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German-Canadian Case of Succession

As a specialist inheritance lawyer, Dr. Marcus Hosser consults you also in international succession cases relating to Canada and about international succession planning for Canada.

To be more precise, we consult you on the interface of the German inheritance law and the law of the Canadian provinces and territories, but limited to the German law including European inheritance law and German inheritance tax law.

Each individual German-Canadian succession case has a range of peculiarities which legal laymen and consultants without experience with German-Canadian succession cases are not aware of. Dr. Hosser is experienced with explaining German inheritance law for foreigners.

Does the specialist law firm have experience with German-Canadian succession cases?

Within our field of expertise, international succession cases and inheritances, German-Canadian succession cases have a high proportion in our international consulting. On the basis of numerous accompaniments of estate administration in Canada, we have gathered manifold insights and experiences over the years, especially for Ontario. Some examples can be found on the page Track Record and References.

From these assignments, we came to learn about a range of peculiarities of the law of some Canadian provinces, in particular inheritance law regulations of the Canadian province Ontario.

Besides the inheritance of assets in Canada, we have accompanied several inheritances upon death from decedents with their last residence or domicile in Canada. Assets of such decedents can also be located in Germany. Often, this is the case for emigrants with German roots.

Other issues with Canadian acquisitions by the way of death concern acquisitions that do not fall under inheritance, but may be similar to legacies or other transfers on death.

Like in the USA, many provinces and territories of Canada also belong to the Anglo-American law sphere. For us, this results in synergies in the two main areas of our international consulting fields, German-American succession case on the one hand, and German-Canadian succession cases and acquisitions due to death on the other hand.

In addition, German Attorney-at-Law Dr. Hosser, TEP, also assisted with the structuring of last wills and testaments and other testamentary dispositions with a close connection to Canada, for example because of a location of a real property in Canada.

The differences of the jurisdictions and inheritance-related proceedings require specific legal arrangements.

How can Dr. Hosser help with German-Canadian succession cases?

We help acquirers by the way of death from Germany, for example of a bank account or of securities at Canadian banks, with the winding up of the estate in Canada, together with a lawyer from the corresponding Canadian province, that means, with a consultant on-site.

In addition, we support our Canadian clients to deal with the estate property in Germany on-site, that was bequeathed or left to them from a decedent from Canada or Germany.

As far as the inheritance or parts thereof in Germany are concerned, we are pleased to help you to fulfill your legal duties and also to consult acquirers or domestic or foreign executors on German inheritance tax law including any questions of double taxation.

How can I benefit from the experience with German-Canadian successions?

Our practical experience that does mean that we can consult you on the law of the Canadian province or the Canadian territory on our own, not that we can represent you personally in Canada before courts, authorities, or other relevant bodies.

However, our practical experience is of large advantage for our clients, since we, as a rule, can ask the corresponding Canadian consultants the right questions, to find a viable solution for both, the German and the Canadian law perspective. We have dealt with numerous problems in German-Canadian succession case in our practical experience. We heard about some of Canadian matrimonial property law’s peculiarities.

In Canada – as in the USA – there is no codified uniform international inheritance law which regulates which of the multiple different inheritance laws of the provinces and territories will apply.

We also learnt, for example, that the regulations of the inheritance law of Ontario strongly differ from the province of Quebec, because Quebec’s tradition is not rooted in the Anglo-American legal tradition, but rather in the tradition of the French law.

Besides similar regulations on inheritance settlement in individual US federal states and single Canadian provinces and territories, there are also several similarities of inheritance management in the Canadian provinces.

Unlike the German inheritance law, for example, there is no so-called universal succession, but the estate is represented by an estate trustee, or by an executor – or other parties, this list is not exhaustive. The estate trustee and the executor are nominated in the last will and testament and assigned by a court, at least in Ontario.

But the regulations of the Canadian law regarding the settlement of an inheritance by these persons do differ considerably from the German inheritance law systematics.

Domestic acquirers by cause of death who are asked by an executor to issue a so-called release, which is a kind of declaration of approval of how the executor actually administers the Canadian or world-wide estate, are well advised to call in professional help from our law firm in due time.

Can Dr. Hosser represent you before a Canadian probate court?

No, despite our profound experiences with German-Canadian succession cases and our English competencies, we cannot represent you in Canada and we cannot represent you in Canadian courts. Still, an accompaniment of the settlement in Canada by us makes sense in almost all cases and speeds up the settlement of Canadian estates.

In Canada we also co-operate with experienced and qualified consultants in order to settle an inheritance or an acquisition by cause of death for our clients in Germany. We rely on this network.

In addition, we always want to help our clients to find a suitable consultant in the respective Canadian province or territory and, upon their wish, we also liaise with this Canadian consultant on the further steps in the settlement of the German-Canadian succession case.

For our Canadian clients, Dr. Hosser offers their representation before German civil courts when an estate litigation in Germany is required.

What are other pitfalls in German-Canadian succession cases?

Apart from the already mentioned demand by a Canadian executor for issuing a so-called release, there are more peculiarities.

Despite our long-term experience, even we do not know all of the pitfalls that may have to be taken into account in the framework of settling German-Canadian estates. It would be a dangerous fallacy to assume that in a country as Canada, with a system of values of a Western stamp, the tools and evaluations would certainly be very similar. Also, the tax law cornerstones of the Canadian law are completely different. Errors and negligence may lead to very unpleasant consequences, not only such pursuant to tax law.

Therefore, our strong advice to our clients from Germany to let us assist you.

We recommend anyone who acquired assets by cause of death or from Canada or from a Canadian testator urgently not to undertake settlement attempts on their own. Many of our clients consulted us after such attempts, pleading us to somehow get out of the deadlock situation.

Deadlock situations, however, unfortunately often result from misunderstandings due to the ignorance of peculiarities of the respective other legal system.

Better and in the end also cheaper comes an early contacting of our law firm, so that we can steer and accompany the settlement of a German-Canadian succession, either in Canada or in Germany on the right track from the very beginning.

If it is already too late for that, a professional accompaniment by our law firm makes even more sense and is, in many cases, the only way to ease the already existing tensions between parties from different countries or, at best, to settle them.

In the opposite case, Canadian acquirers of assets in Germany by the way of death or from a testator with his last habitual residence in Germany are also recommended not to try to settle the German-Canadian estate on their own.

This even applies in the case of excellent language skills.

Furthermore, a reasonable settlement of an acquisition by cause of death also requires the knowledge of the relevant regulations of the German and international inheritance law as well as the European Succession Regulation, firstly.

Secondly, Canadian heirs of German real estate risk, for example, to violate German inheritance tax law regulations due to sheer ignorance. The same can apply to acquisitions of other estate property, such as securities of a testator of bank deposits with German banks.

How do I find out if my case fits?

If you have a German-Canadian succession case, notwithstanding if it is an inheritance or another acquisition because of death, then call us today.

Dr. Hosser, TEP, will provide a first orientation in a short phone call as to whether and to which extent we can help you.

This also applies if you want to transfer assets from Canada, may be after a prior sale, back to Germany, and therefore for transfers to Canada.

For Canadian acquirers by cause of death or otherwise, the same applies for acquired assets in Germany.

Please talk to us. We will be pleased to help you further.

Call us today:

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We speak English and German.

Dr. Marcus Hosser TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) – Fachanwalt für Erbrecht.
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Logo der Corporate INTL: Global Awards Winner 2019, Inheritance Law Firm of the Year in Germany (dt: Gewinner der Global Awards 2019, Erbrechtskanzlei des Jahres in Deutschland).