Should I inherit my parents' business?

consumer : “My son should inherit, his wife not. Is the?"

Time is running out. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe will judge the inheritance tax on real estate this year. Probable consequence: The tax assessment for real estate will tighten. No wonder that many are considering giving away their house now. During our telephone campaign on inheritance law, which we once again organized in cooperation with the Berlin Lawyers' Association, the phones never stood still. Read what Stefanie Brielmaier, Friedemann von Recklinghausen, Ulrich Schellenberg, Volker Schulz and Jutta Wagner recommend to Tagesspiegel readers.

I inherited a house and money, and I also have my own fortune. Now I want to get married. My future husband has a illegitimate son from a previous marriage. How can I prevent the child from inheriting some of my assets later?

Your future husband's child is not your inheritance, so it does not get anything directly. However, it could inherit indirectly through your husband. Unlike in your case, your husband's illegitimate son is entitled to inheritance if your husband dies. You can avoid this by specifying a previous heir - for example your husband - and a subsequent heir - for example your sister - in your will. Then your husband will receive your inheritance first, and your sister after his death. The illegitimate child does not inherit any of your assets and has no right to a compulsory portion.

My parents are wealthy and I am the only child. I am married. If I inherit, does the inheritance fall into the community of gains or does it belong entirely to me?

Inheritances never fall into the community of gains. However, if the inherited object, such as a piece of property, experiences an increase in value during the marriage, this increase in value must be taken into account in the context of the gain compensation.

My parents bequeathed everything to my sister in a will. But she would like to share with me. What can she do?

She should turn down the testamentary inheritance. Then legal succession applies and you automatically inherit half of it. This is also tax-attractive because every child has an allowance of 205,000 euros.

My parents left their fortune to my brother. I have not inherited anything. Is the?

Yes, your parents can make your brother the sole heir by will. However, they do not go completely empty-handed. Spouses and children (if there are no children, the parents) have a right to a compulsory portion against the heir. This comprises half of the statutory portion of the inheritance.

My husband and I have a farm in the surrounding area. The farm is worth 400,000 euros. Can we transfer the property to our son without incurring gift tax?

Yes. Your son has an allowance of 205,000 euros each for you and your husband.

I would like to sign over my house to my daughter to save taxes. What can I do to cover myself in case I want to cancel the donation?

You can include a revocation clause in the contract. This can be such that you can revoke the donation under certain circumstances (e.g. in the event of illness, divorce, family quarrel, bankruptcy). You can also go so far that you do not attach any conditions to the clause, but there is a risk that the 10-year period for the compulsory portion supplement claim does not start to run because the donor has not finally given his assets away, but can reclaim the gift at any time.

My brother passed away and my sister-in-law and I inherited. A condominium is also part of the legacy. However, the apartment is encumbered with loans. Now I'm supposed to take over half of the debt, even though I actually have nothing to do with the apartment.

Whoever receives the condominium has to pay the other heir half the difference between the property and the loan. An example calculation: The apartment is worth 100,000 euros and has a loan of 80,000 euros. In this case, you would be entitled to 10,000 euros. You do not have to bear the debts that weigh on the property. If the obligee does not release you from liability, you are entitled to indemnification against the other heir.

My father passed away recently. He leaves a piece of land and assets. I have the right to inherit together with my mother. However, there is no will. What do we have to do?

You need a certificate of inheritance in order to be able to document your claim to the bank or the land registry, for example. You can obtain a certificate of inheritance from the local court or a notary.

My mother-in-law has dementia and is being looked after. Can she still draw up a will?

You have to check that on a case-by-case basis. A lawyer would speak to your mother to find out how understanding she is and document this as well. If in doubt, the attending physician or a neurologist can be called in, who will then confirm that your mother-in-law is still able to draw up a will.

I live with my husband in a house I used myself in Berlin. I currently own the property alone. Can I transfer the house to my spouse for tax purposes?

Yes, the lifelong gift of a property that is used by spouses is tax-free, regardless of its value.

My mother recently passed away. Your rented apartment is in great need of renovation, which I cannot pay for from the rest of the estate. I would therefore like to turn down the inheritance, what do I have to consider?

You must respond within six weeks and inform the probate court that you do not want to take over the inheritance. This deadline must be observed. If you have underage children who would be entitled to inherit after you, you should immediately refuse to inherit them.

In 1999 I gave away a rental house to my daughter without reserving the usufruct - that is, the right to the rental income. Now I would like to get a usufruct right afterwards. My daughter agrees. Is the?

A right of usufruct can also be granted retrospectively. But be careful: gift tax is then due if the tax exemption limit is exceeded. The transaction is considered a "donation" that can be taxed (again).

I am 60 years old, own a condominium in Berlin and have no legal heirs. I would now like to designate my best friend as the sole heir by will - but with the proviso that the later inheritance will be divided among my other friends. I have already made a corresponding list.

You have three options, depending on your needs. First: You only make your best friend an inheritance and give him a list of those you otherwise consider. He can stick to it, but doesn't have to. Second, you make your best friend the sole heir and leave bequests to the other friends, which they can then request from the heir. Or third: You make your best friend the sole prior heir and, when he dies, appoint your other friends to be subsequent heirs. These then only inherit after the death of your best friend.

We are a married couple, over 70 years old, with two married children. We have a condominium with a unit value of 60,000 euros and 100,000 euros in securities. We are considering giving the apartment away to the children in exchange for usufruct. We want to avoid a gift tax after the unit values ​​have been increased. How high are the unit values ​​likely to increase? Can we still take our time with the donation? Are there ways of excluding our child's spouse from receiving the gift?

Standard values ​​are no longer relevant in the valuation of real estate. With each inheritance process, the tax office determines the value of a property individually based on the earnings value or the property value. In your case, you don't need to worry, because your children are entitled to exemptions totaling 410,000 euros. The legislature is unlikely to change this. In order to protect your grandchildren, you have the option of pre-heirs with your children and sub-heirs with your grandchildren.

How is the value of a property calculated?

To determine the inheritance / gift tax, the value of the property in an undeveloped state must first be determined. This value results from the findings of the expert committee as of January 1, 1996 and can be requested from the district office. In the case of built-up land, the capitalized earnings value must also be determined. The earnings value is 12.5 times the annual net rent minus a discount of 0.5 percent for each year that has passed since the completion of the property, but no more than 25 percent, for single and two-family houses plus 20 percent. The higher value is decisive. However, you also have the option of obtaining an expert report and submitting it to the tax office. With such an appraisal, you can often achieve a lower property value.

How high is the exemption in the ratio of stepchildren / stepparents?

Like biological children, stepchildren also have an allowance of 205,000 euros.

Do the same tax exemptions apply to a gift during your lifetime as in the case of inheritance? What are the annual tax credits for a gift of cash to our daughter and her spouse?

In principle, the same tax exemptions apply to gifts as in the case of inheritance. An exception applies to parents and grandparents; They only have an exemption of 10,300 euros in the case of a donation to the living, but in the event of inheritance an exemption of 51,200 euros. There are no annual allowances. The allowances can be used again every ten years.

We have a handicapped and a healthy son. How can we bequeath something to our handicapped child without the welfare office opening their hands?

You can use the handicapped child for the first and the healthy child for the subsequent inheritance. You can appoint the healthy child as the executor, who repeatedly sends money to the disabled brother from the estate. If the brother is to use these donations to pay for small gifts, travel or cultural hobbies, for example, the social welfare office cannot take recourse.

The questions and answers were processed by Heike Jahberg and Thomas Reckermann.

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