Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Permits/visas/government  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19.11.2014, 10:40
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
BARB704 has no particular reputation at present
Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

I hope someone here can help us. My brother, son and I have inherited a 3/4 of my maternal aunt's estate, the other 1/4 she has left to a convent where she was a housekeeper. We are in the USA. She did leave a will, which we received a copy of in German (which none of us speak, but google translate worked for the most part (I HOPE)) dated 08/21/14 this was from the Canton office. There is an executor and we have yet to hear anything at all from him. Is this unusual? We would prefer not to have to pay a lawyer, we are unsure of the amount of the estate or how expensive this might be. I know there is something about getting a certificate of inheritance, but I have no idea how to go about this. We are more than a little concerned not to have heard anything from the executor. I asked my elderly cousin for help, he apparently emailed the executor or emailed someone with his name (in German) with information that the executor should have received from the Canton office, since they required birth certificates for her living relatives here in the USA and death certificates of my mother and my other brother. I have emailed the executor, emailed the convent, emailed my contact at the Canton office in St. Gallen, I had corresponded with the clerk of court (that is what you would call that position here in the USA, not sure correct terminology for there) by email previously and tried again and sent a letter to the executor, but have heard nothing back from any of them. Needless to say we are getting worried and very confused about what needs to be done in regards to claiming the inheritance. Here an executor would be responsible for contacting the heirs. Not sure if this is the norm for Swiss inheritance or what. Any help or input would be appreciated. We are all US citizens, not dual. My aunt was a Swiss citizen. I believe my mother had dual citizenship, but she is deceased.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19.11.2014, 10:59
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 11,866
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

Things do take a long time in Switzerland, everybody wants to be sure the correct procedure has been followed. Inheritance is covered by Swiss laws, and your Aunt probably knew this and probably the Will is correct, but it needs to be seen to be correct. If for instance she had a child at some point in her life, then the child would be entitled to a large part of the estate, even if your Aunt never mentioned the child in her Will.

If there is property or jewelry, then this has to be valued, before the value is apportioned. These things all take time....

As the Swiss authorities know where you live, then you just have to be patient. Would the Executor be someone your Aunt knows, or is he a Canton employee?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19.11.2014, 16:13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
BARB704 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

Thank you for your help! My aunt was never married and the three of us are her closest relatives, other than us only cousins. All this has been established at the Canton level with much difficulties as to the US documents that we had and were acceptable to them finally. There was no personal property, except possibly clothing and toiletries as she spent the last 30 or so years at the convent as a housekeeper. She did have at least one bank account and the handwritten will seems to allude to that with numbers. It is very hard to translate something handwritten in my aunt's handwriting and the photocopies of things we were sent are simply awful! She wrote her letters in English so I had a point of reference and could get the general drift. I used google translate to write her. Despite my high school German it is impossible to translate large portions of the will because I have very little point of reference. I am having difficulty finding a Swiss German translator in the US even Berlitz has not called me back with a name of anyone. I assume she knows the executor as his address appears to be two residences from the convent where she resided. However on the official documents he seems to have an address on a different block, same street. In an unsigned, updated addendum to the will that I was able to translate, she also left the executor and another relative of his, I assume his wife a legacy, so I would assume that she knew him and he was not a Canton employee. On the documents the Canton sent, it appears he has already billed the estate 700 and something for documents a porti telefon, etc. I just find it odd that 10 months after her death the executor has not made any contact with us whatsoever. Our names and addresses are listed in the will. It seems he would have at least sent a letter of introduction and what he would require from us. The will is very straightforward as to division. The lineal descendants have been established with the Canton and it is established on the documents sent to us. Not knowing how much is in the estate, I hate to hire a lawyer, but I do not understand the Swiss legal system and no one involved, i.e., the executor, the convent, the Canton seems to be willing or able to reply to questions we pose which is worrisome to us. Thank you very much for your help! I will try again today to find a translator here in the US.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank BARB704 for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 19.11.2014, 16:22
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 31,914
Groaned at 2,389 Times in 1,737 Posts
Thanked 38,858 Times in 18,317 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

I can easily take over a year to make the inheritance certificate, and years to divide any property.

My MIL died 3+ years ago, and a lot of things are left to be divided, the only thing divided so far was the excess cash from the sale of the house, and even that took two years.

And Italy is even worse.

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 19.11.2014, 16:56
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 11,866
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

There is no minimum wage here, and if your aunt worked for 30 years at the convent, I can't imagine she had a lot of money. The executor is entitled to be paid and has claimed his Fr 700 in expenses, so maybe he hasn't written to you yet, as there is nothing left for you.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Sbrinz for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 19.11.2014, 17:55
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Near Geneva
Posts: 3,203
Groaned at 35 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 4,130 Times in 1,836 Posts
Anjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond reputeAnjela has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Help! Swiss Inheritance Laws, Problem Executor?

Quote:
View Post
There is no minimum wage here, and if your aunt worked for 30 years at the convent, I can't imagine she had a lot of money. The executor is entitled to be paid and has claimed his Fr 700 in expenses, so maybe he hasn't written to you yet, as there is nothing left for you.
The exectutor will have to present final accounts though to the heirs, surely? I'd have expected the convent to be taking a keen interest if they'd expected money to be coming their way.

I'd suggest a registered letter (with signed receipt as proof of delivery) to the exectutor and possibly the Cantonal Office which issued you with the copy of the will.
That way you can prove that you've attempted to contact him and have tried to claim the inheritance (which I think you can then renounce if there's nothing to inherit but debts).
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Inheritance laws in CH Guest Finance/banking/taxation 107 15.09.2017 01:10
In laws problem sabg Complaints corner 34 19.11.2012 22:40
Swiss law regarding executor of a Last Will. omtatsat Family matters/health 6 02.10.2012 14:53
Help required for Appartment and swiss laws subrahmanyam Housing in general 7 27.10.2008 09:22
Capital gains tax and inheritance laws in Geneva & Vaud jwren Finance/banking/taxation 1 14.01.2008 10:51


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 19:41.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0