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EULawyer
EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 269
Experience:  Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
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My mother is a de facto partner of a German man of 25 years,

Customer Question

My name is***** my mother is a de facto partner of a German man of 25 years, he is a permanent resident of Australia. He is 90 years old and suffers from dementia and doesn't seem to have many years left in him. He has never been married or had children, he has quite considerable assets in Germany, as property, bank accounts etc very hard to sum it all up, what rights does my mother have to them under German law. ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: German Law
Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer!
As your European Law expert, I am reviewing your question and will try to find a good answer for you.

Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Dear Mr Ridings,

Thank you for this complex and interesting question.

The answer is this: Since last year, Germany, and the entire EU (except Denmark, Ireland and the UK) apply a common set of "conflict of law" rules. "Conflict of law" is the area of law which says which legal system applies in a cross-border situation.

In common English, EU Regulation 650/2012 provides that the entire inheritance of a person is governed by the law of his last habitual residence, regardless of where that might be located (even out of the EU). This means that Australian law applies.

In its turn, Australian law may accept its own application or not. However, Australian law does not have one common system of conflict of law rules. Instead, each Australian state has its own rules.

Therefore, it is essential for me to know the specific state where the person in question resides.

This holds the key to your question, which can have the following answers:

1. The state law accepts its application and provides that de facto partners inherit, in which case your mother takes everything;

2. The state law accepts its application but makes no provisions for de facto partners, in which case your mother takes nothing;

3. The state law does not accept its application and sends the matter back to German law (note that this is an intellectual exercise, nobody "says" anything, but it is what the German courts would say). German law does not provide in any way for de facto, unregistered, partners. Therefore, in this case your mother would also take nothing.

As I am outside of my HQ country, please answer with the state of location, but know that it might take a few days for my answer to come back, because my database of world laws and doctrine is available only at my HQ. If it happens that the question expires in the meantime, I offer two options:

1. Either accept my offer of premium service, which will allow me to get your e-mail and convey the answer by mail. I set it at the lower end of the price range; or

2. You can then ask another question, but I think that would be all in all more expensive.

With my best regards,

Dr I L Vlad

Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Further to my first answer, please note that theoretically you should work with two attorneys, one for EU law and one for Australian law. For the purposes of your question though, I can answer as explained. If you do pursue the matter in that your mother will claim the inheritance, you will have to have a local German attorney, supported by documentation from Australia. This will be certainly quite a high investment. But at least you will know if it is worth it before making it.

Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Note also that German courts are the ones with jurisdiction over all assets in Germany.