Individual account without power of attorney
If there is no power of attorney for a deceased person’s account, payments connected with the succession can still be made. Find out more about this and what the requirements are for the heirs to be able to control the estate or individual assets.
The death certificate indicates the place and date of the death, as well as the particulars of the deceased. Death certificates show the registry office of the place of death (not the place of residence or place of birth). If no inheritance certificate (see below) is available, please send one of the following documents to PostFinance:
- A copy of the death certificate along with a copy of the family identity document (to be obtained from the registry office at the place of birth), or
- Another official document which indicates the deceased’s family relations, along with copies of the official identity documents of all the persons mentioned there
All persons entitled to inheritance are listed on the inheritance certificate. The heirs require this document to identify themselves to the authorities and third parties. Enquire at the deceased’s municipality of residence as to which cantonal authority is responsible for issuing the inheritance certificate. Send a copy of this document to PostFinance.
Inheritance authorization (also power of attorney)
The community of heirs can only have the estate at their disposal collectively. All the heirs must personally sign each and every order. Alternatively the community of heirs can issue one or more persons with a power of attorney. This can help reduce the administrative costs and make paying outstanding invoices easier. This is especially recommended for communities of heirs which have difficulties collecting all the signatures, for example if several of the heirs live abroad.
As far as PostFinance is concerned, each individual heir, as well as the community of heirs as a whole, has the following rights:
- Right to obtain information (e.g. account statement as at the date of death)
- Right to revoke a power of attorney
- Right to block the account
These rights are afforded to heirs if they can legitimately prove themselves as such, for example by means of an inheritance certificate. It is fundamentally the heirs’ responsibility to carry out the division of the estate, i.e. to implement the last will of the deceased and to divide the assets.
An inventory of the estate contains information about the value of the estate. Every heir can demand a document of this type. In certain cantons an inventory of the estate is created automatically. To this end, the relevant cantonal office requires all the assets and liabilities of the deceased.
You can ask the PostFinance customer service team for an account statement at the date of death and, upon request, a mortgage debt overview. If you do not possess a power of attorney for an account, send one of the following legitimation documents to PostFinance:
- Marriage certificate
- Family identity document (available from place of residence)
If the heirs come into an inheritance, the relevant cantonal office will, upon request, provide them with an inheritance certificate. This document allows the heirs to fundamentally control the estate. It can take a long time to draw up the inheritance certificate and it must also be paid for.
Every financial institution is obliged to check the community of heirs and to protect their interests. For this reason, individual heirs may not be treated preferentially. PostFinance has to check the entire community of heirs. This can only be done with an inheritance certificate. This is to be sent to PostFinance upon request.
Up until the estate, including assets belonging to PostFinance, is divided, the inheritance belongs to all the heirs jointly. The heirs can only control the estate or individual assets jointly and may only grant the right of disposal to one sole heir or third party jointly. The principle of unanimity applies, i.e. each heir must give his consent for each act of disposal, except if an authorization rule in the event of inheritance is in place (see above).
When handling a case of inheritance, the following persons can also be employed upon request by the parties involved or by the official office: executor, inheritance administrator, official liquidator.
In the event of a death, payments connected with the succession can still be made, even if the deceased’s account is blocked. Please send PostFinance the relevant invoice copies and original inpayment slips for settlement. You will then receive further instructions.