German Speaking Tourists Injured while Visiting the United States

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Visitors to the United States who are injured while in the United States face unique legal, geographical, cultural and other obstacles to secure justice and compensation.  This is even more so when the injured German tourist or business traveler’s primary language is not English. Native German speakers, including those of German, Austrian or Swiss origin, routinely turn to Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. to assist them in attaining compensation for injuries incurred while visiting or vacationing in the United States. Our clients take great comfort in knowing that they are being represented by both United States and European Union based attorneys...

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Universal succession according to German inheritance law and its consequences

1. General Overview German inheritance law is characterized by several principles, one of the most important ones being the principle of universal succession, as stipulated in paragraph 1922 German Civil Code. Universal succession means that all assets of the decedent automatically pass on to his heirs immediately after the decedent’s death with no further act of transfer. The heir therefore automatically becomes the decedent’s mandatory universal successor. Contrary to several other jurisdictions, particularly to the US, the decedent’s assets within the scope of the universal succession include not only the actually available assets, e.g. cash, bank accounts, stock portfolios, real property etc., but...

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Car Insurance for tourists in Florida – What you need to know before you rent a car

Car accidents and injuries happen, and insurance may help to protect the parties involved in an accident or other event resulting in personal injury or death, but insurance might not provide coverage in all cases. If you are injured in Florida - or elsewhere in the United States - you should be aware that many different types of insurance may provide you with protection and a source of recovery for injuries and wrongful death. The following should serve as a guide to understand what kind of insurance coverage to choose. Bodily Injury LiabilityBodily Injury Liability Coverage covers expenses related to the injury...

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Direct or Indirect Ownership of Property in the U.S.A.

Thoughts on Liability and Estate Planning  Many of our clients possess property in the United States through either direct or indirect ownership, which distinguishes between individual owners and those who have rights through collective investment funds such as stocks or Private Placements.Liability: I. An individual direct owner, regardless of whether they own a small single-family house, an apartment, or even a shopping center or office building, must constantly consider limiting their liability risks. Many of our clients wish to keep individually owned property in their own name. If the property is owner-occupied residential property and the client lives in and is taxed in...

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Double Taxation Agreements

All countries have unique tax laws and rules. If an individual has income or capital gains from one country and resides in another country, that individual may be responsible for paying taxes in both countries pursuant to the respective tax laws. In order to alleviate the burden of "double taxation" on individuals who may be affected, countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have negotiated and entered into so called double taxation agreements with other countries. Double taxations agreements, or tax treaties, are simply a type of agreement between countries to determine how affected individuals and entities...

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U.S. subsidiary or branch? – German companies in the U.S.

German companies which want to expand into the U.S. have the choice of operating their distribution center as a branch or as a U.S. subsidiary of the German parent company. U.S. subsidiary:The federal corporate income tax a U.S. subsidiary would have to pay ranges between fifteen to thirty-five percent depending on the amount of profit. The U.S. subsidiary can deduct payments to the German parent company for several expenses, such as royalties, interest and management fees. No withholding tax payment is required here. A withholding tax is however incurred when repatriating a cash dividend to the German parent company. To avoid inadvertent...

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Last Wills and Testaments

Whenever an estate consists of assets both in the USA and in Germany, there are several issues that need to be taken into consideration in order to avoid complications. Especially in terms of inheritance law, the legal provisions in these both countries differ significantly in procedural and substantive respect. A German last will or testament can be established in several ways, personal or with the help of a notary. The most common form is a hand written testament. Such a testament needs to be written fully by hand by the testator and signed underneath the hand written text. A notarized testament...

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Double Taxation Agreements between the United States and other countries

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The United States of America has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries.  Such treaties exist with many European countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland , Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Other notable countries include Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. Major economies, in particular in South and Central America, do not have such treaties with the US. Notably, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Columbia are absent. With the exception of Mexico...

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