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What Responsibilities does a Representative of the Community of Heirs have? 15 Questions and Answers

Posted by on 2 June 2017

The time between when a testator dies and when there is a definite distribution of the inheritance may amount to several years, especially when there are disputes between the heirs. If during this time the heirs cannot agree on the necessary administrative procedures regarding the inheritance, and no executor has been appointed in advance, a representative of the community of heirs is often appointed by the competent authority at the request of an heir.

What responsibilities belong to a representative of the community of heirs? In the following Q&A section, we will present the foundations of heir representation, along with what the representative may and may not do.

Find the answers to the following 15 questions in our PDF:

  1. How does a community of heirs arise?
  2. What is the purpose of a community of heirs?
  3. Is a community of heirs subject to tax?
  4. Who represents the community of heirs?
  5. Under what conditions can a representative of the community of heirs be appointed?
  6. Who can be appointed as a representative of the community of heirs?
  7. Does the representative of the community of heirs act in person?
  8. For whose interests does the representative of the community of heirs advocate?
  9. What kind of representative of the community of heirs are there?
  10. What are the duties and powers of a general representative of the community of heirs?
  11. Is the general representative of the community of heirs authorized to dispose of objects of the estate?
  12. Is the representative of the community of heirs authorized to carry out capital-enhancing investments with objects of the estate?
  13. Does the representative of the community of heirs have to make an inventory?
  14. Is the representative of the community of heirs obliged to give an account of his activity?
  15. What happens if the representative of the community of heirs fails to fulfill their tasks?

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Read this article in German: Welche Kompetenzen hat ein Erbenvertreter?


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Topics: Private Clients

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Oliver Arter

Oliver Arter’s practice focuses on private clients and their advisers (banks, family offices, foreign advisers) in all aspects of domestic and international wealth planning. He also specialises in banking, asset management and regulatory matters. Oliver became of counsel in June 2009. His work involves representing and advising private clients on the structuring of assets (trusts, foundations, international business corporations), domestic and international estate planning, division of estates, execution of wills, matrimonial property rights, advance care directives and living wills, taking up residence and taxation. In addition he advises Swiss and international banks, asset managers, investment advisers and family offices on regulatory and contractual matters and represents them in proceedings. He publishes extensively in all his fields of practice. Oliver is an academic consultant with the Institute for Legal Theory and Legal Practice at the University of St Gallen, and is frequently invited to give lectures and chair conferences. Oliver Arter graduated with a law degree from the University of St Gallen in 1996 and was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 2000. His working languages are German, English and French. He is a member of the Zurich Bar Association, the Swiss Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) and the Banking Law Association (“Bankenrechtliche Vereinigung e.V.”). Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Chambers High Net Worth and Legal500 have ranked him for many years in a row as a leader in the field of private client.

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Daisy Vacher

Daisy Vacher's work focuses on matters of Swiss immigration and the procurement of work permits for companies wanting to employ foreign nationals in Switzerland. Before joining Froriep as an attorney, Daisy Vacher spent three years working for Fragomen Global Immigration Services in Zurich. Before that she was an associate attorney with Izaguirre Law in Colorado Springs, USA. In 2006 she completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Arizona followed by her Juris Doctor degree from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in 2011. Later that same year she was admitted to the Colorado Bar. She is a native English speaker and has a good command of German, Spanish, French and Italian.

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