German Probate Lawyer in Berlin

Mr. Leithold is a German Attorney-at-Law / Solicitor / Barrister (Rechtsanwalt) and Bar Certified Specialist for probate and estate planning (Fachanwalt für Erbrecht). He is partner of "WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte", a law firm entirely specializing in international probate law and estate planning. Together with lawyers from the WF International Network Mr Leithold advises English speaking clients in probate and trust matters with connection to Germany. He frequently publishes articles in German law journals and treatises – mainly on U.S. probate law, in particular the laws of California.

Languages Spoken

German, English, Spanish


Support for Estate/Probate Proceedings in Germany

Mr. Leithold regularly advises and assists clients acting as executors or trustees of common law jurisdictions (including U.S.A., England & Wales, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, Australia) with regards to German law. His services include: 

  • Obtaining recognition of validity from German probate courts for international wills and the issuance of a German Certificate of Executorship (Testamentsvollstreckerzeugnis) for foreign executors
  • Assistance with obtaining a German Certificate of Inheritance (Erbschein) for estates of foreign nationals or domiciliaries
  • Providing legal representation for foreign heirs, beneficiaries, executors, administrators and trustees in connection with obtaining assets held by German banks, insurance companies and financial institutions, passing both through or outside of probate
  • Assistance with the preparation and filing of German estate, inheritance, and gift tax returns for German and foreign heirs and beneficiaries to ensure recognition of payments of foreign gift and estate taxes in Germany and deduction of such payments from any German estate, inheritance and gift tax liabilities
  • Representing executors, administrators, heirs, beneficiaries and trustees before German probate courts and taxation authorities, including obtaining tax clearance for the release of German assets passing to foreign heirs and beneficiaries and defending against claims of unwarranted German estate, inheritance and gift taxes
  • Consulting regarding the structuring and timing of distributions from foreign trusts by foreign trustees to German resident beneficiaries to minimize any German inheritance and gift tax liabilities

Support for Estate/Probate Proceedings in Common Law Jurisdictions

He also advises clients in foreign Estate / Probate Proceedings in any questions pertaining to German inheritance law. His services include Affidavits of Foreign Law (German Law) and Legal Opinions on German law in foreign contentious probate proceedings. 

Representation in Contentious probate proceedings in Germany

Mr. Leithold represents German and foreign beneficiaries as well as executors and trustees in contentious probate proceedings in German courts, e.g.

  • Forced heirship claims under German law (Pflichtteil)
  • Will contest on the grounds of Undue Influence and Lack of Mental Capacity (e.g. dementia or paranoia).
  • Dissolution of community of co-heirs (Erbengemeinschaft)
  • Dismissal/removal of executors
  • Contentious Determination of heirs (Erbenfeststellungklage)
  • Injunctions


Berlin | Head office

WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte
Leipziger Platz 9
D-10117 Berlin

Tel. +49 30 88712381
Fax +49 30 22185555
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Contact details

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Dr. Steffen Leithold
WF Frank & Partner Rechtsanwälte


Leipziger Platz 9
10117 Berlin

Tel. +49 30 88712381
Fax +49 030 920372321

leitholdDo not spam(at)Do not