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Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung – „clearance“ from the tax-office – why do we need it?

The technical term Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung is a good example what kind of long word German language can produce. But what is it and why do we need it?

One would think you get your certificate of inheritance, you give a lawyer a power-of-attorney to pick up the money from the testator´s bank account and everything is fine and goes quick.

But that would be reckoning without one´s host, so to speak. Or reckoning without the tax-office:

Of course whenever or wherever you inherit something, the state wants to have their share – by way of inheritance tax.

As an effect anyone in Germany who is in charge of an estate is liable to the German tax office that the inheritance tax is paid and the heirs do not vanish abroad and the tax cannot be retrieved.

This is why banks, for example, are reluctant to pay money to anyone with residence abroad without an Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung – a clearance from the German tax-office. This paper will state that no inheritance tax has to be paid or how much has to be paid. 

Only when the banks have this clearance will they be willing to disburse the money on their account. 

If you have any difficulty achieving such clearance from a German tax-office or you have difficulties with German banks in connection with a case of inheritance, you can contact us here.

German law of succession

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer
germanlawyer@email.de

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