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Old 09.09.2016, 12:55
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Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

I know Wills have been discussed on the forum at some length, but I would like to ask a few questions on the subject:

Hypothetical person: Born in the UK, with UK passport. Received Swiss Nationality so now a dual national. Married, with no children or dependents. Both parents are deceased. Owns a small property here in Switzerland, also owns a small property in the UK. A bit of cash, in the uk and in Switzerland.

This person has made a will in England before he got Swiss citizenship, which sits with his English Solicitor. This will stipulates some money to go to the wife and some to go to relatives, nothing out of the ordinary.

This person also made a handwritten will in Switzerland after he got Swiss citizenship which says more or less the same thing as the English will.

Questions about what would happen upon my death:

1. Would the UK Will not be of any worth in any circumstances any more?

2. Can one assume that the instructions in my Swiss Will shall be carried out according to their wishes (assuming the executor does a good job)?

3. Apart from the house burning down with the will in it, any other benefit to storing a Swiss Will at a notary here?
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Last edited by krlock3; 11.09.2016 at 15:41.
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Old 09.09.2016, 20:49
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

Swiss citizens resident in Switzerland at time of death will be under swiss inheritance law.

As long as the will isn't outside of Swiss law there shouldn't be a problem. Under Swiss law, however, there is only a small % you can so what you want with. The rest is prescribed.
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Old 11.09.2016, 15:42
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

But in the case described above, is there anything that would fall outside the prescribed law?
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Old 11.09.2016, 16:13
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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But in the case described above, is there anything that would fall outside the prescribed law?
Your quite likely have potential UK IHT liability as your are likely to still retain UK Domicile. (UK Legal meaning, nothing to do with where you live)
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Old 11.09.2016, 17:21
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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But in the case described above, is there anything that would fall outside the prescribed law?
I believe that the wife is guaranteed some minimum percentage under Swiss law, unless she signs an agreement giving up this right. So the answer may depend on how much is assigned to the wife and her level of agreement with the arrangement.

related thread mentioning lots of possible complications
related site with (non-english) links to relevant code
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Old 11.09.2016, 21:02
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

Why bother storing it with a notary?

Deposit it at the town offices, much easier.

Tom
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Old 11.09.2016, 21:26
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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But in the case described above, is there anything that would fall outside the prescribed law?
I haven't seen the will. But what could be off is what % you are free to give to anyone else.
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Old 12.09.2016, 16:49
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

Well, if the will was simple as described in the first post.

I guess I have to look into this further.

Brothers and sisters are not included I guess? Just parents and children?
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Old 12.09.2016, 17:44
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

have a look at the part that you reserved for other relatives. there is not a lot in the Swiss inheritance law that you can leave to 'others'. They will be taxed of course

Does your Swiss will say it revokes the UK will?
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Old 12.09.2016, 20:07
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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Well, if the will was simple as described in the first post.

I guess I have to look into this further.

Brothers and sisters are not included I guess? Just parents and children?
Theoretically it's very simple. But you do not give the details. The most important is the percentage of your fortune you want to give to this other person or other people.

Say your family fortune is 100,000 francs. And you have a marriage regime that makes everything 50-50. Your wife will get 50,000 automatically. As this is deemed to be hers. After that she will get a certain percentage of your half of the family fortune. I think it's 75%. Not sure.

Anyway, that would mean she gets 37,500 of you Half of the family fortune. her total 'take' will be 87,500. Leaving you with only 12,500 to give to others.

Assuming you only want to give that 12,500 to others then it should be fine. But if you wanted to give 50,002 others that wouldn't be possible.
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Old 12.09.2016, 20:55
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

Krlock3 take a look at this internet site, its in German, but quite easy to understand. http://www.testamente.ch/

For example, in Zürich all "Wills & Testiments" are opened and controlled by the Kanton, or that you can deposit your will by your local council,
(Behörde am Wohnsitz des Erblassers )
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Old 12.09.2016, 21:08
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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Say your family fortune is 100,000 francs. And you have a marriage regime that makes everything 50-50. Your wife will get 50,000 automatically.
Only if nothing was owned before you married, and nothing was inherited.

Tom
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Old 13.09.2016, 00:52
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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Only if nothing was owned before you married, and nothing was inherited.

Tom
Yes. Of course. But then we start getting into marriage regimes and other stuff related to who owns what in the marriage. I was trying to make things simple.
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Old 13.09.2016, 09:02
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

Everything you need to know:

http://www.erbrechtschweiz.ch/cgi-bi...nr=187&lang=en

Tom
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Old 13.09.2016, 09:12
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

I was advised in a consultation with an `expert` at the ZKB (Zurich Kantonal Bank) some 10 years ago that as a Britich citizen with adopted Swiss nationality I was permitted to make a hand written signed statement that I wish my will to be carried out in accordance with my UK will made some years earlier.

Like the OP my situation is simple and without UK property and without children. I keep my UK will in a draw at home...
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Old 13.09.2016, 22:16
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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I was advised in a consultation with an `expert` at the ZKB (Zurich Kantonal Bank) some 10 years ago that as a Britich citizen with adopted Swiss nationality I was permitted to make a hand written signed statement that I wish my will to be carried out in accordance with my UK will made some years earlier...
I think that's the "Heimatrecht" I've seen mentioned before here on EF. Recently someone (meloncollie?) mentioned that once you're a Swiss citizen resident in CH then you no longer can claim Heimatrecht. I don't know, kind of wondering myself how it all works.
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Old 15.09.2016, 00:32
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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I was advised in a consultation with an `expert` at the ZKB (Zurich Kantonal Bank) some 10 years ago that as a Britich citizen with adopted Swiss nationality I was permitted to make a hand written signed statement that I wish my will to be carried out in accordance with my UK will made some years earlier.

Like the OP my situation is simple and without UK property and without children. I keep my UK will in a draw at home...

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I think that's the "Heimatrecht" I've seen mentioned before here on EF. Recently someone (meloncollie?) mentioned that once you're a Swiss citizen resident in CH then you no longer can claim Heimatrecht. I don't know, kind of wondering myself how it all works.
Aren't these two things contradictory? Abfab is saying that advice was given that, as a Swiss Citizen, they could rely on their UK will. However, that seems to go against the grain of what has been said in this thread.

Also, "family" in Swiss law only means spouse and children, not brothers and sisters? I mean, brothers and sisters don't get any automatically entitlement do they?
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Old 15.09.2016, 00:52
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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Also, "family" in Swiss law only means spouse and children, not brothers and sisters? I mean, brothers and sisters don't get any automatically entitlement do they?
Only if there are no children, and the parents are deceased.

Otherwise, no.

Tom
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Old 15.09.2016, 01:44
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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Aren't these two things contradictory? Abfab is saying that advice was given that, as a Swiss Citizen, they could rely on their UK will. However, that seems to go against the grain of what has been said in this thread.

Also, "family" in Swiss law only means spouse and children, not brothers and sisters? I mean, brothers and sisters don't get any automatically entitlement do they?
We were advised differently to AbFab. My ex was a dual national and we were told if he is resident in Switzerland at the time of his death, the inheritance follows Swiss law. It's possible things have changed... That happens sometimes.

Also because his mother was still alive and we had no children, she would get a cut. If she died first and his brother was still alive then , He would get a cut.

Anyway , as always we can give our (hopefully educated) opinion. But if you want to be 100% sure you need to go to the people who will deal with it when you are gone (the gov't and/or a lawyer).
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Old 15.09.2016, 13:12
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Re: Making a will as a dual national: some further questions

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We were advised differently to AbFab. My ex was a dual national and we were told if he is resident in Switzerland at the time of his death, the inheritance follows Swiss law. It's possible things have changed... That happens sometimes.

Also because his mother was still alive and we had no children, she would get a cut. If she died first and his brother was still alive then , He would get a cut.

Anyway , as always we can give our (hopefully educated) opinion. But if you want to be 100% sure you need to go to the people who will deal with it when you are gone (the gov't and/or a lawyer).
I am 100% convinced that this is correct, a Swiss national has no choice whatsoever without family agreement.

Swiss real estate always follows Swiss inheritance law, regardless of the nationality of the owner.


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