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Old 20.11.2016, 20:57
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When buying a house, are house contents included

My swiss husband and I bought our house from his parents a few years ago. He has one sibling whom we had to buy-out as per swiss law, when we purchased.
His parents also live in the house with us. His father recently died, and my sister in law is enquiring about her right to some of the tools/machinery which her father purchased over the last 20 years, for example his car, a small snowplough, etc..
Is she entitled under 'unheritance' laws to claim such property? or does it become the property of the widow? Or is it our property since we bought the house - i.e. are the house contents included in our purchase? Apart from the car, we do need and have always used the machinery alongside my Inlaws to help them -and ourselves- out wherever we can.
Any suggestions, similar stories or help is most welcome.
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Old 20.11.2016, 20:59
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

I very much doubt the house contents are included in the house sale unless this was specified when you bought it. I believe under Swiss law, the remaining spouse gets a percentage of the 50% that belonged to their spouse and their children get a percentage. So yes it's likely your siblings in-law are entitles to something.
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:06
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

Anything he purchased was his, and is subject to inheritance law.

Contents are not included in the house sale, unless specifically stated in the sales agreement.

So, in short, she has a right to 1/4 (assuming the only children are her and your husband, and that there is no legal will specifying some other legal distribution).

Tom
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:10
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

Thanks guys, next question would be - if we want to avoid getting a lawyer, does his widow have a say on how things should be divided up? i.e. can she say what stays on the property, or indeed that everything stays?
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:16
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

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Thanks guys, next question would be - if we want to avoid getting a lawyer, does his widow have a say on how things should be divided up? i.e. can she say what stays on the property, or indeed that everything stays?
Yes and no.

All heirs have a say, and all must agree 100%, it's not a case of majority voting.

Tom
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:30
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

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Thanks guys, next question would be - if we want to avoid getting a lawyer, does his widow have a say on how things should be divided up? i.e. can she say what stays on the property, or indeed that everything stays?
Maybe, you Mother-in-law, could speak to her daughter and come to an arrangement, that everything stays with her until she dies, then your husband gets 1/2 of everything and his sister gets half of everything (house not included). If Mother and daughter get on, it should be an easy to sort arrangement, but daughter must agree. Otherwise, figuring out what is your father-in-law's (50% of everything) and giving her 25% could be a headache.
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:44
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

You will need a lawyer. When one of the parents dies the siblings are automatically entitled to half of everything, unless there are agreements in place that say otherwise. I Was only speaking about this last night with a Swiss lawyer.
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Old 20.11.2016, 21:51
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

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You will need a lawyer.
Only if the heirs cannot come to an agreement amongst themselves.

I have POA for my wife for her inheritance issues (of her late mother), and one thing her lawyer and I try to get across to the other two heirs is that involving lawyers only means more money for the lawyers, and less for the heirs.

So, hash it out, and come to an agreement that all can accept, even if you don't find it 100% fair.

Tom
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Old 21.11.2016, 12:34
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Re: When buying a house, are house contents included

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My swiss husband and I bought our house from his parents a few years ago. He has one sibling whom we had to buy-out as per swiss law, when we purchased.
His parents also live in the house with us. His father recently died, and my sister in law is enquiring about her right to some of the tools/machinery which her father purchased over the last 20 years, for example his car, a small snowplough, etc..
Is she entitled under 'unheritance' laws to claim such property? or does it become the property of the widow? Or is it our property since we bought the house - i.e. are the house contents included in our purchase? Apart from the car, we do need and have always used the machinery alongside my Inlaws to help them -and ourselves- out wherever we can.
Any suggestions, similar stories or help is most welcome.
When we sold a house a few years ago, we made a list of the items which were included with the sale, such as custom window coverings, light fittings, furniture, just to name a few. We wanted to avoid any misunderstandings. The list was not part of the contract, just an agreement between both parties.

When we purchased our current house, just as we left the notary office the real estate agent for the seller informed us that the washing machine was not part of the sale. She said the seller wanted it for his new flat. We told the agent that the machine was installed, that in the brochure advertising the house it was mentioned that it was new, and that it was never excluded and now was not the time to bring this up.

Items which are attached and installed are considered in most cases to be part of the house. Light fittings seem to be excluded. Everything else is part of the contents and does not belong to the house but to the house owner. So in your case these items were not part of the sale unless there was something in writing.
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