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German Law/Guardianship of niece in event of death


My sister is a single parent of my niece in Berlin. She wants to creat a will naming me as guardian ( I live in USA) in case of emergency. How do we do this?

Dear Christine,

If your sister has (sole) custody she can name you as the guardian after her death in her will 1773, 1774, 1776, 1777 BGB. This is called a Sorgerechtsverfuegung in German.

This can be done with or without the involvement of a German Notar (Special lawyer).

I would be glad to have a telephone consultation with you and your sister to find out what would be the best solution in this case. You can contact me directly at

Carolin Schulz-Burgess
German Attorney at Law/Foreign Legal Consultant  

German Law

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Carolin Schulz-Burgess


German legal issues on inheritance, divorce, alimony, child custody and support, last wills and testaments, and other problems involving international family and civil law.


I am a certified German laywer with professional experience in both German and American law firms. Since 2001 I have been working independently at my firm, German Legal Services. I have represented hundreds of clients on matters involving US-German legal issues. One of my firm's areas of specialization is in divorce and child support and custody issues between members of the U.S. Armed Forces and German civilians.

World Affairs Council, German Bar Association

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I received my undergraduate and JD degrees both from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, whose law school is consistently ranked in the top 10 in Germany.

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