22. Dec 15

Study on inheritances: Three trillion euros to be passed on by 2024

Around three trillion euros will be passed on in Germany between 2015 and 2024. That is the finding of a study by the Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge (German Institute for Retirement Provision).

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: The rules of intestate succession apply under German succession law. Given the enormous sums that are set to be passed on in Germany over the next few years, it may well be advisable to prepare a will or contract of inheritance. This makes it possible to arrange the estate as one sees fit, having regard to statutory regulations, and avoid disputes among the heirs.

According to the Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge’s study, the average amount to be handed down per inheritance will be around 360,000 euros. Of course, this figure varies considerably from case to case. The anticipated surge of inheritances also risks partially wiping out large fortunes. There are primarily two reasons for this: disputes among the heirs and inheritance tax. It is therefore advisable in cases involving private assets as well as those concerning business assets to take appropriate measures in good time to ensure the protection of these assets.

These measures include drafting a will or contract of inheritance and, as the case may be, establishing a foundation. Business assets are particularly at risk in the event of succession. In the absence of suitable estate planning, the rules of intestate succession kick in. If disputes arise among the heirs, this can even threaten the existence of the business. Moreover, it is important to be mindful of taxation issues. A gift made during the lifetime of the testator can potentially entail tax advantages.

It is equally a good idea to take advantage of tax optimisation options in cases involving private assets. In the coming years, real estate is also set to be increasingly handed down. If the heirs make personal use of this, it is possible for no inheritance tax to be incurred, as the legislature deliberately set high tax allowances. For spouses, the tax allowance is 500,000 euros, and 400,000 euros for children. These tax allowances can be taken into account as early as the stage at which the will is being drafted, and the estate divided up accordingly.

Lawyers who are competent in the field of succession law can provide you with further assistance on all issues relating to inheritance cases.

For more informations: https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession.html

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