Are there any German speaking MN'rs who might be able to help me?

(7 Posts)
LovelyDaffs Thu 31-Mar-11 13:00:51

I have been told that an account was set up for me when I was a baby by a German relative who put some money in each month. This relative died a few years ago and we had lost contact a while before - I have a difficult family history. I would like to find this account if I can, but as I don't speak German it's almost impossible.

I know that here in the UK there is a website that you can use to contact all the banks and building societies to find out if there are any dormant accounts in your name. Would anyone be kind enough to do a Google search and see if there is anything similar in Germany?

OP’s posts: |
MmeLindt Fri 01-Apr-11 00:24:07

Hallo LovelyDaffs.

Have never heard of such a thing, have googled but did not find anything.

Have you any idea where the relative lived? Would the account be in your name or his/hers?

If he/she deposited the money in a Sparkasse (which would be common) then you could enquire at the regional bank where he/she lived.

If you need further help, PM me. My DH worked in a bank in Germany for years so might be able to help further.

LovelyDaffs Fri 01-Apr-11 07:56:47

Thank you MmeLindt I do know the area of Germany they lived in and I'm fairly sure it was in my name - it slightly complicated by the suspicion that it's been cashed in by another relative. Aren't families wonderful.

It sounds like I need to write to the local Sparkasse as a starting point.

OP’s posts: |
MmeLindt Fri 01-Apr-11 16:00:02

Yes, I would do that. If you can, write in German. From my experience of Sparkasse, they would be completely thrown by the receipt of a letter in English. (DH did his apprenticeship in a Sparkasse).

I can help you translate it and get DH to look at it, if you want.

LovelyDaffs Fri 01-Apr-11 19:55:29

Thanks for the offer, I think I can ask my brother to translate. I did ask him to look into the bank side of things for me, but he's a single 20 something and keeps saying he'll get around to it and never does.

OP’s posts: |
suburbophobe Mon 04-Apr-11 22:07:16

You could contact the consul or embassy (German in GB if that's where you are), I know of situations where stuff like that (family matters) was queried.
(I'm presuming you have the names, places, etc).

battyralphie Tue 05-Apr-11 10:06:34

Presumably the money was put into a savings account (Sparbuch) which may or may not have been in your name. As Mme Lindt says, is most likely that the account was opened with a Sparkasse (building society,) there will only be one in the town that you will need to write to, you can find the address from the internet, but I think you should just duplicate your letter and send it to the local branches of the larger commercial banks too, to be on the safe side. These would probably just be Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank. You need to specifically ask the Sparkasse if a Sparbuch was opened in your name, and if this still exists or if it has been dissolved in the last few years. Although not as common, your relative may have opened another form of account so it might be worth asking them to check for other accounts and for a depositary account (Wertpapierdepot). If they find an account you will need to report the Sparbuch as lost and request that the account be dissolved and paid out, usually by electronic transfer to an account in your name.

If your relative just put the money into an account in her own name but intended it for you, then the money has probably gone into her estate. If the account was in your name but the bank replies that the account has been dissolved then it is worth asking by whom and what documentation they provided to be able to do so. If the money was put into a Sparbuch in your name, but the Sparbuch was not given to you, then it is possible that this was not enough to constitute a transfer of ownership under German law and that this money was considered to be part of the estate (Erbmasse), this would be a scenario where it might be worth consulting a German lawyer.

If the relative of yours was acting as an administrator of the will because 1) the account was not in your name and the money reverted to the estate or 2) because it was considered to be part of the estate then this is the only way that he can have got the money out of the account, otherwise there is no way he can have got his fingers on it. If you need any help then let me know.

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