Assets, Foundations and Succession in Germany
Legal advice for entrepreneurs, investors, and wealthy individuals
Numerous obstacles to asset accumulation
Where the accumulation and preservation of assets is concerned, many private people are faced with all kinds of challenges. Medium-sized companies often have to overcome very similar obstacles:
- High income tax rates and the enormous tax burden on "labor" hinder the accumulation of assets on the part of both, employers and employees.
- The complex German tax law only allows well-advised taxpayers to benefit from the best structuring options.
- Family disputes can seriously endanger the assets created and our multi-faceted legal system contains many surprises and pitfalls.
If you wish to develop your full potential and build up assets in this situation, you will need highly experienced expert advisors at your side who meet you as equals.
Who we counsel
Our "Assets/Foundations/Succession" team offers advice, structuring options, and solutions for
- who wish to stabilize, preserve and protect their company;
- who are in the midst of growth and development of their company and assets;
- who are in the prime of life and wish to use a holding or foundation to directly benefit from a tax-optimized asset structure.
- technology entrepreneurs, who are planning to exit in the medium term and wish to set up a long-term asset structure;
- private individuals, who are seeking to generate an income or develop and protect assets by purchasing & holding real estate for the long term or by gentrification of real estate;
- estate agents, who value the importance of an optimized structure of their business;
- investors, holding large fortunes of cryptocurrencies;
- families and wealthy individuals, who wish to protect their most important values or to actively shape succession matters;
- individuals, who have family, property-related or professional ties abroad to any nation;
In addition, we advise agents, artists, auditors, board members, church leaders, faith communities, financial services providers, investors, landlords, lawyers, managing directors, musicians, politicians, presenters and moderators, professional athletes, property developers, sales representatives, serial entrepreneurs, tax advisors, traders, and venture capitalists.
What wealthy individuals rely on
Of course, each income and property as well as each tax and family situation is unique and every individual has different priorities. However, our clients often have very similar objectives. In many cases, they wish to
- reduce their tax burden (in the short, medium, or long term) so as to achieve higher returns;
- separate business and private profits from entrepreneurial risks so as to have funds available as a reserve;
- separate investment earnings from private risks so as to keep them safe or invest them;
- find the perfect legal and tax structure for the respective investment;
- allow family members to share in earnings while keeping control of the asset development and own provisions;
- ensure the capacity to act even in case of personal incapability; and
- have a succession plan on hand in the worst case, or
- diversify assets by using different legal forms.
Instruments of asset structuring
Our team of advisors provides you with the suitable instruments for realizing the above objectives. Depending on your individual situation, these instruments may include:
- family foundations;
- corporate foundations (so-called Beteiligungsträgerstiftung i.e. a foundation organized to hold shares in a company or Unternehmensträgerstiftung, i.e. a foundation organized to conduct the business of a company);
- double foundations, a combination of two foundations that serve public and private purposes;
- charitable foundations;
- family pool companies (Familienpool-Gesellschaften);
- commercial and asset management corporations (e.g. GmbH and AG);
- commercial and asset management partnerships (e.g. GbR, KG) or combinations of both (e.g. GmbH & Co. KG);
- transnational constructions and cross-border transactions;
- reorganizations and conversions of any kind;
- holding constructions;
- loan contracts and financing agreements;
- tax groups;
- succession planning, including the avoidance of gift and inheritance taxes;
- testaments, inheritance contracts; and
- contractual agreements between spouses.
Consultation on transactions within families
We also provide advice on transactions within families or contracts with your own foundation like sales of companies or real estate, refunding, contributions, transfers, pension commitments, changes to matrimonial property schemes, and many other options.
WINHELLER is your long-term partner
Our cooperation does not have to end after the realization of one individual project. We will be pleased to accompany you on a long-term basis and take on the following tasks for you:
- monitoring outcomes, optimizing your asset structure and adapting it in case of changes;
- preparing and supporting meetings and actions under corporate and foundation law;
- contract management;
- financial accounting, annual financial statements and tax returns;
- ongoing controlling and reporting.
Your assets, foundations, and succession attorney
Our attorneys and tax advisors are experts, each specializing in specific fields and with experience in providing legal and tax advice on assets, foundations, and succession. Together they form a powerful team for your personal asset issues.
Your contact partners are
- Attorney Boris Piekarek,
- Attorney Dr. Elizabeth Kroeger,
- Attorney Susanne Articus,
- Attorney Thomas Schwab and
- Tax Advisor Caroline Heller.
The easiest way to reach us is via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or, if you prefer, by phone (+49 (0) 69 76 75 77 80). Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions.
Around 200 guests from politics, research and industry gathered information at this year's Association Law Conference on February 22, 2019.