WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte

Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers in Germany

WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte

Neuer Wall 80
Hamburg D–20354

Phone+49 (0) 8221-38430
Fax +49 (40) 9506-92154

Contact WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte Contact the Law Firm

Other Offices: Berlin  Munich  

Law Firm Overview

With offices in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, Germany, WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte is an international law firm that focuses on cross border probate and estate planning services. Specialties include probate in Germany (certificate of inheritance, probate litigation (e.g. will contest, forced share), taxation of Trusts in Germany, estate planning for international clients (wills, durable power of attorney).

The multilingual legal team includes two Germany lawyers who are bar certified specialists for probate and estate planning. The firm also works with an international network from around the world, including San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York).

WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte represents and advises individuals, estates, trusts and public institutions with advanced skill, knowledge, and expertise, handling even the most complex multi jurisdiction estate and probate matters.

Year this Office was Established: 2008

Languages: German, 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; South African 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 Rechtsanwälte, we place high importance of 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.


José Martinez Salinas Mr. José Martinez Salinas
Estate Planning, Inheritance Law, Probate


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

More Information on WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte

International Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-Irish Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-Israeli Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-British Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-Spanish Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-American Probate Law and Estate Planning
German-Canadian Probate Law and Estate Planning
WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte News and Publications

Articles Published by WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte

 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 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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