In the event of the death of a contractual partner, all assets and debts (liabilities) are transferred to his heirs. The heirs form a community of heirs and become a contractual partner of PostFinance. Upon the death of the account holder, the community of heirs takes his place legally. The community of heirs is formed by law – without the assistance of the heirs and regardless of whether or not they are aware of the death of the account holder. Every financial institution must protect the interests of the heirs and protect accounts from unauthorized access. Orders and directives must always be in the interest of the heirs. For this reason, PostFinance exercises comprehensive due diligence in respect of all heirs and can block accounts until it can determine who is authorized to access the relevant account.
Powers of attorney for an account fundamentally remain valid after death. This is stated in the PostFinance power of attorney regulations. The following must also be considered:
- An heir, the community of heirs, the bereaved spouse or an authorized third party (e.g. an inheritance administrator or a judge) can freeze the account, for example if the division of the estate is disputed.
- Based on its legal obligations, PostFinance checks in individual cases whether or not specific measures are necessary (e.g. requesting further documentation, blocking accounts).
PostFinance advises anybody who holds a partner account to also manage their own account and to reciprocally issue a power of attorney. This ensures that the surviving partner can still access their own assets until the division of the estate is complete and is not suddenly left without access to cash.