What is an executor?
Inheritance law encompasses many facets. As lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we are perfectly qualified to carry out the execution of wills. The person in charge of the execution of a will is appointed by the testator by testamentary disposition to enforce his will after his death. He or she is not the legal representative of the heir, but an office holder. If you have any questions about the duties of an executor, the estate law attorneys at our Frankfurt law firm will be happy to answer any questions that may arise. Since the executor was appointed by the testator, he or she is not under the permanent supervision of the probate court, unlike the curator and administrator of the estate. The estate law attorneys at our Frankfurt law firm will be happy to explain further details. What does an executor do? The executor must carry out the tasks determined by the testator (Section 2203 of the German Civil Code). Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt are specialized in following the testator’s instructions to the letter.
Why appoint an executor and a substitute at the same time?
Although there is no obligation to appoint an executor, it may be a good idea to arrange a consultation with one of our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt. If it is important to the testator that, after his or her death, his or her ideas are actually fulfilled by the appointment of an executor and that inheritance disputes are avoided, you should also consider the possibility that the person appointed to perform the duties is unable or unwilling to carry out the office. In particular, if a person is appointed as executor who is not an estate attorney by profession, he or she may not feel capable of carrying out the execution of the will. Therefore, in order to avoid inheritance conflicts, it may be a sensible option to appoint one of the estate lawyers of our law firm in Frankfurt as a substitute person for the execution of the will.
How can I appoint an executor in Frankfurt?
The executor is appointed by the testator by testamentary disposition. As lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we know this process well. However, the testator can also request the probate court to select the executor and appoint him or her in accordance with Section 2200 of the German Civil Code. However, the testator can also authorize the executor of his will himself to appoint one or more co-executors. If you have any questions about the appointment of an executor, the attorneys specializing in inheritance law at our law firm in Frankfurt will be happy to assist you.
Who should I appoint as executor?
This question is not always easy to answer. That is why it is sometimes the best option to turn to one of the lawyers specializing in inheritance law at our law firm in Frankfurt. When selecting the executor, it must be ensured that the executor is also willing and suitable for the position. If the executor is chosen from among the co-heirs, for example, this can lead to considerable difficulties and conflicts of interest. If you need help, our Frankfurt inheritance law lawyer will be happy to assist you in word and deed.
Can the executor handle the estate in an uncontrolled manner as he or she chooses?
Although the executor is not subject to the control of the probate court, unlike the executor and the guardian of the estate, the co-heirs have certain rights of control. In case of misconduct, they can also petition the competent probate court for the removal of the executor. As attorneys specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we have years of experience in the execution of wills. With the support of our probate law attorneys, there will be no misconduct that can justify dismissal.
What happens if I do not appoint an executor?
It can happen time and time again that a testator fails to appoint an executor prior to his or her death. This is a situation that is part of everyday life for our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt. If the testator orders the execution of a will but does not appoint a person to take over the office, the probate court will appoint a suitable person insofar as this corresponds to the testator’s will. Therefore, when drafting a will, care must always be taken to express it as unambiguously as possible in order to avoid possible misinterpretations and the inheritance disputes often associated with probate proceedings. The lawyers of our Frankfurt inheritance law firm are familiar with these situations and will be happy to assist you with solution-oriented advice.
Inheritance dispute: what can the executor do?
The powers of an executor are a very broad topic that can best be explained to you by a lawyer specialized in inheritance law in Frankfurt. Inheritance law knows numerous forms of executorship. They all have one thing in common: the execution of the testator’s last will. The executor may, for example, have the task of administering the estate’s assets in their entirety (this is called permanent execution of the will) or only have the task of fulfilling bequests or distributing the inheritance. Lawyers specializing in inheritance law usually handle this task. In contrast, in the case of the permanent execution of a will, the freedom of action and thus the decision as to how the office is to be exercised is very great, but there is not much room for maneuver in the task of fulfilling the legacies. As lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we pay close attention to the fulfillment of these criteria. In the case of perpetual execution of a will, the charge only ends upon the occurrence of a condition or after 30 years. In the case of the fulfillment of legacies or the distribution of inheritances, the office ends with the completion of the task. The executor is only subject to minor limits in the exercise of his office. Compliance with these limits is one of the main priorities of our firm’s inheritance law attorneys. For example, in the execution of a will, the executor may not hand over objects of the estate without an order from the testator. The preparation of an inventory of the estate is a mandatory task for the heir to determine the initial inventory in order to be able to obtain explanations about the executor’s whereabouts. In addition, the executor must follow the instructions of the testator, unless these involve considerable risks to the estate. The executor must also leave objects of the estate to the heirs so that they can dispose of them freely, insofar as they are not needed to fulfill their duties. As attorneys specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we make sure that the wishes of the testator are fulfilled exactly. The executor is obliged to account to the heirs. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law are very familiar with these conditions and pay close attention to their fulfillment. If the executor breaches his obligations, he is obliged to pay damages to the heirs if he is at fault. If you have any further questions about the powers and duties of the executor, our estate law attorneys in Frankfurt will be happy to answer them at any time.
When are claims for damages against the executor time-barred?
Since the Law of Obligations Modernization Act, claims against the executor are time-barred pursuant to Section 195 BGB within the usual limitation period of three years. Previously, claims for damages were only time-barred after 30 years pursuant to Section 197 (1) sentence 2 BGB. The decisive deadline is 1.1.2010. The transitional provisions of the statute of limitations according to the Law of Obligations Modernization Act in § 6 Section 229 EGBGB apply. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt keep themselves constantly informed about the current state of the law in order to guarantee you the best advice in matters of inheritance law.
How is the executor noted in the will?
As lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt, we have many years of experience in drafting wills and appointing executors. In order to appoint an executor, it is sufficient that it is clearly expressed in the will that a certain person is to perform certain tasks. It is not necessary to expressly name the person as executor, but it makes sense for reasons of legal certainty. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt will be happy to review your will to ensure that it clearly specifies which person should be appointed as executor.
How much does an executor cost? How is an executor remunerated?
The executor is entitled to remuneration unless otherwise provided by the testator. This is usually based on the size of the estate to be administered. However, it makes sense to determine the remuneration to avoid a later dispute between the heirs and the executor.
Who appoints the executor?
There is no execution of a will without an order of the testator. The executor is a person by virtue of the office and, therefore, is not appointed by a third person.
What is the purpose of appointing an executor?
The execution of a will serves to carry out the will of the testator. If a majority of heirs is appointed in a community that can only make decisions unanimously, this is usually not adequate to enforce the testator’s will as the testator intended. As a general rule, the testator intends to avoid a dispute among the co-heirs, since such a dispute causes expenses that diminish the estate. A testator concerned about the whereabouts of the assets he has created is usually not interested in such a reduction of the estate. To facilitate the most impartial execution of a will, the appointment of a lawyer specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt is usually the best option.
Who can be an executor in Frankfurt and how?
The material requirement for being an executor is full legal capacity at the time of taking possession. If this is the case, anyone can be appointed executor. The lawyers specializing in inheritance law at our law firm in Frankfurt will be happy to explain all the relevant details to you. Appointment as executor can be made by appointment in a will or appointment by the probate court or an authorized executor. However, it is advantageous for the executor to have legal knowledge. Our Frankfurt inheritance lawyers know what rights and possibilities exist and support you in all questions.
When does the executor have to pay money to the heirs?
The executor is obliged to distribute among the heirs the part of the inheritance that he obviously does not need to fulfill his duties. If, for example, the executor has been commissioned to manage assets, he must distribute to the heirs the surplus resulting from the management, such as the rental income from a commercial property, to the extent that he does not need it as provisions. However, the testator himself always has the final say. If the testator has given instructions in this respect, these have priority. Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt take care that the testator’s will is always carried out.
Where to find an executor?
There are professional executors with the appropriate qualifications. You can find a selection of them, for example, at the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Testamentsvollstreckung und Vermögenssorge e.V. A list of executors is available.
How does an executor prove his office?
For legitimation purposes, the executor can apply to the competent probate court for a certificate of executorship. With this certificate, the executor proves his office. Our attorneys specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt naturally have these executor’s certificates at their disposal.
In what form must the executor provide information?
Inheritance law stipulates that it must first be distinguished to whom the executor is obliged to inform. Our attorneys specializing in inheritance law in Frankfurt will be happy to answer these and other questions during a personal consultation. Possible claimants are the heirs, the legatee, the purchaser of the estate or the pledgee, the successor of the executor, the beneficiary of the obligatory part, the beneficiary of the obligations and the executor as legal representative. The duty of information goes beyond the mere rendering of accounts of their activities and also includes duties of information and clarification. If the executor himself is consistent with the heirs and is exempt from the prohibition of self-dealing under § 181 BGB, the intensity of the duty of information increases whenever it appears objectively possible that the interests of the heirs may be endangered beyond the ordinary execution of the office. For this reason, it may make a lot of sense to appoint a Frankfurt inheritance law attorney as executor in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
What does the accounting claim against the executor cover?
The accounting claim must be sufficiently detailed to enable the beneficiary to obtain full financial information about the executor’s performance. A more extensive obligation to provide explanations depends on the individual case.
When does the accounting claim against the executor arise?
In principle, there is a right to be informed once a year about the executor’s financial activities.
When does a dismissal claim against the executor succeed?
The hurdles for the dismissal of the executor are very high. In Section 2227 BGB, the law speaks succinctly of an important ground and describes it as gross dereliction of duty or inability to properly manage the company.