German Law/Inheritance


I was born in Germany to two German parents and within the first year of my birth, was adopted by American parents. I was naturalized and received citizenship at age 5 in the 1970's. I have returned to Germany and am living here, working here since about 8 years. I have also obtained a German passport which I was told was entitled to. I have 4 siblings and one living parent. The 4 siblings have lived here most of their lives. When my parent passes on, am I entitled to a portion of the inheritance and or property? One of the siblings is living with my parent most of her life. I also have one natural child living here. I live in another state than the rest of my family here in Germany.

If the laws of the respective US state applies on the adoption you would have to check these. Provided that German law is applicable on the adoption, that the adoption had taken place prior to 01 Jan. 1977 and that a declaration had been filed to the Amtsgericht Schoeneberg by 31 Dec. 1977 according to which the then effective old adoption law should prevail the reform introduced by the Adoption Act any rights and obligations arising of a blood relationship would have remained unaffected by the adoption and the adoption reform law ( 1764 of the German Civil Code (old version), Art. 12 1 sec. 4 of the Adoption Act). Otherwise the legal ties would have expired.

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Henning Haarhaus


I can answer questions in English, German and French. Practice in inheritance law, tax, labour and contract law for private clients. Services also rendered in the fields of business & commercial law; e.g. business organizations, contracts, debt collections, leasing law. Representing clients all over Germany. NO CONSULTANCY ON FAMILY AND IMMIGRATION LAW.


Working since 1999 in the forenamed fields. Henning Haarhaus` experience includes services in the legal department of Roedl & partner, the biggest tax consultancy firm of German origin. Appointed Bar Certified Tax Law Practioner in 2007.

Bar Association of Berlin, KIWANIS


German licensed lawyer and bar certified tax specialist

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