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Old 01.04.2015, 09:44
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Locating Missing Estate

A family in the US, who I am somewhat acquainted with, recently received a letter from a neighbor of their aunt in Zurich to inform them that she passed away several years ago. The neighbor also wrote that a Will could not be located and the estate, which she thought was modest, was claimed by the government because it could not locate the legal heirs, which would be this family. She also said that the estate could be re-claimed by the family for up to 10 years. The family asked me to confirm that the estate was claimed by the government and how much it was.

I contacted the district court where the aunt last resided but the clerk would not tell me anything because I am not an heir (erbberechtigt) without a Power of Attorney (Vollmacht). I searched the internet for the aunt and could only find a listing on Moneyhouse, evidently for a credit report. I also cannot locate the Zurich Amtsblätter for 2011/2012 on the internet which might mention the estate.

Question:
Does Canton Zurich maintain a list of estates without heirs that it subsequently claimed? Is it in an Amtsblatt or other publication? How can older Amtsblätter be obtained?

Thanks for any useful feedback.
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Old 01.04.2015, 10:12
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

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A family in the US, who I am somewhat acquainted with, recently received a letter from a neighbor of their aunt in Zurich to inform them that she passed away several years ago. The neighbor also wrote that a Will could not be located and the estate, which she thought was modest, was claimed by the government because it could not locate the legal heirs, which would be this family. She also said that the estate could be re-claimed by the family for up to 10 years. The family asked me to confirm that the estate was claimed by the government and how much it was.

I contacted the district court where the aunt last resided but the clerk would not tell me anything because I am not an heir (erbberechtigt) without a Power of Attorney (Vollmacht). I searched the internet for the aunt and could only find a listing on Moneyhouse, evidently for a credit report. I also cannot locate the Zurich Amtsblätter for 2011/2012 on the internet which might mention the estate.

Question:
Does Canton Zurich maintain a list of estates without heirs that it subsequently claimed? Is it in an Amtsblatt or other publication? How can older Amtsblätter be obtained?

Thanks for any useful feedback.
Here is the link to the Zurich site. Not sure it goes back that far. Worth a look (my German is not good enough to see).

https://www.amtsblatt.zh.ch/shabform...searchForm.jsf
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Old 01.04.2015, 10:35
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

While it's generally possible to research that time with the link provided the time to research those matters you are looking for has elapsed. Sorry. You would have to contact the authorities directly in order to find out more information. I am not even sure what you would be looking for. Most probably Erbenaufruf (looking for an heir). Let me know if you need help I could maybe call for you next week but you surely would need to have a Power of Attorney (Vollmacht) by the US family.
See link for the timeline of the matters https://www.amtsblatt.zh.ch/shabform...imeline_DE.pdf
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Old 01.04.2015, 13:18
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

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While it's generally possible to research that time with the link provided the time to research those matters you are looking for has elapsed. Sorry. You would have to contact the authorities directly in order to find out more information. I am not even sure what you would be looking for. Most probably Erbenaufruf (looking for an heir). Let me know if you need help I could maybe call for you next week but you surely would need to have a Power of Attorney (Vollmacht) by the US family.
See link for the timeline of the matters https://www.amtsblatt.zh.ch/shabform...imeline_DE.pdf
Thank you for your input. It appears that the Erbenaufruf pages on the Zurich Amtsblatt website are put up for one year and then removed (and then placed in a bureaucrat's blackbox somewhere).

I was able to locate an article on an heir re-claiming an estate after the time period had expired, so it should be possible:

http://www.nzz.ch/aktuell/startseite...ktion-1.533150

As a next step, I will probably propose that this family give me (or someone) a Vollmacht or they should contact the Bezirksgericht themselves.

I was able to view the last residence of the deceased via Google Streetview. It is a rental property and gives the appearance that she was of modest means.
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Old 01.04.2015, 14:55
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

All the Zurich Amtsblatt from No. 28/2012 onward are available as PDF, they contain all information. Only the website search option is limited.
https://www.amtsblatt.zh.ch/shabform...rchFormPdf.jsf

So, you have to open all of them an look for Erbenaufruf.

Or you could also access the PDF versions of the Schweizer Handelsamtsblatt which is available even further back.
https://www.shab.ch/shabforms/COMMON...rchFormPdf.jsf

But unlike the Zurich Amtsblatt which is published once a week it is published each workday. So up to 260 Issues every year.
In the SHAB you have to use the search term Erbenruf
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Old 03.04.2015, 10:12
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

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All the Zurich Amtsblatt from No. 28/2012 onward are available as PDF, they contain all information. Only the website search option is limited.
https://www.amtsblatt.zh.ch/shabform...rchFormPdf.jsf

So, you have to open all of them an look for Erbenaufruf.
Thank you! I found what I was looking for searching through the weekly Amtsblätter one by one. The notice was for an "Amtliche Liquidation - Rechnungsruf" with the process controlled by the AHV Zusatzleistungen office in Zurich.

This implies that the deceased was receiving supplemental AHV at the end of her life, imo. The neighbor appears to be correct in that the government (AHV) probably received whatever was in the estate.
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Old 03.04.2015, 11:05
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

Isn't it extraordinary that many foreigners assume we are all rich living here?

Shame on the US family for not keeping in contact with their aunt, and then hoping for a windfall.
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Old 03.04.2015, 11:22
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

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Isn't it extraordinary that many foreigners assume we are all rich living here?

Shame on the US family for not keeping in contact with their aunt, and then hoping for a windfall.
Shame on them for attempting to claim their legal entitlement?
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Old 03.04.2015, 11:41
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Re: Locating Missing Estate

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Shame on them for attempting to claim their legal entitlement?
But I think, as in many other things, there is something about a legal entitlement and a moral one. In any event, but we know zilch about this situation and we should not be making any judgement.
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