UTF can assist clients who are seeking to administer the estate of an individual who was a resident of the United States or Germany. As an example, for probate administration where the main or domiciliary probate proceeding is in the United States and assets are located in Germany, an ancillary probate administration is often required. The many steps that need to be taken include: the United States personal representative will need to apply at the closest German consulate for a German Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein), a German probate court proceeding will need to be opened, the German tax authority (Finanzamt) for each municipality where assets are located needs to be contacted, any real property deeds (Grundbuch) will need to be updated to reflect the new owners, assets will need to be accounted for and identified, and a number of other issues will need to be addressed.
By working together with our German office, our German accountants and tax advisors, our German appraisers, and other professionals, we are able to guide our clients through the many hurdles they must face in order to successfully administer an international estate. UTF routinely works with clients and attorneys throughout the United States who retain the firm to address the German based proceedings and to coordinate with their accountants to take advantage of the German American double taxation treaty and administer these estates. The firm also routinely works with German clients with inheritance rights throughout the United States by assisting them in retaining local counsel and then working with the client and the local counsel to administer the estate.