HG.org Legal Resources

Estate Planning Law Articles

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

The Migration of Non Resident Trusts to Italy

Trusts are still alien to the Italian legal system as they are essentially based on concepts in contrast with the Italian general principles on...

Top 5 Things to Consider Adding to an Estate Plan

  By HG.org
For most, estate planning is not an enjoyable experience. For many it is a recognition of their own mortality. For others, it is simply an...

Inheritance of Property in the Dominican Republic

Under Dominican Law, there are two very important aspects which have an impact on the inheritance of assets of a deceased individual: the time...

What is the Statute of Frauds?

  By HG.org
When dealing with a contract dispute, particularly in the case of an oral contract, one may hear the term “statute of frauds” used. This does...

Correction of the Land Register Possible without Certificate of Inheritance – Germany

Where there is a public testamentary deed, the land registry office can correct the land register even in the absence of a certificate of...

Substitute Heir in Will Not Reversionary Heir – Germany

An arrangement in a will, according to which a substitute heir is designated in the event that an heir dies childless, cannot be interpreted as...

Impact of foreign and Domestic Inheritance Tax on Capital Assets – Germany

Under certain circumstances, inheritance tax charged in another country cannot be deducted or considered as a liability against the capital...

According to the BFH, Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Creditable – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is...

Action Required: Portability

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) extended and made permanent (i.e., until Congress changes its mind) a number of key estate tax...

Fiscal Cliff Crisis Avoided? Estate Taxes in 2013

In 2012, with the dreaded “Fiscal Cliff” looming, many were worried about the inaction that would cause the estate tax exemption level to fall...

Trust Fund Baby? Navigating the Inheritance Talk with Your Children

A concern of many parents with a sizeable estate is that their children will inherit the assets before they are emotionally mature to handle it....

Non-Residents and Estate Tax

A Resident Non-Citizen is generally taxed for estate tax purpose as a US Citizen, except for marital deduction issues.

Planning for the Future: Using Estate Documents to Protect Minor Children

For many families, the birth of a child is the first life event that triggers the realization that estate planning is necessary. What most...

Families Behind Revlon and Hudson Media Fight Bitter Legal Battle Over Enormous Inheritance

  By HG.org
Samantha Perelman is a 23-year-old student at Columbia University, working on a masters of business administration and as a summer production...

Federal Fiscal Court: Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Be Deductible – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is...

What Happens to Property if There is No Will?

  By HG.org
If you have lost a loved one, there are many things on your mind, not the least of which may be what to do with the belongings that have been...

Sole Heir May Need Certificate of Inheritance in Spite of a Power of Attorney – Germany

It may be necessary to obtain a certificate of inheritance even though a sole heir has a power of attorney with postmortal effect.

Terminal Stage of Deadly Disease Does Not Justify a Testator’s Inability to Make a Will

A will that a critically ill person draws up in a terminal stage is not as a matter of principle invalid. The testator’s inability to make a...

German Inheritance Tax

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

Why Is It Important to Have a Will?

  By HG.org
It is important that each person have a will that directs their family members and loved ones on how they want their final wishes to be carried...

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...

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...

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...

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...

FAQ about the Types of Power of Attorney

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

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.

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

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...

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...


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