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Old 10.07.2015, 17:14
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Testament - Swiss bank account

Hi,
Can anyone confirm what happens to your Swiss bank account in the event of passing away in the following case:
- Being a foreign citizenship (from EU - Portugal)
- Not having a Power of Attorney for anyone else for the bank account
- Single, no kids, with parents and brothers alive and living in Portugal (hence the heritage would have to be distributed abroad)
According to what I researched, the Swiss Law defines that the assets are divided by the immediate family (in my case, my parents first) as similarly to what commonly occurs in other countries. Nonetheless, I wonder how communication, procedures and assets distribution processes are conducted, i.e.:
1) Any Swiss institution would unilaterally get in touch with my family for the communication of the event and to clarify about needed procedures to conduct the transmission of assets?
2) If not, what procedures the family would have to carry on and what documentation would the Swiss bank demand to allow the repatriation of account assets or access to the account (here is my main concern, i.e. do they demand a Will/Testament or a Power of Attorney?). How easy do they allow this process to happen?
3) What kind of timelines and eventual costs would one be looking for in this event?

Thanks for any kind of info regarding those matters.
Best regards
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Old 10.07.2015, 17:56
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

The responsible office in your canton is the Standesamt.

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/...standsamt.html

You can make a simple Testament, or a Will, and list your relatives & friends, and how much of your assets you wish them to receive,

https://www.ch.ch/en/how-do-i-make-a-will/
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Old 10.07.2015, 17:58
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

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Hi,
Can anyone confirm what happens to your Swiss bank account in the event of passing away in the following case:
- Being a foreign citizenship (from EU - Portugal)
- Not having a Power of Attorney for anyone else for the bank account
- Single, no kids, with parents and brothers alive and living in Portugal (hence the heritage would have to be distributed abroad)
According to what I researched, the Swiss Law defines that the assets are divided by the immediate family (in my case, my parents first) as similarly to what commonly occurs in other countries. Nonetheless, I wonder how communication, procedures and assets distribution processes are conducted, i.e.:
1) Any Swiss institution would unilaterally get in touch with my family for the communication of the event and to clarify about needed procedures to conduct the transmission of assets?
2) If not, what procedures the family would have to carry on and what documentation would the Swiss bank demand to allow the repatriation of account assets or access to the account (here is my main concern, i.e. do they demand a Will/Testament or a Power of Attorney?). How easy do they allow this process to happen?
3) What kind of timelines and eventual costs would one be looking for in this event?

Thanks for any kind of info regarding those matters.
Best regards
The Swiss bank will never tell anyone of the existence of an account as that is a criminal offence.

For a foreigner having a POA that does not end on death is the simple way, the bank won't even know of your death unless they are advised.
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Old 10.07.2015, 18:22
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

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For a foreigner having a POA that does not end on death is the simple way, the bank won't even know of your death unless they are advised.
But when they know that the client has deceased they will block the account immediately. No POA will help with that.

PS: A very good reason for any married couple to have two separate accounts, one hers, one his with POA vice versa.
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Old 10.07.2015, 18:38
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

Having personal experience I can tell you that's incorrect. The POS specifically did not expire on death.

Out of interest how would the bank know of the death?
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Old 10.07.2015, 18:44
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

I'd check out with the specific bank and specific account. And get it in writing. I seem to remember that two banks I have dealt with had different rulings on the subject.
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Old 10.07.2015, 18:46
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

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Having personal experience I can tell you that's incorrect. The POS specifically did not expire on death.

Out of interest how would the bank know of the death?
Because the widow with POA told the bank. Bang account was frozen, no bills could be paid because it was, stupidly, the only account with enough money in it.
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Old 10.07.2015, 19:02
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

Well that was her own fault , she could have just closed the account & been done with it..
Same with can I keep my account when I leave CH.
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Old 10.07.2015, 20:57
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

With online banking, as long as someone else has the password, the assets can easily be transferred wherever....
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Old 11.07.2015, 09:14
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

According to what I researched, the Swiss Law defines that the assets are divided by the immediate family (in my case, my parents first) as similarly to what commonly occurs in other countries.
CORRECT.
Nonetheless, I wonder how communication, procedures and assets distribution processes are conducted, i.e.:
1) Any Swiss institution would unilaterally get in touch with my family for the communication of the event and to clarify about needed procedures to conduct the transmission of assets?
No, they won't do that. But you can (and should) instruct your lawyer how he should execute the will.
2) If not, what procedures the family would have to carry on and what documentation would the Swiss bank demand to allow the repatriation of account assets or access to the account (here is my main concern, i.e. do they demand a Will/Testament or a Power of Attorney?). How easy do they allow this process to happen?
It is best to define clearly in the will where you want the money to go and tell no one but the lawyer.
3) What kind of timelines and eventual costs would one be looking for in this event?
The lawyer will take a set executors fee but it would be good to define that as well.
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Old 11.07.2015, 11:18
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

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According to what I researched, the Swiss Law defines that the assets are divided by the immediate family (in my case, my parents first) as similarly to what commonly occurs in other countries.
CORRECT.
Nonetheless, I wonder how communication, procedures and assets distribution processes are conducted, i.e.:
1) Any Swiss institution would unilaterally get in touch with my family for the communication of the event and to clarify about needed procedures to conduct the transmission of assets?
No, they won't do that. But you can (and should) instruct your lawyer how he should execute the will.
2) If not, what procedures the family would have to carry on and what documentation would the Swiss bank demand to allow the repatriation of account assets or access to the account (here is my main concern, i.e. do they demand a Will/Testament or a Power of Attorney?). How easy do they allow this process to happen?
It is best to define clearly in the will where you want the money to go and tell no one but the lawyer.
3) What kind of timelines and eventual costs would one be looking for in this event?
The lawyer will take a set executors fee but it would be good to define that as well.
It's actually possible to give the POA to a family member & don't even tell them, you give the paperwork to the lawyer & he gets the beneficiary to sign their part & then show the POA to the bank when it's needed.

You don't need to over think this, it's as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.
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Old 11.07.2015, 11:34
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

However, any money moved after the death is part of the estate, and is to be divided proportionally among the heirs.

And you will also have to explain why it was moved, POA or not.

Tom
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Old 11.07.2015, 11:41
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Re: Testament - Swiss bank account

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However, any money moved after the death is part of the estate, and is to be divided proportionally among the heirs.

And you will also have to explain why it was moved, POA or not.

Tom
It's not even clear that the OP is even a Swiss resident. Just close the account & no one will ever know or care. If the POA states it's valid after death I don't see how any explaining is even required as the specific authority existed. Perhaps the POA not expiring on death is a non resident thing on Swiss accounts or where they don't realise your a Swiss resident as you never informed them when moving to CH. Plenty of non resident foreigners have accounts in CH, many have the bank retain all mail as well as well as numbered accounts.

Remember for foreigners it's only Swiss real estate that has to be distributed as required by law, a Brit can leave all his assets to a dogs home in preference to his wife & children.

Surprisingly I know transactions that have happened after death in the UK from a POA & even ATM withdrawals & nobody says a thing.
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