Contingency Planning Lawyers

In the middle of an active, busy (working) life, many families and business owners are reluctant to even consider the possibility of an accident or illness. As a result, contingency planning tends to be neglected. When something does happen, it often turns out there is no general power of attorney or enduring power of attorney for care or healthcare in place, and nobody thought of a living will or final will.

Proactive contingency planning helps to ensure that your family or family-owned business has legal capacity at all times. Our Private Clients experts help you draw up an emergency planning checklist that covers all the key legal and financial aspects.

Contingency planning for the family

Important contingency planning issues in the private sphere include the following:

  • Is a general power of attorney in place to ensure that the family still has legal capacity if a family member is out of action?
  • Does the family member have a living will to indicate how he or she wishes to be treated medically (e.g. life-prolonging treatments)? This will make it easier for family members to deal with the situation.
  • Does an enduring power of attorney for care or healthcare designate who should take decisions on everyday legal matters and relating to the assets of the family member if the latter is no longer able to act?
  • Does a will specify who receives the assets if the family member dies suddenly?

Contingency planning for business owners

If a partner or shareholder is incapacitated for an extended period, it could paralyse the entire company, depending on the provisions in the articles of association. Accordingly, (managing) partners or shareholders should draw up a contingency plan that addresses the following questions, in addition to their personal affairs:

  • Is a general power of attorney in place which allows a third party to take over the duties of the partner or shareholder affected by the emergency?
  • Should different people be named in the power of attorney for business-related matters than for private affairs?
  • Does the contingency plan deal with succession in the event that the partner or shareholder is permanently unable to perform his or her duties?
  • Are the contingency plans aligned with the articles of association?

Contingency planning for foreign assets

If some assets are located outside Germany or, even more importantly, if family members live abroad, the legal provisions of each country must be taken into account in contingency planning. In such cases we draw on experienced private wealth experts from across the international CMS organisation to serve our clients.


Language spoken


Hans Christian Blum
Hans Christian Blum
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law) | Co-Head of the CMS Private Clients Group
Germany, Stuttgart
Germany, Cologne
Hans Christian Blum advises entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. His clients primarily aim at protecting and preserving family businesses/family assets as well as keeping peace in the family...
Dirk Schauer
Dr. Dirk Schauer
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law) | Head of Private Clients, CMS Germany
Germany, Stuttgart
Dirk Schauer advises entrepreneurs and private clients on national and international estate planning and corporate succession planning as well as on foundations. He advises on the structuring and protection...
Michael Schellenberger
Dr. Michael Schellenberger, Mag. rer. publ.
Prin­cip­al Coun­sel
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law)
Germany, Stuttgart
Michael Schellenberger assists business owners and high net worth individuals with their asset structuring, corporate investment management, succession planning and matrimonial regime issues. He also...
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher, Dipl.-Ökonomin, Dipl.-Finanzwirtin (FH)
Prin­cip­al Coun­sel
Tax Adviser
Germany, Stuttgart
Luise Uhl-Ludäscher specialises in tax planning, advising medium-sized family businesses and there owners and families as well as high-net-worth individuals on corporate succession and estate planning...
Jasper Stallmann
Dr. Jasper Stallmann
Rechtsanwalt | Fachanwalt für Erbrecht (Certified lawyer for inheritance law)
Germany, Hamburg
Jasper Stallmann advises private clients, entrepreneurial families and family offices on corporate succession and asset planning including cross-border aspects. He focuses on inheritance law and the law...
Georg Dietlein
Dr. Georg Dietlein, B.Sc. (BWL)
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Germany, Cologne
Georg Dietlein advises German and international companies on corporate law, with a focus on transactions, reorganisations and corporate disputes. He joined CMS in 2019
Michael Heuser
Dr. Michael Heuser
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Germany, Stuttgart
Michael Heuser assists entrepreneurs and private clients on national and international asset and corporate succession planning with special expertise in the law on foundations, the execution of wills...
Anna-Sophie Schütte
Anna-Sophie Schütte, LL.M. (University of Stellenbosch)
Germany, Hamburg
Anna-Sophie Schütte advises entrepreneurs, foundations, family offices and private individuals on all aspects of succession with regard to business and private assets. Her practice focusses on the structuring...