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The certificate of inheritance provides confirmation of the persons entitled to inherit and is needed in order to dispose of the assets making up the deceased's estate according to the will or by law. Financial institutions will demand a certificate of inheritance before money can be withdrawn from the deceased's accounts. A certificate of inheritance is also required when the deceased's real estate is transferred or sold.
The fee for issuing a certificate of inheritance varies from case to case. It ranges from several hundred to several thousand francs. It does not include the additional costs of obtaining certificates from register offices or other information in Switzerland and abroad. You can reduce the costs by ordering the minimum number of originals of the certificate of inheritance.
Even in cases where it is easy to establish who the heirs are, it takes 6 to 12 weeks before a certificate of inheritance is issued.
Depending on the canton, certificates of inheritance are normally issued by the office responsible for inheritance matters in the relevant commune. (DE: Erbschaftsamt, Teilungsamt/-behörde; FR: service des successions). The district prefecture (Regierungsstatthalteramt) may also be responsible.
In order to obtain a certificate of inheritance, you must
Find out where the deceased's last place of residence was.