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Property

purchase, transfer by way of gift, partition into residential property, charges on property

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Do you wish to buy or sell a property? If so, I and my team will be pleased to help. Buying a house or apartment usually involves major assets. This calls for particular care when formulating and executing the contract. Notaries Public are very experienced in terms of recognizing stumbling blocks when purchasing property, and in mitigating these through contractual rulings. Where the contract parties have not yet reached an agreement, the Notary Public can act as mediator and propose formulations that achieve a balance between seller and buyer. The Notary Public also offers the parties support during execution of the contract of purchase. He handles the correspondence with land registries, banks, authorities and other parties involved.

If you are involved in commercial property dealings, you will find my notary’s office a reliable and professional partner. Accompanying property-developer projects has been part of the services offered by the notary’s office for decades. Consequently, you can rely not only on perfect legal processing, but also on account being taken of the special organizational requirements of commercial property projects. This also applies if you acquire residential property for commercial purposes, and sell it on after partition into freehold apartments and possibly renovation. In this respect, it goes without saying that – in the interests of both the seller and the buyer - the contracts must satisfy the requirements of case law on consumer protection and of the increasingly complex legal framework.

I am also pleased to advise you if you wish to transfer a property as a gift. There are very differing reasons for wishing to transfer a property to somebody else as a gift. Sometimes it is a matter of transferring to children in order to anticipate succession, sometimes a matter of protecting the spouse. Gifts may also be based on tax or social-law considerations, or designed to avoid liability. Sometimes, problems related to compulsory portions can be solved by transferring property inter vivos – for example in patchwork situations. At the start of every transfer of property, it is therefore important to make a careful analysis of the aims of the gift and how these can be achieved. Another important factor concerns the rights that the giver of the gift wishes to retain, such as a usufructuary right or a right of residence, or the right to demand return of the property under certain circumstances. Naturally, we work closely with your tax consultant wherever tax aspects play a role.

We also offer assistance if you wish to partition your multiple-family house into freehold apartments. We shall gladly accompany you from the outset, so that matters proceed in the right direction even before the partition plans are drawn up and the official certificate of self-containment is obtained. Orderly preparation, a tailor-made declaration of partition and close cooperation with the responsible land registry contribute towards the smoothest possible partition into residential property. The same applies if the declaration of participation or the regulations of a community of apartment owners have to be changed. Here, we help not only with the correct legal formulation but also with execution which, especially with large communities of apartment owners, places particular organizational demands on the notary's office given the high number of apartment owners and banks involved.

Persons who need to have a land charge or mortgage entered against their real property for a bank are frequently confronted with documents that are difficult to understand. As Notary Public, I explain the background to these forms, and make clear what encumbrance of your property means for you at the end of the day. If the matter does not concern bank financing but rather the securing of private loans through the land register, for example within the family, we look for the best and most cost-favorable solution together with the client.

My team and I are naturally also at your disposal for all other notarizations related to property matters. Examples are:

  • cancellation of land charges and mortgages in the land register
  • entry of easements (e.g. rights of way, pipeline easements, overbuilding rights)
  • agreement of usufructuary rights and rights of residency
  • authentication of real property powers of attorney for Germany and abroad
  • authentication of property-manager consents and meeting minutes for communities of apartment owners
  • accompanying public notice procedures, for example in the event of loss of property-charge certificates
  • correction of land register following accruals of inheritance
  • correction of land register following changes in property companies

Companies

formation, sale and transfer of companies, transformation of companies, entry in commercial register

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Supporting and accompanying companies is one of the focal points of the work of the notary’s office.

It starts with support when forming a new company. This includes the choice of the correct legal form – of course in close consultation with your tax consultant – the development of a customized shareholder agreement, the prompt authentication of the formation documents and handling the entry of the new company in the commercial register.

The notary’s office also supports many existing companies of all sizes in ongoing company-law matters. This Corporate Housekeeping includes preparing and executing shareholder resolutions and applications to the commercial register, for example in the event of changes in the management or on the board, changes to the shareholder agreement or the company address, control and profit and loss transfer agreements, or the dissolution and ending of a company.

We regularly also handle company-law structural measures under the Law on the Transformation of Companies. This includes such matters as divestments, demergers, changes of form and mergers. In cases of mergers involving English Limited Companies, we can draw on practical experience, and support you concerning the sections of the merger process to be carried out in England.

Matters of company succession are also part of the services offered by the notary’s office. As a rule, questions related to inheritance and tax law also arise here in addition to the company-law issues. Consultation with the company advisors and its shareholders is also of particular importance when preparing this type of transfer.

When purchasing a company or a shareholding in a company, I draft the company purchase contract on request, or authenticate the contracts negotiated and prepared by the parties involved and their lawyers, including in English. In this respect, I ensure that the notary’s office satisfies the high organizational and personnel requirements related to the accompaniment of such transactions.

Close cooperation with your legal, tax and business advisors is a matter of course in all company-law matters, naturally also in English.

Marriage and family

power of attorney, living will, marriage contracts, divorce agreements

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More and more people wish to make provisions for a situation in which they are no longer able to manage their affairs themselves, for example as a result of old age, illness or an accident. If you do not want the local court to appoint a custodian for you in such cases, you can grant power of attorney to a person of your trust, enabling him or her to act for you in case of need. This covers not only representation in economic and financial matters, for example with respect to banks, insurance companies and authorities. The power of attorney should also extend to personal matters, so that your person of trust can decide concerning medical and nursing measures in case of need. I advise you concerning the various options for granting power of attorney and on the alternatives available in certain circumstances. I then draft the power of attorney and carry out the authentication together with you. This is absolutely recommendable merely for reasons of legal certainty.

The question of a living will regularly also arises in the context of provisions for later. I am pleased to be of assistance if you wish to have a living will authenticated.

The work of a Notary Public also includes the authentication of marriage contracts. Together with you, I examine whether the conclusion of a marriage contract is advisable in your circumstances, or whether – as is frequently the case – the statutory rulings offer an appropriate framework for your situation with no need for a marriage contract. If a contract appears advisable, the task is to find a tailor-made solution, taking account above all of the economic situation of the spouses.

In some cases, cancellation of a marriage contract is also advisable. These are cases, for example, in which the spouses have agreed separation of goods at the start of their marriage, and now, many years or decades later, other aspects have become more important than the risk of separation – for example matters related to inheritance law, rights to compulsory portions or inheritance tax. In such cases it may be worthwhile cancelling the separation of goods.

In the event of separation, a notarial agreement on the consequences of separation or divorce can avoid disputes and costs. This frequently involves matters related to the division of the marital assets, such as the joint property and the debts entered against it. If matters concerning the equalization of accrued gains, the adjustment of pension rights and support payments are regulated by mutual consent via a Notary Public, there is no longer any need for related disputes during the judicial divorce proceedings.

Inheritance and leaving by will

wills and contracts of inheritance, certificates of inheritance, distribution of estates, renunciation of inheritance

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Very few people willingly think about the subject of inheriting and leaving by will, but it affects everybody. Those who wish to save themselves and their family aggravation and money should consider what needs to be regulated under inheritance law in good time. I shall gladly advise you on whether the succession envisaged under the law fits your situation, or whether it is better to make rulings tailored to your needs through a will or contract of inheritance. Notarial authentication of your last will is then always worthwhile. This is not only because your will or contract of inheritance will then be kept safely at the local court or notary’s office, and because no fee-incurring certificate of inheritance will then be necessary as a rule after the accrual of the inheritance. Even more important is the certainty of knowing that your last will has then been drawn up correctly, completely and in legally effective manner. Errors of content and form – as unfortunately repeatedly occur with handwritten wills – can frequently then no longer be repaired if the worst comes to the worst.

The legal instrument of the foundation is available if you intend to do good even after your own death. Foundations can be set up while you are still alive and by testamentary order after accrual of the inheritance. From a legal perspective a number of questions arise in this respect, for example concerning the choice of the fitting form of foundation (independent or dependent foundation), the formulation of the foundation charter and the formally effective act of foundation. I gladly offer my assistance in this respect, including in consultation with your advisors.

If a close relative has died and you are his or her heir, perhaps together with other heirs, we gladly accompany you in this phase that is frequently also difficult from a personal view. If required, we arrange for the last will of the deceased to be opened. Together with you, I ascertain whether a certificate of inheritance is required, authenticate the application for a certificate of inheritance for you, and accompany the judicial proceedings concerning the certificate of inheritance. If the estate includes real property, we also arrange the correction of the land registers.

If real property has to be divided up among several heirs, a notarial contract of distribution of estate is required. The same applies if the testator has left real property to a specific person. The legacy must then be fulfilled by means of a notarial legacy fulfilment contract. We assist you in preparing and implementing the distribution of the estate or the legacy fulfilment. In this respect, we pay constant attention to how your objective can be achieved as efficiently and cost-favorably as possible.

If you are a possible heir following accrual of an estate but do not wish to enter upon the inheritance, you must renounce the inheritance. In this case it is important that you contact us as quickly as possible, so that renunciation of the inheritance can be arranged in sufficient time and in the correct manner.

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