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  #21  
Old 31.07.2022, 18:53
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Re: Vorsorgeauftrag written in English - legal?

Yes, I realised that you had based yours on one of those standard versions. I was really just adding the additional offices to the general info, also for others on this thread.

To keep your lawyer's fees down, I think it'd be important to separate the legal issues, clearly, of what belongs in
  • the Last Will and Testament (= how to distrubute property upon death),
  • any choices about the point at which to continue or to terminate medical treatment and feeding
  • who is authorised to be the effective guardian and sign papers with a power of attorny for the one who no longer can
  • what should be done and who should decide if both spouses cannot take decisions and understand documents
  • wishes about burial or cremation and funeral or memorial service and the funds for those
  • lists of names and offices who could take on parts of what needs to be done, e.g. for your animals.

As a general rule, I'd say that you'd probably have a better chance of getting your documents respected and implemented if they were written in German, for which it is probably worth your while getting a translator.

Also: what's to be done if the Living Will is disregarded? Exit, for example, will step in to fight for the rights of their members, to be allowed to die, even engagings lawyers if need be (analogous to the way the tenants' associations Mieterverband and Asloca do). That route might or might not be what you want, but I'd think it important for you to have a legal back-up on your side, in case someone (e.g. a family member or the KESB) rises up to challenge what you've both put in writing.

Please do add to this thread once you know more. Thank you.
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  #22  
Old 31.07.2022, 19:31
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

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As it is a private document between husband and wife, it can be written in any language you like, it is not an official document as such.


How many commercial contracts are written in English ?
It is anything but a private document!
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  #23  
Old 01.08.2022, 10:51
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Re: Vorsorgeauftrag written in English - legal?

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Can somebody please translate Vorsorgeauftrag into English and possibly the other official Swiss languages too please?

Not everyone here is in the German speaking part nor speaks German but the info may still be relevant to them.
In the UK I think the equivalent would be a lasting power of attorney (which is also split into care and financials).
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  #24  
Old 01.08.2022, 11:23
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

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It is anything but a private document!



Maybe i should have been more clearer, by saying it is not official document, i meant it is not a document issued by a governing authority but it is rather a paper issued between 2 consenting adults to suit their purposes only.


It can be written in any language in Switzerland, not necessarily an official language, and lets be very honest, if you partner wants to screw you over once they can by using this paper then it is almost certain they will to some point or another and not so much you can do about it.


I think this sort of stuff is more notary level than lawyer business, maybe write it in English with a German translation if you wish, but state that the English version takes precedence in case of translation errors. (This is fairly common in bi-lingual contracts, one language takes precedence in case of translation errors to avoid bigger problems later on)


Take them both down to your notary and see what he says or what suggestions he may have to make it as watertight as possible.,
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  #25  
Old 01.08.2022, 12:22
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

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Maybe i should have been more clearer, by saying it is not official document, i meant it is not a document issued by a governing authority but it is rather a paper issued between 2 consenting adults to suit their purposes only.

As I understand it, the Vorsorgeauftrag is a necessary document in order to give one's spouse (or any other person) the ability to make decisions for you in the event of incapacity. Without this, KESB takes over.

Unlike in some other countries, in Switzerland marriage alone does not give a spouse that right.

Even with a Vorsorgeauftrag, KESB still is involved in that they decide whether to allow the person you name to act for you. They can still take the choice away from you if the document is deemed improperly executed or if they decide that the person you wish to care for you is not the best person to do so, even if that person is your spouse.

Having seen the misery - to the vulnerable person and to his or her spouse - caused when the ability to care for one's spouse is taken away, I started this thread questioning how to 'challenge proof' this document now.

---

OH and I can advocate for and defend ourselves now, in German as well as in our mother tongue. No problem. However, fast forward 10 years, when we are older and still quite competent but more vulnerable. Could we still defend ourselves then?

I have seen all too often how society infantilizes the elderly, almost automatically dismisses their abilities along with their wishes. My concerns may sound over the top, but I have seen what happens when it all goes pear shaped.

I've sort of fallen into the role of helper for several older friends without families nearby. Those experiences have opened my eyes. I also know that given I am the youngest of my friend group, chances are when the time comes we will have no one here in Switzerland who could advocate for us. Thus, I need to take every possible step now to protect myself and to protect my spouse, while we still can.

'Challenge proofing' our Swiss end of life documents is one of those steps.
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  #26  
Old 01.08.2022, 12:37
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Re: Vorsorgeauftrag written in English - legal?

Suggest you name a third party (children/family friend/trusted agent?) to act together with/instead of just spouse (if already incapacitated/deceased) – basically someone younger and prepared to contest KESB…
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  #27  
Old 01.08.2022, 13:31
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Re: Vorsorgeauftrag written in English - legal?

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Suggest you name a third party (children/family friend/trusted agent?) to act together with/instead of just spouse (if already incapacitated/deceased) – basically someone younger and prepared to contest KESB…
Therein lies our problem. We have no one in Switzerland.

(Well, obviously we could name a Swiss lawyer - but someone with whom you only have a business relationship is not the person to make end of life decisions for you.)

Hence why we are not staying forever. Family and friends are the main driver in our plans to move.


We are hoping to stay a few years beyond retirement, though, as we still have a long list of things we have not yet seen or done. So as long as we are still resident here we need to ensure our Swiss document ducks are all in a proper row.

---

Anyhoo, next stop will be consulting a lawyer. A bit of time and treasure spent on getting this right will be be a worthwhile investment, methinks.
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  #28  
Old 01.08.2022, 13:49
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

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... chances are when the time comes we will have no one here in Switzerland who could advocate for us.
It seems to me that the "someone trusted to advocate for us" need not be one person, only. That's why I listed the various areas, which can be separated, in an earlier post. There can be appointed, trusted persons (not only friends by professionals with whom one has established a good, long-term working relationship) for each separate area.

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My concerns may sound over the top, but I have seen what happens when it all goes pear shaped.
No, meloncollie, your concerns are not at all over the top! You are 100% right to be working on figuring it all out while you both still can, and on finding out how to make these documents as watertight - and in that, as governmentally approvable - as possible. I very much appreciate your updates, here, as you find out more, and the warning you are sounding.

Another place you might enquire, about how to Get It Right, is the Vermögenszentrum.
https://www.vermoegenszentrum.ch/en?...SAAEgItg_D_BwE
It seems they have more comprehensive info in German than in English, and have been told that the services they provide can be fairly comprehensive, i.e. despite the company's name, it's not about assets only.
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  #29  
Old 01.08.2022, 21:51
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Re: Vorsorgeauftrag written in English - legal?

The last thing you want is the KESB involved. I have seen firsthand what that organization is like. Definitely something to stay clear of.
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  #30  
Old 01.08.2022, 22:28
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

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As I understand it, the Vorsorgeauftrag is a necessary document in order to give one's spouse (or any other person) the ability to make decisions for you in the event of incapacity. Without this, KESB takes over.

Unlike in some other countries, in Switzerland marriage alone does not give a spouse that right.
We had no such document, yet I had full decision making power when my wife was terminally ill, KESB never entered into it at all.

Tom
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  #31  
Old 03.08.2022, 17:16
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Re: Vorsorgsauftrag written in English - legal?

If you want to challenge-proof your "Vorsorgeauftrag", you might think of writing it both in English and German (or French or Italian) depending on which Canton you are living in, and stipulate that the English version prevails. You only need a version in German, French or Italian to use before the authorities with which you are ultimately dealing with and by giving them a ready made translation, they should be happy. In terms of issues of competency when entering into the "Vorsorgeauftrag", having the English version prevail, should give you some coverage on that.

If you want to have a lawyer act for you, feel free to nominate me. Just need to discuss terms first...
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