Succession and transfer of wealth

A person’s wealth is usually the result of a successful life's work. Making the right arrangements for succession of your private assets preserves your family wealth for the long term and ensures prosperity for the generations to come. Another important objective of asset succession is to secure the financial position of the transferor. In family businesses, succession of assets is often linked to company succession.


Succession and transfer

Inheritance law and tax law

In the case of private succession, there are numerous tax and legal issues to consider. There is significant scope for action at the interface between inheritance and tax law – both where an asset succession arrangement is made as early as possible during a person’s lifetime, as well as in the case of succession of property upon death.

Arrangements for the transfer of assets may be set out in a will or contract of inheritance so that the assets are passed on as part of the estate only after the death of their owner. In many cases, however, it is advantageous for testators to pass on at least some of their assets during their lifetime – to take advantage of tax-free allowances and to reduce the inheritance tax payable at a later date, for example. A lifetime transfer between private individuals may also be worth considering as a way of reducing compulsory shares in a subsequent inheritance or avoiding conflict within the family. The use of foundations (Stiftungen) is also becoming more common in succession planning.

The range of options available for achieving succession objectives are as varied as the objectives themselves. It is useful to plan early and take into account the financial environment and those aspects of inheritance and tax law that come into play in case of succession.

Preparing and implementing succession and transfers of wealth

The first step is to determine the wishes of the individual concerned and the assets involved in the succession. The succession plan created on the basis of this information must include existing arrangements such as a will or contract of inheritance and also any prenuptial agreement and – if the asset succession is associated with a company succession – articles of partnership or association. All of these should be reviewed and updated if necessary. The assets, receivables, rights, liabilities and obligations that are to be passed to a successor must also be analysed. If the objective of the asset succession is clear, this plan can be used to draw up the various implementation steps.



Preserve and pass on family wealth with Schultze & Braun

At Schultze & Braun, we understand the importance of asset succession. Our certified specialist lawyers and tax advisors make a point of gathering as much information as possible about our clients’ ideas, objectives and needs. We then develop an individual plan to actively manage the asset succession and an optimised solution for the asset transfer that makes use of the available legal and tax options to preserve your wealth and pass it on in accordance with your wishes.



Arno Abenheimer
Rechtsanwalt (Attorney at Law), Fachanwalt für Steuerrecht (Certified Specialist in Tax Law), Steuerberater (Tax consultant)


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