|What happens with my Swiss bank account if I die?|
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If you die, your account will belong to your heirs. But there are some measures you can take to ensure a quick and efficient distribution.
The problem is that your Swiss banker will not know it unless you are a celebrity and your death is featured on CNN. All he will see is that you no longer call. After some time, he will wonder what happened to you and try to reach you. If he cannot join you, he will be faced with a problem. Either look actively for your, with a risk of compromising the secrecy of your account, or wait for your contact, with the risk that you might be dead and your heirs would not know about this account. This dilemna is not satisfactory.
The bank has a legal obligation to search for your wherabouts after a maximum of 10 years, after which the account is considered dormant . If they cannot find what happened to you, or if they learned that you died but cannot find your heirs, they will report the account to the Swiss banking ombudsman.
It is important to understand that for a quick and easy transfer of your Swiss bank account to your heirs, the latter must know about the account and where it is held by the time of your death. There is no inheritance tax in Switzerland for non residents. Your heirs are responsible for declaring the holdings to their country's tax authorities.
You can take some measures to make sure your heirs will get their inheritance quickly:
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