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Old 23.03.2019, 10:44
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Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

My wife and I pass away unexpectedly.

We are a Dutch couple (married) living in Vaud. We both have our Dutch nationality still and our kids (4 and 5 yrs old) were both born and raised in Switzerland but also have a Dutch passport like us.

So my question is; what is the standard procedure in a case like this, when something happens to us and we havent officially set up a will or another document that states what we would like to happen in a situation like the above.

Both our families live in Holland still.

Thanks!!
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Old 23.03.2019, 12:16
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

Direct relatives like both your parents, brothers and/or sisters can express that they would like the kids and this will be viewed by the authorities and if this is in good interest of the kid(s) they will go there. No if several of them start to fight for the kids or none of them want them things get awkward. And your parents might be to old, your sister might be a bad person etc, or you have a preferred person.

We just started the same discussion at home, and we prefer the kids going to good friends instead of to direct relatives. We will talk with the friends how they feel about this, and if they feel the same, set up paperwork so they will be viewed as the 1st and desired option. Also at least once a year we will discuss this again.

In German this is called a "Sorgerechtsverfügung" don't know how they call it in Geneva. It is not legally binding, but since Swiss authorities are the 1st involved we like it to be known to them what our wishes are.

In the Netherlands you can appoint a "voogd" in your testament, or by doing a registration in het "gezagsregister" if nothing has been written down a Judge will decide after having contacted both the families. If several people want the kid the "raad voor de kinderbescherming" will speak out an advice. If nobody wants the kids than they'll try to find foster parents, or if old/wise enough give guidance for living on their own.
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Old 23.03.2019, 12:30
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

Your Dutch children's permits to stay in Switzerland are dependent upon your permits. Therefore, if you both die, their permits will fall away, too, and they will have to return to NL. Therefore, make very sure they can speak, understand, read and write Dutch.

An exception to this might be granted if you have made and formalised arrangements such as Edwin described, with adults who live in Switzerland. This might be possible because of the overriding Swiss principle that decisions must be taken "in the best interests of the child".
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Old 23.03.2019, 13:22
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

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An exception to this might be granted if you have made and formalised arrangements such as Edwin described, with adults who live in Switzerland. This might be possible because of the overriding Swiss principle that decisions must be taken "in the best interests of the child".
I would expect that the formalized arrangements would soon lead to some form of adoption, which would in turn grant the children a right to remain dependent on the adopting adult's right to remain.

Or am I missing something? All I can think of is that there might be a transitional period in which the children are some sense wards of the state while it is decided whether to make the arrangement more permanent.
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Old 23.03.2019, 13:36
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

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I would expect that the formalized arrangements would soon lead to some form of adoption, which would in turn grant the children a right to remain dependent on the adopting adult's right to remain.

Or am I missing something? All I can think of is that there might be a transitional period in which the children are some sense wards of the state while it is decided whether to make the arrangement more permanent.
If they get appointed to people living in Switzerland than the permit is no issue, but getting them appointed to the people you want them to go to is an issue that demands upfront attention and registration.

In our situation they would call any of our siblings and at least one of them has to drive here and should get almost immediate care of the kid, his parents just died so they will not be put in an institute but be trusted towards family a.s.a.p. The paper work will follow after that. Thing is, I absolutely don't want my kid going to my sister, so I should arrange such is not going to happen.
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Old 25.03.2019, 14:54
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

Thanks very much for your time and replies.

So correct me if I am wrong pls; basically if I don't arrange anything, they will contact my family and the family of my wife. On their side I assume they will discuss what would be the best solution at that point and for the future.
In case our families 'refuse' them (which I think will be a very unlikely case) they will stay in Switzerland and a solution will be found by the authorities.

If we register upfront that we have friends here and we want them to take of them in a tragic case then we can register this BUT it needs to be agreed upon by the authorities. So there is no guarantee they will end up with our 'preferred' couple.

Right?
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Old 25.03.2019, 15:25
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

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If we register upfront that we have friends here and we want them to take of them in a tragic case then we can register this BUT it needs to be agreed upon by the authorities. So there is no guarantee they will end up with our 'preferred' couple.

Right?
No matter to whom the kids would go, authorities have to agree.

If the friends want them, the kids have ties to them, and they are just the average nice normal people there should be no reason as for the kids not going there.

Also assuming all your other family is abroad and the friends would be local that could even be a big pro since the kids can stay in their environment (or close to it)
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Old 25.03.2019, 20:25
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

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Thanks very much for your time and replies.

So correct me if I am wrong pls; basically if I don't arrange anything, they will contact my family and the family of my wife. On their side I assume they will discuss what would be the best solution at that point and for the future.
In case our families 'refuse' them (which I think will be a very unlikely case) they will stay in Switzerland and a solution will be found by the authorities.
...
Right?
No, I don't think so. If you both die and have made no formal arrangements for your children to be adopted by people living in Switzerland, then they are likely to be sent "home" to the country of their citizenship.

The costs of caring for them (guardian, foster patents, orphanage, lawyer to deal with any inheritance, social security if they do not have an inheritance, etc.) will be at the expense of their own Dutch government and not the Swiss government.

That is why I wrote that you should ensure their competence in Dutch.

Turkish friends were involved in a long and tragic case in which a teenager was sent "back" to Turkey, from Switzerland, when her remaining parent died in Switzerland... even though she couldn't speak more than a few phrases of Turkish.
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Old 25.03.2019, 22:05
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

BTDT.

My late wife's ex died five years befor she did, so they wanted to have her son move in with us. This was a very bad idea, as we live in Ticino, he lived in ZH, and was 15 at the time, didn't speak Italian, so it would have really screwed up his schooling.

A lawyer friend dealt with the the crap, and even then it wasn't easy, but in the end he moved in with his paternal grandmother, after much crap.

All worked out well in the end, though he was 20 when he became a double orphan and thus an adult. He is 37 now, and a great father.

In short, make sure that you have a plan.

Tom
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Old 03.04.2019, 21:49
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

If the kids are Swiss, they would go to the Swiss side of the family first before contacting the foreign family, wouldn't they? And presumably stop the children being removed from the country?
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Old 03.04.2019, 22:23
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Re: Bit dramatic maybe but... ; What happens with our kids if,

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If the kids are Swiss, they would go to the Swiss side of the family first before contacting the foreign family, wouldn't they? And presumably stop the children being removed from the country?
(Assuming nothing is arranged)

It all depends on the complete situation, If you have a sister in for example Sweden whom they know very well and the family here they know hardly that all matters, just like do they speak the languages, what are their ages, how many friends do they have in the environment, do they only have half y year on school left, or are they about to start a new one, do they need somebody for 10 yrs or just for a year etc..
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