Pursuant to § 1922 BGB (German Civil Code) the heirs become Anwalt Erbrecht Kassel owners of the decedent’s estate upon his death (principle of “universal succession”). As succession to the estate occurs automatically by operation of law and the executor or trustee of an estate, as envisioned in Anglo-American law, is basically unknown to German law it is often necessary to prove the heir`s right of inheritance, especially when immovable property is part of the estate. Basically this is why the heir generally applies for a certificate of inheritance (“Erbschein”).
The certificate of inheritance states the identity of the heir and his respective share in the estate (§ 2353 BGB) as well as any limitations to the heir’s power of disposition over the estate, which may result from the ties on preliminary and subsequent heirship (§2363 BGB) or from the appointment of an executor (§ 2364 BGB). Pursuant to § 2365 BGB, it is presumed that the person identified as heir in the certificate of inheritance has the right of inheritance stated therein and is not subject to limitations other than those stated. Furthermore, § 2366 BGB protects those who acquire an item belonging to the estate from the person named as heir in the certificate of inheritance in good faith. They obtain title even though the transferor is not the true heir, unless they had knowledge of the inaccuracy of the certificate.
Pursuant to §2353 BGB, the heir may apply for the issuance of a certificate of inheritance to the probate court (“Nachlassgericht”). This court is usually located at the last residence of the decedent. If the decedent was German citizen and had no residence in Germany when he died, the probate court in Berlin – Schönefeld is competent to issue the certificate of inheritance. A certificate of inheritance will only be issued to the heir and not to beneficiaries of a testamentary bequest (“Vermächtnis”) or the entitled person to a statutory forced share (“Pflichtteil”). For the issuance of the Erbschein, it is mandatory that at least one of the heirs – under special circumstances also the executor or the trustee as named in an Anglo-American will – applies for the certificate of inheritance. The application may be filed with the probate court, a German notary (“Notar”) or through the German Consulate. The applicant usually applies in the name and on behalf of all heirs.
The application must be in German. All documents proving the right to inherit (e. g. last will, letters testamentary, death certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.) must be translated to German. Furthermore the heir must declare in lieu of oath that he is unaware of any rights of other parties that may be in conflict with the alleged entitlement to the inheritance (see sample “Antrag Erbschein”). After having received the application, the Nachlassgericht will issue the Erbschein and forward it to the person named as recipient in the application. Thai Laws pertaining to Inheritance (succession laws and making a will in Thailand). Last Will and Testament in Thailand: A last will and testament in Thailand is the instrument by which a person declares his will as to disposal of his assets or estate and effects after his death. A Thai will and testament to be valid, must be made by a person of sound mind and it must be in one of the forms as prescribed (formally laid down) in chapter II of the Civil and Commercial Code sections1655 to 1672, as long is it is executed and published in due form of law. 1. The most common will and testament in Thailand is a ‘last will’ in writing, dated at the time of making and signed by the testator in the presence of at least 2 witnesses who sign their names to certify the signature of the testator (section 1656 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand). Thailand Law Online regularly draft this type of wills for clients via their online legal website website as an online last will or testament drafting service in Thai and English based on a standardized questionnaire procedure.
A service by licensed lawyers, backed by a licensed and experienced law firm. 2. A last will in Thailand can also be made as a public document at the local amphur (or in Bangkok these local public offices are called Khet), by a declaration to the relevant public officer. Thai language skills is generally required to make a will by public document as the testators must declare his wishes to public officer who in his turn must write down the testators declaration in the will(section 1658 of the Civil and Commercial Code). The official must again read it to the testator and witnesses who following must sign the last will drawn up by the public officer. 3 A last will can be made at the same amphur by a secret document. The testator in this case must close the document (his last will), sign it and hand it over to the same official (section 1660 of the Civil and Commercial Code). Two witnesses must also sign the closed document and the official will seal the closed last will and testament. 4. A person may under Thai law in certain cases, i.e. exceptional circumstances such as imminent danger of death and where the person is prevented of making his will in any of the other forms a prescribed in Chapter II sections 1655 to 1672 of the Civil and Commercial Code, make a valid will by word of mouth only. 5. A person under Thai law may also make a holographic testament, i.e. a testament written wholly by the testator himself, including the date of writing and signature of the testator (section 1657 Civil and Commercial Code). A person must be at least 15 years of age or he cannot witness or make a will.
The execution of a will is subject to a court procedure in which an executor for the estate is appointed and the court determines if the testator has made a valid will. If no valid will has been made, i.e. the property of the deceased is not disposed of by will, the estate will be divided among the statutory heirs according to the law. The property of a deceased individual is called his or her Estate. The Succession Law governs a person’s estate in Israel after their passing. A person’s estate includes their property at the time of death, as well as any rights, actions and obligations. The estate and the heirs to the estate may not absolve themselves of any actions performed by the deceased before his or her death. For instance, if a woman sold her car to another person before her death, the estate is entitled to the agreed upon compensation, but may not withdraw from the sale. The estate of a deceased individual in Israel is meted out according to a person’s will (if a will exists), after a probate order has been issued, or according to the dispositive stipulations of the Succession Law in Israel (if there is no will or it has been found to be invalid), after an inheritance/probate order has been issued. In many cases, the estate is distributed, in some cases an estate manager is required. This procedure is common where there are debts attached to the estate or where objections to the probate or inheritance order have been submitted. Issues regarding inheritance and estate distribution are complex, important and delicate. Distribution of an estate in Israel after a probate order, especially when it is substantial or when it is disputed or accompanied by debts, will profoundly impact heirs, both financially and emotionally. That is why it is recommended to contact an Israeli law firm specializing in probate, inheritance matters and estate management. A skilled lawyer will help minimize the difficult processes related to the management and distribution of the estate, in a fair, neutral and responsible way. Seeking professional legal advice is doubly important when an estate manager is required. The estate manager will assemble all of the deceased’s assets (the estate), pay off any outstanding debts attached to the estate, and dispense the remainder of the estate among the heirs. According to section 97 of Israeli Succession Law, the estate manager is entitled to do “all that is needed to fulfill his duty” [all translations in this article are unofficial], apart from certain actions which require special permission by a court. The expenses incurred during this process are placed on the estate itself, including the estate manager’s salary. It is important to note that these debts and expenses take precedence over the heirs’ right to the estate in Israel.
Thus, if the estate has been distributed before all known debts have been paid, all heirs will be responsible for those debts in their entirety. before the probate order and distribution of the estate in Israel, heirs are not responsible for debts beyond the property of the estate itself. An estate manager will take the following actions, among others, upon assuming his/her role: – Open a separate bank account for managing the estate. – Chronicle and track all income and expenses of the estate. – Pay all outstanding debts and expenses of the estate. – Distribute the remainder of the estate among the heirs, after debts and expenses have been paid – Take legal action against an heir or any person who has caused harm to the estate. – File a deposition to a court detailing the distribution of the estate (including the value of the property given to each heir at the time of distribution) within thirty days after the distribution of the estate. The estate manager can be any person named by the deceased in his will, or any person named by a court of law (if the deceased hasn’t named anyone, or for other reasons as deemed fit by the court). Once an estate manager is appointed, the heirs may not conduct any transactions regarding the estate without the estate manager’s or the probate court’s express permission. If there is a binding will, the estate in Israel will be distributed accordingly. However, when there is no will (whether because it doesn’t exist or is found to be invalid), or if the court has determined that there are special reasons to deviate from the will, an estate manager may suggest a different agreement to the heirs by which the estate will be distributed.
Such an agreement requires the express consent of all the heirs. If the heirs cannot agree on the distribution of the estate, it will be distributed according to a court order. Another important aspect not to be overlooked is the tax implications of estate distribution in Israel. Most western countries impose some sort of inheritance tax. These countries also usually impose some form of tax on gifts, in order to prevent the possibility of tax evasion through the gifting of property. In Israel, an inheritance tax was imposed in 1949, one of the first laws passed, signifying its perceived importance. However, the law was annulled in 1981, and has not been renewed since. There have been attempts to reinstate some sort of inheritance tax in recent years, but so far none has come to pass. As stated, there is no inheritance tax or estate tax in Israel at the current time. However, many Israeli citizens hold dual citizenship, which exposes them to the tax laws of other countries. For instance, there are over 300,000 Israeli citizens residing in Israel who are also American citizens, and are therefore subject to tax by both countries.