheritance of Company Shares in Bulgaria

Aiming to clarify the main points of the procedure for inheritance of company shares under the Bulgarian Commercial law

Four Grounds to Contest a Will

Simply being unhappy with the distribution of assets or the delay of the probate proceeding in general is not sufficient grounds to successfully contest the validity of a last will and testament. An heir of an estate or a beneficiary of a prior will can commence a will challenge based on a number of enumerated grounds.

Knowledge Is the Best Weapon Against Uncertainty

As you embrace your life changes and follow the goals you set, we would like to encourage you to include Estate Planning on your list. Most of us do not realize the importance of having a Last Will & Testament, a Living Will with Medical Surrogate, Prenuptial/Post-nuptial Agreements, or a Power of Attorney until it is too late. Do you know which option would suit you and your family best?

Germany: BGH on Calculating Compulsory Portion Where Estate Includes Property

Calculating an heir’s compulsory portion is challenging if the testator was merely a co-owner of a property. Last year, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [Federal Court of Justice] had to get to grips with this very issue.

Business Inheritance in Ukraine

The one of advice would be that business owners, especially if the business is successful, it is necessary to think in advance about the solving of the situation after their death, in order to protect the rights of heirs and further preservation of business . Such actions of the testator must concern two aspects: the relevant amendments to the constituent documents of the company; the drafting up of wills in relation to quality of business and business assets.

Business Succession Planning

Employers ought not to rely on the rules of intestate succession but instead prepare a will.

Grounds and Procedures for Contesting a Will

  By HG.org
A person’s Last Will and Testament declares how he or she wants property distributed upon death. This legal document has great power, and courts follow the directions when possible. However, a will contest can disrupt probate proceedings and derail them entirely.

Contesting a Trust

  By HG.org
While many individuals have heard of contesting a will, a trust may also be contested in certain circumstances. If a trust is successfully contested, the trust can be modified or even eliminated in some situations.

Rules of Intestate Succession Apply in the Absence of a Will in Germany

Anybody who fails to prepare a will ought to be aware that the rules of intestate succession shall apply. These are not necessarily consistent with the testator’s wishes and may entail various other disadvantages.

Contesting an Inheritance in Germany Due to Over-Indebtedness of the Estate

An estate not only encompasses assets but also any debts of the testator. It is possible for the acceptance of an inheritance to be challenged due to a misapprehension regarding commercially material characteristics.

What is HEBA in the UAE?

In general, Heba is an unconditional transfer of property made immediately and without exchange or consideration by one person to another and accepted by or on behalf of the latter.

Inheritance Rules for Non-Muslims in the UAE

Although Article 17/1 of the Civil Code of the UAE provides that it is the law of the deceased that shall govern the inheritance at the time of his death, Article 17(5) of the same law provided that UAE law shall apply to wills made by aliens disposing of their real property located in the State. Moreover, Article 1/2 of the UAE Personal Status Law states that "the provisions of the law shall apply to non-UAE nationals unless the foreigner elects to apply his or her personal status law".

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Berliner Testament in Germany

In a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will), spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This is meant to provide the surviving spouse with economic security. The children are usually designated as final heirs.

Having a Plan for Your Family Is the Right Thing To Do

For most people, Estate Planning is a mystery; for others, it’s simply not a priority for the simple reason that there is always time to do it “later”. Most individuals consider Estate Planning to be an issue for elderly individuals. Unfortunately, it applies to all individuals in any walk of life because we are never promised tomorrow.

The High Court Division's Recent Judgment on Pecuniary Jurisdiction in Bangladesh

In the recent judgment (First Miscellaneous Appeal 218 of 2014), the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh gave its verdict on an important issue which did not get as much attention as it deserves, most probably because, it in a way, only codified the previous stances of the Court in few past cases.

High Standards Apply to the Hearing of Evidence if Only a Copy of a Will is Available in Germany

If only a copy of a will is available then high standards will be applied to the hearing of evidence before a certificate of inheritance can be granted.

Will Needs to be Clearly Dated in Germany

According to a ruling of the OLG Schleswig (Higher Regional Court of Schleswig) from July 16, 2015, if a will is not precisely dated then the testamentary disposition may be ineffective (Az.: 3 Wx 53/15).

New EU Succession Law Could Have Serious Implications

The new EU succession law regime has been in force since August 17. The EU regulation concerning succession law could have serious implications for both testators and heirs. For this reason, it may be advisable to prepare a will.

Possible to Revoke Life Insurance Policy Despite Prior Cancellation in Germany

According to a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm), it is possible to revoke a life insurance plan even after the policy has already been cancelled (Az.: 20 U 56/14).

Business Succession: Reform of Inheritance Tax Entails Greater Burden in Germany

The reform of inheritance tax could entail a greater burden on company heirs in the context of business succession than was hitherto thought to be the case. The government’s plans are coming under fire.

Debunking Two Common Florida Probate Myths

People unfamiliar with Florida probate law can make some unfounded assumptions about what happens to debt and property after a family member dies. Here are two of the most common myths and the actual facts.

Switzerland Searching for Missing Account Holders or Their Heirs

Switzerland is searching for missing account holders or their heirs. With several million francs said to be sitting “unclaimed” in Swiss accounts, succession could prove to be profitable.

Drawbacks to Berliner Testament

In cases involving a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) or spousal will, the spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This can lead to certain drawbacks, e.g. if the surviving spouse remarries.

Germany Berliner Testament Featuring Remarriage Clause

It is possible for children who are appointed as final heirs in a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) to ultimately come away empty-handed. To afford the children greater protection, a so-called Wiederverheiratungsklausel (remarriage clause) can be inserted into the will.

Insolvent Estate in Germany – Heir Liable with His Assets

Assets are not a given when it comes to an inheritance; it is also possible for the estate to include debts. If that is the case, it may make more sense to reject rather than accept the legacy.

What is the “Residue” of a California Probate Estate?

What does residue mean as a legal definition, and how is it important in a California probate lawsuit?

How to Contest a Will or Trust

  By HG.org
A will is considered the final words of an individual and as such, it is given much consideration by the court. Trusts are created during the lifetime of the settlor. If a person believes that a will or trust does not reflect the desires of the testator or grantor, he or she may choose to contest the will or trust.

OLG Hamm: Limits to Interpretation of a Will in Germany

To ensure that the “final wishes” laid down in a will can actually be implemented, they ought to be defined in the most detailed manner possible, as demonstrated by a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) (Az.: 15 W 98/14).

Finding the Right Probate and Estate Attorney

When it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, one of the last things that any family member wants to do is call a probate or estate attorney. This is understandable given that the family is grieving with the loss. Finding a lawyer should be not be a complicated matter. Finding the right lawyer to handle an estate, whether it requires planning or for the will to be probated, however, requires due diligence.

Every Young Person Should Have an Estate Plan

There is a misconception among the young and single that there is no need for them to have an estate plan - that at this point in their young lives an estate plan serves no useful purpose.

OLG Frankfurt: Continuity of a Joint Will Despite Divorce in Germany

It is possible for a joint will to remain valid even after a divorce under certain circumstances. That was the decision of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 520/11).

Estate Planning: Choosing Per Stirpes or Per Capita Distributions

“Per Stirpes” literally means “by roots or stocks; by representation” and is used interchangeably with “right of representation” by estate planning attorneys when referring to a particular method for distributing assets of a decedent. Another common method for distributing assets is referred to as “per capita”. Using ther method, each member of the same generation of a decedent will receive an equal share of the decedent’s estate.

Benefits of a Financial Power of Attorney

Many of our estate planning clients have heard about a Financial Power of Attorney but are not clear as to why they should have one or how they might benefit from having this legal document. At the outset, it is important to consider, “Who takes care of my financial interests if I become incapacitated and unable to handle my own financial affairs?”

Will And Statutory Compulsory Portion in Germany

The line of succession can be altered by means of a will or contract of inheritance. Going as far as divesting legal heirs of their compulsory portion is only possible under certain circumstances.

What Are the Rules Governing Helpers Receiving Money or Gifts from Their Elderly Patients/Clients?

  By HG.org
It is not unusual for an elderly patient to develop a close and trusting relationship with a health aid or other helper. The patient may wish to show appreciation by offering gifts. However, there are many considerations concerning this act that must be evaluated before the patient ventures to offer a gift to someone of this nature.

Study on Inheritances: Three Trillion Euros to be Passed on by 2024 in Germany

Around three trillion euros will be passed on in Germany between 2015 and 2024. That is the finding of a study by the Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge (German Institute for Retirement Provision).

OLG Düsseldorf: Will Drawn Up Prior To Operation Remains Valid in Germany

In its judgment of August 19, 2015, the OLG Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf) ruled that a will that was drawn up shortly before an operation remained valid even after the operation (Az.: I-3 Wx 191/14).

Effectiveness of a Handwritten Will in Germany

In the absence of a will, the rules of intestate succession come into force. A handwritten will is only effective, however, if it meets certain conditions.

Contract of Inheritance in Lieu of Will in Germany

A testamentary disposition need not necessarily be laid out in a will. The testator and heir can conclude a contract of inheritance as an alternative.

A House Divided: Avoid Estate Planning Disaster

Your relative's estate plan is a mess - but your family doesn't know this yet. Planning isn't really the problem: there is no planning. And if there's no planning, then a house will pose a special challenge.

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