Execution of a will - Estate Planning

(following German Law)

Assignment of an Estate Planner

Each individual can determine an administrator/executor (in the following called executor)  of a will. This determination can only be effected in a will, a testamentary contract or disposition. In many cases there are determined relatives or friends as executors. This could bear risks, because these persons very often have the same age or are unable to cope with the duties of an executor.
Another risk could be that a relative, appointed as executor, is a coheir at the same time. This could lead to troubles with the remaining other heirs.  In the course of an execution of a will there are numerous legal issues to be done and executed.  Therefore it is advisable to install a lawyer / attorney-at-law as an executor.
The executor will and has to indicate his duty to the probate court.  He does not have to accept his appointment by law.  Should you think about appointing an executor, please contact him as early as possible to make sure, all legal aspects have been given thoughts and are considered in time and he/she is willing and able to accept this appointment.
As a lawyer with many years of experience in servicing an international clientele, I would be happy and honored to service your needs and requests and give legal support as an executor.  Feel free to contact me via the below contact form on this website.


Duties of an executor

The executor is empowered to realize and put into effect the last will of the Testator,  bound only to the orders of the testator.
The main duty of the executor is to effect the settlement of the inheritance between more than one heirs or to administrate the inheritance as a whole.  He also has to honor debts and to push all rights in favor of the inheritance.  Within his orderly execution of a will, he is also empowered to enter into new engagements.
At a longer lasting execution of a will he is supposed to render an account on a yearly basis.  At the beginning of his activity he has to prepare an inventory of  the inheritance and provide this to the heirs without delay.  The heir(s) have to be informed about any extraordinary transaction.
If the duty of the executor is just to disseminate the inheritance, he has to work out a plan and present this plan to the heirs for their approval.  His duty ends with their approval and the finalizing of the execution of this plan.
An execution could make sense for many reasons. These could lay in the person of the heir(s), particularly if one (or more) of the heirs is disabled or handicapped, incapable of contracting or inexperienced in the execution of an inheritance or if the heirs are at odds with each other.
The appointment of an executor is also recommended, if  a real estate property or a company or an equity stake is a part of the inheritance. In this case an executor can act better than a community of heirs, which is more cumbersome than an single individual person. An executor can also care better for the needs of children and minors.
An execution of a will by a neutral executor also helps to protect all participating parties of an inheritance from conflicts, disputes and influences from third parties and thus far helps to protect the lifetime achievement of the testator, for example by securing corporate succession. 
In these cases, please contact me even earlier, because this constellation needs still more time and attention.
We will be happy to assist you in generating a will that fulfills your needs and requests and is according to German law.


Compensation of an executor

The compensation of an executor depends on the duties, he has to perform, the time and responsibility and the work to complete and to be completed.  Difficulties, complexity of the performed activities, duration of the dissemination or administration, special skills, like economical skills and languages as well as work experience will determine his remuneration.
In general, a compensation of 5 % , based on the value of the inheritance will have to be agreed upon.  But also an hourly rate can be freely negotiated.
As a lawyer I recommend this compensation to be kept and stated in the testamentary disposition to avoid disputes between the heir(s) and the executor.
If there are still questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.