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Old 16.09.2018, 16:29
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Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

Hi. I have a complex situation, which is worrying me somewhat. My father died (both he and I are/were Swiss nationals) over 10 years ago and left the bulk of his estate to his wife (my stepmother). She still lives in the family home (in Zurich) and also has Swiss nationality. My sister and I (both now living in the UK) were initially given a small inheritance sum on his death, with the bulk staying with our stepmother. My question is this, will my sister and I inherit the remaining estate on our stepmothers death, or could she leave it all to her sister (who also lives in Switzerland). We rarely speak to our stepmother and are both reticent about bringing up the subject in case it offends her. Hope someone can help.
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Old 16.09.2018, 22:03
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

I don't have any answers for you, but welcome to the Forum.
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Old 16.09.2018, 22:14
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

Under Swiss inheritance law, UNLESS she has uso-frutto of part of your father's estate which actually belongs to you, she does not have to leave you anything.

By law, you should have received 25-50% of the estate upon his death, depending on the will. What % did you get, and why?

Tom
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Old 17.09.2018, 13:22
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

One place to start if you really have no idea would be with the land registry. That will show you whether your stepmother is registered as the owner of the family home in Zürich or not.
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Old 17.09.2018, 14:17
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

Hi. Thanks for coming back to me. To be honest we were never party to the exact value of my fathers estate, so we are not aware of the split. It was almost certainly at the bottom end of the scale. I guess we will have to have that 'conversation' about her plans..!!!
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Old 17.09.2018, 14:36
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

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Hi. Thanks for coming back to me. To be honest we were never party to the exact value of my fathers estate, so we are not aware of the split. It was almost certainly at the bottom end of the scale. I guess we will have to have that 'conversation' about her plans..!!!
Before I'd open a conversation with her I personally would want to know if she has any belongings which she only "holds" for the two of you. If not there is zero obligation from her towards the two of you.
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Old 17.09.2018, 14:47
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

First, get a copy of the inheritance certificate (Erbschein). This will give all the information on the heirs, and what % each received.

https://www.ch.ch/en/requesting-a-ce...f-inheritance/

Tom
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Old 17.09.2018, 14:49
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

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we were never party to the exact value of my fathers estate, so we are not aware of the split.
Why not?

Legally, you have the right to that information, and the estate is bound by law to inform you of it.

Tom
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Old 17.09.2018, 17:01
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

It really depends on what your father decreed in his testament. If he violated your mandatory inheritance portion by assigning too much to your step-mother, you could potentially challenge the testament. However, there are certain deadlines to observe otherwise you will be deemed to have waived your right to challenge the testament. It is probably worth having a lawyer look at it. I will PM you a name.
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Old 17.09.2018, 17:42
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

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It really depends on what your father decreed in his testament. If he violated your mandatory inheritance portion by assigning too much to your step-mother, you could potentially challenge the testament.
Too late, though if that's the case you could sue the lawyer who prepared the inheritance certificate, as the inheritance certificate must be legal, and violating the minimum amounts due by law is not legal.

My late MIL wrote a will that did such, so the inheritance certificate was written as to reflect the will for only the free part, the other 75% were divided as per the legal requirements.

Tom
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Old 17.09.2018, 17:45
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Re: Inheritance laws - Do we have any rights?

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It really depends on what your father decreed in his testament. If he violated your mandatory inheritance portion by assigning too much to your step-mother, you could potentially challenge the testament. However, there are certain deadlines to observe otherwise you will be deemed to have waived your right to challenge the testament. It is probably worth having a lawyer look at it. I will PM you a name.
One yr after finding out that there is something wrong with the testament limited by a max of 10 yrs after the will has been opened.

Mostly one yr after the opening of the testament is used since that is when people involved in it can find out that something is wrong with it.

As for OP's situation, only somebody with experience/knowledge and full knowledge of his case can judge if he stands a chance.

Last edited by EdwinNL; 17.09.2018 at 18:06.
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