Inheritance law and wealth/corporate succession

Inheritance law can affect you as an heir, legatee or person entitled to a compulsory portion. Or you intend to make a will in order to regulate your wealth succession and/or want to transfer your assets to the next generation while you are still alive (anticipated inheritance).

Wealth/corporate succession, anticipated inheritance; planning

Wealth succession is an especially complex legal field where many areas of expertise intersect. In addition to inheritance law, tax matters in particular have to be clarified. Corporate law problems also have to be resolved in case of corporate succession. Tax law in particular plays an important role in wealth succession so that financial circumstances have to be planned in a timely manner and with a vision. The utilisation of personal allowances for example can be optimised. At the same time however, it is important to ensure that the transferee remains financially secure into old age, notwithstanding the transfer. In corporate succession it may also be important for the transferee to retain control for the time being – even after the transfer. Ensuring that the assets are transferred to the next generation, but nevertheless remain in the family over the long term, can also be an important premise. For example, this may be the case with real estate holdings that have been owned by the family for generations. Under corporate law this can for example also be achieved with the execution of a will. Regardless of all (tax) optimisation possibilities in the course of planning, wealth succession depends first and foremost on your own intentions. We will work with you to determine your ideas and wishes in an initial consultation. Then we can develop the best strategy for you. With our interdisciplinary team of lawyers, tax consultants and auditors, we consistently pursue an integrated approach so that the transfer is sensible from a legal, tax and business management perspective. We also advise you on health care proxy (general power of attorney), living will and patient’s provision matters.

Heir, legatee, person entitled to a compulsory portion; disputes

Succession means that the heir automatically assumes the legal position of the deceased. This means all assets but also all liabilities are transferred to the heir, who is liable with his or her personal assets. The primary question therefore is whether the inheritance should be refused or whether there are options to limit liability. In case of inheritance by more than one heir, a community of heirs is created which has to be separated in case of doubt. If the will contains a bequest, the heir has to fulfil that and if there are persons entitled to a compulsory portion, they must be satisfied. We are ready to provide you with advice on all of these matters and to represent you before the courts and out of court in case of disputes. We also support you in asserting claims as a legatee or person entitled to a compulsory portion.


Our inheritance law and wealth/corporate succession services cover the following in particular:

  • Drafting wills and testamentary contacts
  • Drafting spousal wills (e.g. Berlin will)
  • Interpreting and disputing wills
  • Refusal/design of bequests
  • Conceptual design of corporate succession
  • Drafting corporate wills
  • Tax-optimised succession planning, both business and private
  • Anticipated inheritance measures/endowments
  • Advice on refusing an inheritance
  • Options for limiting the liability of the heir
  • Dealing with a community of heirs
  • Asserting claims to a compulsory portion
  • Asserting inheritance law claims
  • Legal representation in inheritance proceedings and proceedings for the issuance of a certificate of inheritance
  • Execution of the will
  • Drafting health care proxies (general powers of attorney), living wills and patient’s provisions

The following are available to you for initial contact:

Dr. Michael Lingenberg LL.M. oec.
Phone: +49 (0)89 21 55 32 010