The revised Swiss inheritance law will come into force on January 1, 2023. It is worth checking existing wills and inheritance contracts for compliance with the new law and adapting them if necessary. This allows the testator to implement his or her will in the best possible way and avoids ambiguities in the division of the estate. Thanks to the revision, testators gain greater scope for decision-making, which they can exploit optimally thanks to advance planning.
The revision of inheritance law aims to adapt Swiss inheritance law to the current social reality. Therefore, among other things, the autonomy of the testator will be strengthened by reducing the existing compulsory portions. This in turn means that the available quota will increase, allowing the testator to decide freely on the allocation of half of his or her estate. Thanks to the greater freedom of decision, the de facto life partner can be increasingly supported, but there is no entitlement to support to avoid hardship, as was initially envisaged in the draft.
The old law continues to apply to testators who die before the revised law comes into force. The revised law is applicable if the testator dies after 1 January 2023. Whether a testamentary disposition or an inheritance contract was drawn up or concluded before the revision or whether, in the absence of provisions by the testator, intestate succession is taken into account, does not affect the rule on applicable law.
You can find an overview of further amendments to the existing law and related explanations in our detailed Insight on the new Swiss inheritance law: For more freedom of disposal and improved legal certainty of 3 August 2021.
To avoid discrepancies and unclear legal consequences, it is recommended to have existing wills or inheritance contracts checked by a lawyer or notary. This can prevent ambiguities about the testator’s will after his or her death.
We are happy to support you in all matters of inheritance law and are available to answer any questions you may have as well as to adapt or draw up a will or inheritance contract.