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Old 06.03.2013, 17:06
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Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

I am quite clued up and I know that in Switzerland i can make a Will according to the law of my Nationality (i.e. UK). In particular I want to avoid Switzerland's forced heirship rules, and instead use the UK's free disposition rules.

I could almost draft it myself, even in French, but my Estate is important enough to have a professional job done by a Swiss Notary. I have been trawling the Swiss French language internet sites looking for more information, and have visited the Swiss Notary websites, but there is very little information on this as everything seems to be directed at Swiss Citizens.

A little more discouragingly, there is some negative comment out there implying that Notaries are out of their depth when it come to Wills and foreigners.

Has anyone had a good a good experience in this area with a Swiss Notary, in Geneva or Vaud?

Also does anyone know the answers to the following questions?

Can I use the English language instead of French?

Can the Notaire be in any Canton, or must he reside where I live (Vaud)?

Must the Will follow the UK form (2 independent witnesses in the presence of each other and of the testator), or is it sufficient to follow the Swiss form.

Can I subsequently easily make a Codicil, e.g. To modify the size of a legue (bequest), or do we start from scratch each time?
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Old 06.03.2013, 17:55
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

You can write it in any language you like, the notary doesn't even need to understand it.

They are simply there to validate your signature (and that they saw you sign it). In fact, you can have someone in your home country draw it up the way you want, and you just sign in the presence of the notary (which can simply be your local commune).

They, get an Apostilla, and you're good world-wide.

Tom
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Old 06.03.2013, 18:04
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

As reported elsewhere on EF, all you need do is write a note by hand (not type) that you wish your will to be executed in accordance with the laws of England & wales (or wherever else in the world you are from). This needs no witnessing.

Naturally this will go much smoother of you have a will for your home country already...
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Old 06.03.2013, 18:22
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

Ab Fab, thanks, but this does not sound quite right:
"Naturally this will go much smoother of you have a will for your home country already..."

Under UK law, if i make a new Will (even a Swiss Will?), it revokes the previous ones. Anyway i don't want two Wills. Only a single one in Switzerland. I am claiming to be non UK domiciled and a UK will might complicate that claim.
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Old 06.03.2013, 18:27
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

I used Lenz and Staehlin ( not sure that's the correct spelling). I used the Fribourg office but the work was done by the Geneva office.
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Old 06.03.2013, 18:41
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

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Under UK law, if i make a new Will (even a Swiss Will?), it revokes the previous ones. Anyway i don't want two Wills. Only a single one in Switzerland. I am claiming to be non UK domiciled and a UK will might complicate that claim.
Have a look at this post: Wills in Switzerland: avoiding Pflichtteil (Obligatory apportionment)
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Old 07.03.2013, 12:23
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

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You can write it in any language you like, the notary doesn't even need to understand it.

They are simply there to validate your signature (and that they saw you sign it). In fact, you can have someone in your home country draw it up the way you want, and you just sign in the presence of the notary (which can simply be your local commune).

They, get an Apostilla, and you're good world-wide.

Tom
Dear Tom,

Thanks for your advice on the language. I found the following in a lecture or discussion in 2010 with the Swiss Notaire Laurent Besso:

En outre, en Suisse, un testament doit être écrit dans l’une des langues officielles de la Confédération, sinon il devra obligatoirement être traduit lorsqu’il sera ouvert : cette traduction - officielle - pourra être onéreuse et s’ajoutera au coût du règlement de la succession.

Bichon, thanks for your suggestion of Lenz & Staehelin. Do you have an individuals name as i guess only a few of them are Notaires?. Also, what was your experience like? Did you have the same problem as me (UK inheritance law applying to a Swiss Will), and could you clearly understand the advice, and what language did you use?
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Old 07.03.2013, 15:19
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Re: Swiss Notaire needed re Will/Testament

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Ab Fab, thanks, but this does not sound quite right:
"Naturally this will go much smoother of you have a will for your home country already..."

Under UK law, if i make a new Will (even a Swiss Will?), it revokes the previous ones. Anyway i don't want two Wills. Only a single one in Switzerland. I am claiming to be non UK domiciled and a UK will might complicate that claim.
If you already have a will from your home country, all you need for Switzerland is write on a piece of paper that you want that will to apply to your estate, not the laws of Switzerland.

No lawyers. No cost...
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