What is an executor of a will?
The execution of a will is governed by Germany’s Civil Code (bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB). Under the terms of Article 2197, a testator may engage a competent person whom he or she trusts to ensure that the wishes set out in his or her last will and testament are indeed carried out.
There are different ways a will can be executed:
- Distribution of inheritance (Abwicklungstestamentsvollstreckung)
- Permanent executorship (Dauervollstreckung)
- Administrative execution (Verwaltungsvollstreckung)
- Apportioning of bequests (Vermächtnisvollstreckung)
- Appointment of secondary beneficiaries (Nacherbentestamentsvollstreckung)
- Executorship with a limited remit (Testamentsvollstrecker mit beschränktem Aufgabengebiet)
- Execution involving restriction of statutory portion in good faith (Testamentsvollstreckung bei Pflichtteilsbeschränkung in guter Absicht)
When is it advisable to appoint an executor?
Here are a few typical situations:
- The inheritance is complex and a neutral person with special expertise is to be appointed to aid the heirs.
- There are heirs who are minors
- There are heirs who are disabled or in need of care
- There are heirs who are indebted and creditors’ access to the inheritance is to be prevented
- There are heirs who are being looked after in a care facility and the welfare authorities’ access to the inheritance is to be avoided
- There is a danger that the estate may be squandered or lost by inexperienced or malicious heirs
- One or more heirs among the community of heirs is/are to be privileged
- The assets are to be preserved for a secondary beneficiary who is a minor
- The inheritance is to be converted into a foundation
- Where there is a larger community of heirs and there is a wish to simplify e.g. the administration and distribution of the estate
And many more besides
Do you wish to write or change your will?
Here : is some initial advice:
The moment you turn your thoughts to writing your will is often tinged with melancholy – you are looking back over your life and you are forced to consider death seriously.
It is my particular concern to execute your will professionally and impartially. As an executor of wills and an expert in real estate, I and my team of experienced probate and tax lawyers can offer you a wealth of combined expertise. This will be of particular advantage in cases when a large proportion of the estate is expected to consist of immovable assets. We will help you formulate your will and advise you on each and every question that may be relevant to your estate planning.
What is a co-executor?
Are you considering entrusting the settlement of your estate to a private acquaintance? It is in no way a simple task and involves numerous steps. Private executors of wills are also entirely liable and may even forfeit assets of their own for potentially incorrect decisions or insufficient research in respect of concealed bequests. All positive and negative assets will be taken into account. Unsuitable persons will include those who themselves are heirs, for example. To reduce the risk for the executor of your will, you are entitled under Art. 2199/1 of the German Civil Code (§2199/1 BGB) to appoint a co-executor to help them with difficult sub-sections (such as real estate, for example). Our special skill-set is at your disposal in this respect and we will assume the liabilities associated with these duties.
Community of heirs/inheritance distribution
We have been advising heirs and communities of heirs for many years, acting as appointees in an advisory capacity rather than as statutory executors. The essential difference here is that we have no precedence and no authority of our own – our duties are concentrated on making preparations for the decision-making process and the testamentary ordered inheritance distribution. We will provide you will answers to all the legal and tax-related questions that may crop up in connection with an inheritance. We will provide market valuations for the real estate inherited and research its appreciation potential. Our work will provide you with information on which you can rely for later decision-making. We take great care, neutrality and competence in the distribution of the inheritance.
Overview of services
Please find below a summary of our basic services:
Executor of a will
- Determining the estate
- Taking stewardship of the estate and carrying out the last wishes in the will
- Compiling an estate inventory
- Lawful administration of the estate
- Duty of disclosure and financial reporting to heirs
- Drawing up and submitting inheritance tax returns
- Paying inheritance tax
- Drawing up a distribution plan
- Carrying out the distribution of bequests
Real estate expert
- Market valuations in compliance with Germany’s Real Estate Appraisal Law (Immobilienwertermittlungsverordnung, ImmoWertV)
- Real estate appraisal incorporating a range of different scenarios (e.g. renovation options, redevelopment alternatives etc)
- Identifying appreciation potential
- Brokerage services (lettings, agency work, sales)
- Property management
- Construction, redevelopment, renovation