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Old 04.10.2009, 12:42
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Advice sought in making a will

Following the discussion here, I am thinking to follow some of the advices and make a will. Now , as also my first time on this area....which situations I should think about to be cover in the will? Just to have an idea.
thanks
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Old 04.10.2009, 12:53
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Re: Advice sought in making a will

There is an older thread for reference here.
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Old 04.10.2009, 16:03
Nev
 
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Re: Advice sought in making a will

1. First thing for an expat to deicde is under which law do you want to make your Will. I see you are Spanish living in Zurich. Do you want Spanish law or the laws of the Canton of Zurich to govern your Will? It's important to get this right because you will have to make sure the Will is done in a way which complies with the relevant laws. Secondly, different countries have different rules on how you can bequeath your assets. For instance I'm a British National living in Switzerland and I chose to do my Will under English Law. A lot of English people leave everything to their spouse then on the death of the spouse the assets go to their kids.This is possible under English Law but not under Swiss Law so it's important to understand the inheritance rules in the country whose laws you choose to govern your Will. Get this wrong and your wishes may wind up not being carried out.
2. The next thing to consider is who you will appoint as your Executors. This is important because these are the folks who will deal with your Estate after you die and make sure your wishes are carried out.
3. Third thing is to decide who you want to leave your assets to ie who gets what. You should also think about what's called contingent beneficiaries ie if a named beneficiary dies before you then what happens.
4. If you have kids you might want to name guardians in case you and your partner die whilst they are still minors.
5. Last big thing is to describe how you want to disposed of - ie funeral arrangments/burial/cremation.

There are standard English Law Will forms you can download from the internet (I don't about Spanish or Swiss Wills) and if your estate is simple and you know what you're doing then making a home-made will isn't difficult as long as you remember to have it properly witnessed. But if your estate isn't simple, if you have assets in more than one country, if you don't understand inheritance laws and tax implications then IMO it's best to see a lawyer. All simple Wills follow the same broad template. But when you pay for a lawyer you're not just paying for the format of the Will but also for getting his advice on inheritance laws, tax laws and ensuring the formalities are properly observed. If the formalities aren't observed then your Will won't be worth the paper it's written on.

Last edited by Nev; 04.10.2009 at 16:13.
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Old 04.10.2009, 20:23
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Re: Advice sought in making a will

Please tell me more.
; My boyfriend has a child and he is German and I am Spanish, but lived in London for 8 years. You mention a point that is important to me. If my boyfriend dies before me (hopes not) , I want to have all the rights on the property until I am gone. I don't want the child of my boyfriend or anybody else to be able to put pressure on me to sale , etc. And if I go first it is the same, but I want to make sure that half of the value of the property goes to my family. It is hard to speak this with my boyfriend and dont make him feel like if I dont trust him.
I do understand this can be avoid by get a will, but now that you mention the different laws, I need to get more info. I did understood that swiss law will not allow me to do this....
thanks.



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1. First thing for an expat to deicde is under which law do you want to make your Will. I see you are Spanish living in Zurich. Do you want Spanish law or the laws of the Canton of Zurich to govern your Will? It's important to get this right because you will have to make sure the Will is done in a way which complies with the relevant laws. Secondly, different countries have different rules on how you can bequeath your assets. For instance I'm a British National living in Switzerland and I chose to do my Will under English Law. A lot of English people leave everything to their spouse then on the death of the spouse the assets go to their kids.This is possible under English Law but not under Swiss Law so it's important to understand the inheritance rules in the country whose laws you choose to govern your Will. Get this wrong and your wishes may wind up not being carried out.
2. The next thing to consider is who you will appoint as your Executors. This is important because these are the folks who will deal with your Estate after you die and make sure your wishes are carried out.
3. Third thing is to decide who you want to leave your assets to ie who gets what. You should also think about what's called contingent beneficiaries ie if a named beneficiary dies before you then what happens.
4. If you have kids you might want to name guardians in case you and your partner die whilst they are still minors.
5. Last big thing is to describe how you want to disposed of - ie funeral arrangments/burial/cremation.

There are standard English Law Will forms you can download from the internet (I don't about Spanish or Swiss Wills) and if your estate is simple and you know what you're doing then making a home-made will isn't difficult as long as you remember to have it properly witnessed. But if your estate isn't simple, if you have assets in more than one country, if you don't understand inheritance laws and tax implications then IMO it's best to see a lawyer. All simple Wills follow the same broad template. But when you pay for a lawyer you're not just paying for the format of the Will but also for getting his advice on inheritance laws, tax laws and ensuring the formalities are properly observed. If the formalities aren't observed then your Will won't be worth the paper it's written on.
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  #5  
Old 04.10.2009, 21:57
Nev
 
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Re: Advice sought in making a will

Carloncha,

With a simple Will, there's no way to guarantee the outcome you're looking for without the agreement of your boyfriend and trust in each other. You see, a person's Will can only bequeath assets which that individual owns ie in your case any assets which you own outright independently of your boyfriend and your half share of any property you own jointly. Vice versa with him. So if you want all rights to your boyfriend's assets if he dies before you, then he must make a Will which says that, and the Will must be governed by a law which allow him to disinherit his son in your favour. As discussed already, Swiss Law would not allow him to do that because of forced inheritance laws here which protect the rights of his son. I don't know about German or Spanish law. But the important thing to understand is that you can't control how he disposes of his own assets and even if he does write a Will which gives you want you want, he can always change it later and you must trust him that he won't change his Will without telling you.

Equally, if he agrees to leave everything he owns to you and then dies before you, then it's your Will that must pass on assets to his son after you're gone, not his Will, and he must trust you that you will do that and won't change your Will without telling him. If you want to leave assets to your family then you could definitely achieve this through your own Will.

If your boyfriend is uncomfortable with this, under English law there are things called "trusts" which would allow your boyfriend to leave you a life interest in his property with those assets (ie what he left to you) going to his son on your death, but again he's the one who must arrange that. You must seek professional legal advice to do this and setting up and administering a trust does come with certain costs. Again I don't know if this would be possible under German or Spanish law.

Since you use the term "boyfriend" I assume you aren't married (apologies if I misunderstood) . That makes it even more important to make Wills asap because for example under the English laws I'm used to, an unmarried partner would have no automatic rights to their partner's assets if the unthinkable happened and there was no Will to pass the assets to the surviving unmarried partner. Then there is the issue of guardianship of his son- you probably wouldn't have automatic guardianship of his son as an unmarried partner without a Will by him to nominate you as such.

I know you don't want to but if you're to meet your objectives you have to sit and down with your boyfriend and talk this through. Then you should get some professional legal advice. Given your mixed nationalities with assets in a third country, unmarried status (assumption) and the fact that there is a child which from the sound of it isn't yours - this isn't the stuff for home-made Wills downloaded from the internet.
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Old 05.10.2009, 12:04
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Re: Advice sought in making a will

thanks a lot. I am speaking with the notare and we are going to make a contract. I was thinking to get a example will on the internet but as you said it is a bit more complicated.

Thanks a lot.
warm regards
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