Legal Areas

Asset & Succession Planning, Inheritance Law

We advise private persons on all aspects of asset planning, including succession planning, for both private and corporate assets, as well as on related tax and corporate law issues.

We provide individual solutions and integrated concepts, including in cases with an international element. We are also familiar with arrangements involving foundations and/or trusts. 

During the lifetime

We provide comprehensive legal and tax advice on asset design and succession planning options. Our activities include: 

  • Transferring private and company assets to the next generation or to foundations
  • Testamentary dispositions (wills, inheritance agreements, etc.)
  • Designing anticipated inheritances and gifts
  • Cross-generational asset planning - maintaining the core assets of the company
  • Pre-nuptial agreements and designing asset structures in connection with matrimonial property schemes (the so-called matrimonial property swing)
  • (Enduring) Powers of attorney, advanced directives or living wills 
  • Safeguarding retirement benefits
  • Assurances for close friends and relatives 
  • Asset protection
  • Concepts to avoid or minimise entitlements to compulsory portions
  • Inheritance contracts and contracts for the relinquishment of inheritances and compulsory portions
  • Foundations and trusts
  • Family-owned companies and holding structures
  • Adoptions (of minors and adults) 
  • Notary services

Following the death

We also provide you with support when enforcing your interests in the case of a death. If it is not possible to come to an amicable agreement with other beneficiaries, etc., you will benefit from our many years of experience in contentious disputes before courts and in arbitration. Our expertise includes: 

  • Enforcement of / defence against claims for entitlements to compulsory portions
  • Clarifying the line of succession and inheritance claims
  • Disputes between groups of heirs
  • Drafting settlements and waiver agreements and agreements for the sale of an inheritance
  • Advising and representing heirs, legatees, beneficiaries of compulsory portions, executors, administrators and trustees
  • Acting as executors of wills
  • Inheritance tax and income tax declarations 
  • Use of tax structuring options
  • Valuations
  • Conflict resolution and mediation
  • Providing representation in litigation and arbitration

Tax law

  • Designing tax-optimised succession 
  • Use of tax-saving structures after the death
  • Gifts and anticipated inheritance
  • Planning the inheritance tax burden in light of
    • inheritance tax
    • gift tax
    • land transfer tax and
    • income tax
  • Analysing the liquidity burden
  • Optimising asset structures with a view to minimising income and inheritance tax 
  • Foreign assets / avoidance of double taxation
  • (Criminal) Tax proceedings
  • Tax law applicable to foundations / non-profit law

Corporate law

Often, the assets of our clients and testators include extensive company assets. Our team ensures that rules developed in light of inheritance and family law considerations are always consistent with corporate law. We support you in all areas of corporate law, in particular with:

  • Corporate and holding structures (including pooling agreements)
  • Reorganising company or group structures
  • Succession and matrimonial property provisions
  • Drafting family and inheritance law agreements
  • Evaluations
  • Advising on disputes in the case of succession, including the assessment of corporate assets 

Family offices

Our clients increasing include single and multi-family offices. We also have experience with establishing and implementing family office structures.

You can find further information under Family Offices

Law of foundations

Our succession planning also embraces structures, such as foundations and trusts. We support our clients especially in the following fields: 

  • Advising on formation 
    • Establishing trusts and foundations (tax-privileged foundations, family foundations in Germany and abroad)
    • Double foundation models and trusts
    • Autonomous and dependent foundations 
  • Drafting and amending articles of incorporation and by-laws
  • Coordination with tax authorities and foundation supervisory authorities 
  • Tax law applicable to foundations and non-profit organisations

You can find further information about our comprehensive services under Foundations.