Check-up for your will

check up your last will and testament

Do you see a doctor for a preventive health check-up? Or do you go to the dental hygienist annually to be able to react timely? Take precautions. Why not doing this with your will?

Does your will meet the formal and substantial requirements? Is it coherent? Did you explore your options that the inheritance law revision offers as of January 1, 2023? You may benefit your surviving spouse or partner, individual children or third parties to a greater extent. This is because you can freely dispose of at least half of your property. Provided you testate. One major change in the new inheritance law concerns the compulsory portion. Also reassess your estate planning to make sure it is up to date.

The offer and the video is only available in German. Please visit Testaments-Check.

Formal requirements

Avoid headlines like: An appointed heiress receives a large court bill instead of inheriting millions because a final signature is missing under the will.

When drawing up wills, formal requirements prescribed by the Swiss Civil Code (CC) must be observed and strictly adhered to. There are three forms of wills:

  • the holographic will,
  • the public deed and
  • the oral will (so-called emergency will).

The will in holographic form (holographic will)

The simplest form is – after seeking legal advice – to write down your will yourself by hand from beginning to end, indicating the date of creation (day, month, year) and, if necessary, the place of creation, designating it as a will and signing it at the end.

The will in the form of a public deed

The public will is suitable for anyone who can no longer write or read. Strict requirements must be observed.

The oral will (aka emergency will)

The oral will is rare and delicate. It loses its validity after fourteen days if it is subsequently possible for you to make our will in the form of a public deed or in holographic form.

Substantial requirements

When you make a will, you are not completely free. Within the limits of your right to dipose of your property, you as teh testator may dispose of it in part or in full.

Any property of which no testamentary disposition has been made passes to the statutory heirs.

Limits of the right to dispose of property

You must observe the limits of your right to dispose of your property, namely

  • an existing contract of succession (aka contract of inheritance) without explicit reservations;
  • statutory shares of your issue and surviving spouses as well as registered partners (aka forced heirship);
  • no immoral or unlawful dispositions and conditions;
  • no establishment of fee tail;
  • prohibition to designate a second remainderman;
  • no withdrawal of entitlement to the allocation of an agricultural business (farm).

Statuory share (aka compulsory portion or forced heirship)

There is a natural right to inherit within the family. The statutory share cannot be withdrawn in principle. Watch the following video to learn who is entitled to a legal portion in Switzerland.

Safekeeping of your handwritten will

You make a holographic will to deviate from the statutory law of succession. Consequently, your legal heirs have other interests. Make sure that your will is kept safe and found. It must be submitted to the authority, opened, and read out by it. Otherwise, you do not have the certainty and security that your last will and testament counts.

Contact me for a consultation.