HG.org Legal Resources

Estate Planning Law Articles

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


Preliminary Heir Can Freely Dispose of Estate by Means of Provisions in Will - Germany

A preliminary heir can become a full heir if the revisionary heirs demand their legal share and the testator has accounted for this instance in...

Notarial Certification Not Required to Declare Rescission of a Contract of Inheritance - Germany

A testator’s instruction to the notary to communicate the rescission of a contract of inheritance to the probate court does not require separate...

An Arrow Diagram Is Not Considered to Be A Handwritten Will - Germany

An arrow diagram does not constitute the formation of a legally effective, handwritten will.

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...

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 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...

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....

The Equitable Distribution of a Gain in Assets in Divorce Proceedings - Germany

If the spouses have not signed a prenuptial agreement, they are considered to be living in a matrimonial property regime of joint ownership of...

Making of Enduring Power of Attorney

Most people will make a will to make arrangements in the event of death. However, medical advancements are making it more possible to stay alive...

Expiry Of A Post-Death Power Of Attorney In The Case Of A Sole Heir

If a post-death power of attorney is granted by a testator, this is likely to expire, if the authorised person is the sole heir.

Estate Planning with an Existing Disability

Experts frequently advise adults to create an estate plan early on in order to have their life and financial plans arranged in the event that...

Accrued Property Transfer Tax May Apparently Still Be Immediately Tax Deductible - Germany

Up to now, it was not clear from a tax law perspective whether accrued property transfer tax constitutes incidental acquisition costs or an...

Estate Planning for the Elderly

Estate planning is a complex process that requires strict attention to detail.

Business Succession: Examination of Any Claims to Supplement Compulsory Portions is Advisable - Germany

Some problems can stand in the way of succession planning of a business, all the more if persons entitled to a compulsory portion are...

Co-Heir Entitled to a Compulsory Portion Has Right to Inspect Land Register - Germany

A co-heir entitled to a compulsory portion can have a right to inspect the land register due to the possible transfer of properties before the...

Estate Planning Wills & Trust Probate It Is Written

Ever since the age of the Babylonian Empire when the first substantial collection of laws were written on tablets of stone, the declaration “It...

Estate Planning for the Modern Family

In a time when the traditional nuclear family has shifted to a more complex structure with multiple marriages, step-children, half-children,...

Claims to Supplement a Compulsory Portion in Business Succession - Germany

If succession planning for a business is pending then a few problems could be in store, specifically if the beneficiaries of a compulsory...

Who Can Start a Private Foundation?

When you are evaluating your financial position as you plan your estate you may well find that you have the means to set aside resources for the...

Possible to Verify the Right to Inherit Vis-à-vis a Bank Even without Certificate of Inheritance - Germany

The right of the heir to inherit, who is heir to a deceased client of a bank, does not necessarily have to be verified by a certificate of...

Heir Is Likely To Be Liable For Claims Arising From A Tenancy Of The Testator Only To A Limit

If claims arising from a tenancy still exist against the testator after the devolution of the inheritance, then the heir is potentially only...

CPA Real Estate Loss

There are laws in place to protect investors from unscrupulous brokers at companies looking to take their money and make high commissions with...

Inheritance and Gift Tax Act (ErbStG) Possibly Unconstitutional - Germany

The new Inheritance and Gift Tax Act that came into force on 1 January 2009 with the reform to inheritance tax is to be re-examined with respect...

Disinherited Final Heir Can Cause Problems - Germany

Married couples should be careful when drafting their will with regard to any possibly remaining final heirs.

Amendment of a Will - Germany

Supplements to the copy of an original will require signing in order to be effective. If the signature of the testator below the supplements is...

Validity Of Copied Last Wills And Testaments Confirmed By OLG Naumburg - Germany

Generally, the capacity of an heir may be proven by the original document. But now it shall be possible in certain cases to use a photocopy of...

Protective Clauses Regarding Compulsory Parts in Law of Succession - Germany

A protective clause concerning compulsory parts must be interpreted as sufficient so that a corresponding earnest request of the compulsory...

Inheritance Tax Trap

Why it is Essential to include comprehensive information when you fill in Inheritance Tax forms IHT 400 and IHT 421

Italian Inheritance Rights Depending on Your Marital Status

It is always a difficult topic to address when one talks about the death of a spouse: this article aims to clarify some of the issues people...

How to Ensure That Your Wishes Are Followed When You Die

For some people, the details of their burial and funeral are unimportant. For others, however, a funeral service and burial is their final...

Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning Should be Avoided for 3 Reasons

Don’t fall victim to the concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning. Sure, the idea of saving money that would be spent having an attorney...

Keep or Toss? A Guide for Retaining Financial Records

Are you worried about an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax audit? Does that worry make you keep records too long and clutter your living...

Vehicles of Asset Transfer: Choose the Optimal Solutions

You have options when you are arranging for the transfer of assets to your loved ones. In this instance we are not talking about the choice of...

Understanding the Probate Notice to File a Claim

The reality of the world of estate planning is that it is filled with legal terms of art; in fact, of all the legal fields, this one seems to...

Brace Yourself for Future Nursing Home Expenses

Elder law attorneys often see rather shocked looks cross the faces of their clients when they start to explain the extent of nursing home costs.

Retirement Planning for Military Service Veterans

When you speak with any retirement planning attorney he or she is going to advise you to do everything possible to facilitate a retirement...

Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in...

Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in...

Deceased Family Members, Debts, and Creditors: 3 Common Questions

Question 1: What happens to a deceased person’s debts? There are several possibilities. Once a person dies someone will have to manage the...

Give Yourself an Easier Time of Making a Will

Beginning the estate planning process can be a task that seems overwhelming. If you’re having trouble getting started, one of the easiest ways...

A Look at Postmortem Planning

Executing estate planning documents that express your wishes in writing is indeed important when you are making preparations for the inevitable....

Probate: Smooth Sailing in The Garden State ?

In the state of New Jersey the probate process has been streamlined to facilitate a smooth and efficient transfer of assets to the heirs of...

Who Will Be In Charge if You Are in Bad Health?

If you have ever watched a parent, grandparent or other loved one struggle through health problems you know how difficult it can be. Is there...

The Mistake of Creating a Will on Your Death Bed

There are many mistakes that you can make in estate planning. Planning your estate is not a simple or easy thing to do.

More Money for Attorneys

We have warned you many times about using online legal document providers for your estate planning needs and here's more information as to why.

Capacity in the Estate Context -Ontario Canada

In Canada capacity is often the key issue in challenges to testamentary documents, powers of attorney, the ability to manage property and/or...

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...

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...

Basics of Asset Protection

Asset protection is the safeguarding of your physical and financial property against creditor judgments, negligence lawsuits, and divorcing...

How to Avoid the Gift Tax

Did you know that gifting assets can reduce your estate taxes? You must, however, abide by gift tax laws, or you could owe tax for gifted items.

Estate Planning And Spouses: Is A Joint Will A Good Idea?

The option for creating a joint Will exists in some jurisdictions, and this is why the topic is still discussed in many law school courses

Irrevocable Trusts Benefit Long-Term Care Needs

Individual long-term care needs continue to exist, regardless of the state of the nation’s economy, politics, or changes in the law.

Estate Planning: Where To Keep Your Documents When They Are Completed

As important as it is to make your estate planning documents such as a will or living trust and pour over will, durable powers of attorney, and...

Estate Planning: Should You Name Two Or More As Your Executor Or Personal Representative In Your Will

When you make your will an important part of the will and an important decision you will have to make is who you want to be your personal...

At The End Of The Year, Bequest Promises Eexpire By Means Of Constraints Over The Inheritance Reform

Inheritance claims may end at the close of the year, as a result of legislation alternation in obedience with the inheritance reform. The...

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

Unfortunately, many elderly Americans are living off of a shoe string budget. Social Security payments do not cover the cost of living for most...

Hemsley Case Underscores Value of Probate Avoidance

When you hear or read about the term "probate avoidance" you may wonder exactly what probate is and why anybody would want to avoid it.

Transferring Assets? The Tax Man Looms

The gift tax exists because of the fact that people logically transfer assets to their future heirs while they are still alive in order to avoid...

Americans Require a Will While Living Abroad. Case of Thailand

Advancement of modern technology allow people to migrate effortlessly across borders in increasing numbers in this century. People live and work...

Date of Death Values—How to Determine What a Decedent’s Assets Are Worth

When a person dies, his or her estate must pass through the legal process known as probate. During probate, assets of the estate are inventoried.

FAQ about the Types of Power of Attorney

The phrase “power of attorney” is used with great frequency in the field of estate planning.

Updating Your Estate Plan: Is It Better To Change Your Will Or Make A Brand New Will?

There may come a time when circumstances in your life have changed and you need to update your will. These circumstances can include a new...

SSA Forcing Conversion to Direct Deposits

The ongoing future of the Social Security program is a subject that is often discussed within elder law circles.

Can Medicaid Take Home from Surviving Spouse?

Some people who visit elder law attorneys are very pleased to hear that Medicaid will pay for long-term care.

Estate Planning: Your Children Will Fight over Your Assets

Just because you love your children and get along with them does not mean you can assume that they will love each other or get along with each...

Executor Duties — Obtaining Date of Death Values for Estate Assets

If you recently found out that you are the executor of the estate of a recently deceased loved one, or have been appointed by the court as the...

Can Hospice Care Help My Family?

Statistically, we can all look forward to living much longer than those who came before us. That does not, however, mean that we will live...

Do You Have a Pour-Over Will in Place?

When you engage the expertise of a good Reno estate planning attorney you can be certain that all of your bases will be covered, This is...

Changing Testamentary Trust Terms

Changing the terms of a testamentary trust may not be as easy as you think. You see, a testamentary trust is a trust that is created in your...

Special Considerations for LGBT Couples and Retirement Planning

Retirement planning for couples who are part of the LGBT community is fraught with challenges that do not exist for traditional couples.

The Family Vacation Home — How to Handle it in Your Estate Plan

Many families are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a family vacation home. Whether you have a cabin in the woods, a chalet near the slopes,...

Valuing an Estate—Date of Death Values

If you are the executor or personal representative of someone’s estate then one of the first duties you will perform is to obtain date of death...

Divorce: Know Thy Beneficiary

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, are in the process of getting a divorce, or are already divorced, then you should keep reading. A...

Estate Planning with the Unlimited Marital Exclusion and Federal Estate Taxes

If you have sizable assets it is an advantage to be married. If a couple is married they can pass an unlimited amount of money to each other...

QTIP Trust and Pre-Nup Can Cover All Bases

There are those who equate the concept of the premarital agreement with the undermining of true romance, but this impression is now beginning to...

Developing a Rapport With Your Estate Planning Attorney

People generally go to the same hair stylist over a number of years once they find one they like because the stylist gets to know what the...

Be Prepared to Revise Your Estate Plan

The matter of estate planning is unique in that it is something that you do that is not intended to benefit you personally. When you plan your...

Interesting Twist in Hemsley Estate Matter

Estate planning lawyers will always remind clients that they have choices when it comes to asset transfer. Simply using a last will is...

Time Waits for No One

Many baby boomers grew up listening to the Rolling Stones song "Time Waits for No One." Some of them are finding out just how true this is when...

New Definition of “Lucky Dog”

There is such a thing as living a charmed life, and a lot of people will tell you that their dogs are doing just that. Indeed, many Americans...

Estate Tax: Where it Stops Nobody Knows

Avoiding asset erosion is one of the primary goals of estate planning, and the most powerful source of this erosion that must be reckoned with...

A Revocable Living Trust May Be the Answer

There are multiple ways to transfer your assets to your loved ones after your passing. Many people assume that a last will is the best way to...

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Gifts

You have to love win-win situations, and that's what you get when you include tax-free gift giving in your inheritance plan. Essentially, when...

Estate Tax Relief Included in New Tax Measure

A brand new year is upon us, and as we brush ourselves off after the holiday reveling we are invariably ready to embrace the many changes that...

Is Permanent Estate Tax Repeal in Order?

Most people are not opposed to paying taxes that they feel are fair and properly used, but it is very difficult to accept levies that overstep...

Do-It-Yourself and Template Wills

There is a big DIY movement afoot in the United States these days, and for the most part this is a good thing. It can be a lot of fun to make...

Donor Advised Funds: Philanthropy for the Rest of Us

Not too long ago there was quite a buzz generated in financial circles by two of the highest profile and wealthiest businessmen in the world....

Your Responsibilities as a Guardian

Have you been named as the guardian of a minor child or a mentally incapacitated adult? If so it is important to understand what your fiduciary...

How Do I Donate My Body to Science?

Did you know that you can donate your body to science? If you wish to do so, it is important that you set those desires out in advance in an...

Understanding All the Estate Tax Buzz

There’s been a lot of hype about the estate tax recently that created a good deal of confusion. The estate tax is a tax that the IRS imposes on...

The Benefits of Planning Your Own Funeral

Planning a funeral for a loved one can be a heart-breaking process full of confusing, sometimes expensive choices. You can alleviate this burden...

What is the Greatest Estate Plan in the World?

The greatest estate plan you can make is to spend all of your assets or everything that you own. This is simple and easy to do as you can just...

Business Owners or Wealthy Benefit from Advance Estate Planning

Those in business or with significant wealth are concerned with protecting themselves and their assets in matters of tax, trust, and estate...

What Happens to Student Loan Debt after Death?

You’ve taken the time to plan out your estate, but what about student loan debts? According to a study conducted by SmartMoney, one out of three...

Essential Estate Planning Components for Female Entrepreneurs

As a woman, you have spent countless hours working to create a high net worth. Unfortunately, the last thing on your mind is planning for how...

Common Estate Planning Errors for All Americans

Common estate planning errors do not just apply to those who do their own estate plans. Even those who pay thousands of dollars to create an...

The Decline in Estate Planning

According to recent surveys, only 35 percent of Americans have completed their estate planning and only 21 percent have created a trust....

America’s Wealthy Have Outdated Estate Plans

According to a recent study, a majority of American families who are wealthy enough to have a full-time accountant and legal representatives on...

Transferring Your Business

You have worked years to establish your business and your livelihood. Upon your death you want to ensure that your business and the legacy...

General Power of Attorney Versus Health Care Power of Attorney

When you begin the estate planning process, you will be approached with the terms “General Power of Attorney” and “Health Care Power of...


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