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US-Attorney in Germany specializing in Probate and Estate Planning 

Stuyvesant Wainwright IV is an American lawyer admitted to practice in New York State, and who advises clients in Germany as a registered foreign attorney with the RAK Berlin.  His combination of excellent academic qualifications and more than 20 years of practical legal experience enables him to provide his clients with the highest levels of competence, professionalism and service. Together with the partners of WF Frank & Partner – attorneys specializing in international estate and probate matters – Mr. Wainwright advises American and German clients in Berlin, as well as in Hamburg and Munich by appointment, on all aspects of German-American inheritance law, both in his native English and in German. He also maintains offices in New York City and East Hampton, New York.

Languages

English, German 

Services

Support for Estate/Probate Proceedings in Germany

Mr. Wainwright regularly advises and assists clients acting as executors or trustees of U.S. estates or trusts with assets in Germany and/or having German heirs.  Together with the partners at WF Frank & Partner, his services include:

  • Obtaining recognition of validity from German probate courts for U.S. wills and the issuance of German Letters Testamentary (“Testamentsvollstreckerzeugnis”) for U.S. executors
  • Assistance with obtaining German Certificate of Heirship (“Erbschein”) for American heirs
  • Providing legal representation for U.S. heirs, beneficiaries, executors, administrators and trustees of estate) 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 American estates, heirs and beneficiaries to ensure recognition of payments of U.S. gift and estate taxes (federal and state) in Germany and deduction of such payments from any German estate, inheritance and gift tax liabilities
  • Representing U.S. 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 U.S. heirs and beneficiaries and defending against claims of unwarranted German estate, inheritance and gift taxes
  • Consulting regarding the structuring and timing of distributions from U.S. trusts by U.S. trustees to German resident beneficiaries to minimize any German estate, inheritance and gift tax liabilities

Representing Beneficiaries of U.S.-based Estates

Mr. Wainwright also represents the beneficiaries of U.S.-based estates.  In addition to corresponding directly with the estate’s executor or administrator in the U.S. on a beneficiary’s behalf, Mr. Wainwright will protect the beneficiary’s legal rights, if necessary, by performing such services as:

  • Reviewing the inventory and valuation of all estate assets
  • Confirming proper accountings, including accountings for the payment of all fees and costs, and the timely payments to the beneficiary
  • Initiating proceedings for the dismissal of an executor or administrator for non-performance of their fiduciary duty, including self-dealing and conflicts of interest, and seeking appropriate damages
  • As an attorney admitted to the New York State Bar, Mr. Wainwright represents clients in contested probate proceedings in New York.  He also advises clients in adversarial proceedings in other U.S. states and corresponds with local trial counsel

International Estate Planning

Mr. Wainwright frequently advises clients both in the U.S. and in Germany on all matters connected with international estate planning, including, but not limited to:

  • Reviewing existing wills
  • Designing and drafting both U.S. wills and German testaments
  • Structuring U.S.-based trusts to avoid or minimize German estate, inheritance or gift tax liabilities
  • Advising on the use of Payable on Death accounts and the appointment of successor beneficiaries to allow for the transfer of assets outside of probate
  • Advising on U.S. federal estate tax and the German-American Double-Taxation Treaty controlling the states and double taxation
  • Preparing living wills and health care proxies for both the U.S. and Germany

Real Estate Law

Another facet of Mr. Wainwright’s practice is advising clients regarding real estate transactions in both Germany and the U.S., with particular focus on German citizens buying and selling real property in the U.S. and American citizens buying and selling real estate in Germany

Locations

Berlin | Head office

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

Tel. +49 30 88712381
Fax +49 30 22185555
berlinDo not spam(at)Do not spamwf-inter.com

New York | Branch office

WF Wainwright & Associates
330 Seventh Ave., 15th Floor
NY 10001 New York

Tel. +1 631 3242992
Fax +1 (631) 614-4327
newyorkDo not spam(at)Do not spamwf-inter.com

East Hampton | Branch office

WF Wainwright & Associates
10 Pantigo Road
NY 11937 East Hampton

Tel. +1 631 3242992
Fax +1 631 324 1424
easthamptonDo not spam(at)Do not spamwf-inter.com

Contact details

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Stuyvesant Wainwright IV
WF Wainwright & Associates
Attorney at law (New York)

Leipziger Platz 9
10117 Berlin

Tel. +49 30 88712381
Fax +49 030 920372321

wainwrightDo not spam(at)Do not spamwf-inter.com


Memberships

Legend:
WF-Office
Cooperation partner

Upon request, we offer consultation via Zoom. For general information on how to join an instant meeting through an email invite, please visit the Zoom website