The Swiss authorities online
It makes sense to think about what you want to happen to your assets and possessions after you die. What does the law require, and how much of your estate are you free to dispose of as you please?
If the statutory rules on succession will not lead to the results that you want, you have the following options:
By making a will, you can leave more or less to your individual heirs than they would receive by law. You can leave individual articles (collections, jewellery) to specific people by making a bequest. You can also include conditions or contingencies in your will.
If you don't have any statutory heirs, you can leave all your assets to a person or institution by making a will.
By entering into a contract of succession, you can make contractual arrangements during your lifetime with your heirs on how your estate will be distributed.
There are two distinct forms of contract of succession:
If you want to draw up a contract of succession, you should contact an authenticating official such as a notary. All the parties to a contract of succession must be over the age of majority. The subsequent amendment or cancellation of a contract of succession requires the consent of all the parties.
By making a gift while you are still alive, you can give someone an advance on their inheritance. Where gifts are made by a testator in the last five years before their death, the amounts paid out to the statutory heirs must be adjusted equitably to take account of this. If there are not enough assets to pay the statutory entitlements because of gifts, your heirs can file an action in abatement, reducing other bequests to enable the statutory entitlements to be paid out.
Keep a written record of your gifts so that any disputes after your death can be avoided.