What’s new in the field of inheritance law in Switzerland


On 1 January 2023, the revision of the Civil Code which affects inheritance law will come into force.

What are the main changes?

Expansion of the quota available to the testator,
Consequently: the legitimate share is aligned both for the surviving spouse or registered partner and for the children to half the legitimate share (currently: three quarters for children). In addition, any entitlement to the statutory share for the parents disappears,
For spouses in the process of divorce: the loss of the right to the legitimate share already occurs with the introduction of the divorce procedure (therefore no longer after the relative judgment becomes final) or after at least two years of separation.

As with the current legal system, which remains in force until 12.31.2022, the expression of will by the testator continues to require active regulation and better still in the forms provided for by law, which where already carried out on the basis of the law currently in force, will be adapted if necessary, respectively updated.

As far as the so-called “de facto partners” are concerned, the revision of inheritance law does not introduce specific rights: however, depending on the reduction of the legitimate share for the other heirs, the de facto partners will be able to benefit more, always through active regulation (i.e., for eg by holographic will).

The above is part of a first phase of revision of inheritance law, which will be followed by a further phase which will touch on the specific area of succession of family businesses. The preliminary draft law presented by the Federal Council provides in particular for measures aimed at avoiding the fragmentation of companies in the context of a succession, establishing common principles to facilitate the so-called “buy out” of non-addressee co-heirs of the family business.

For any further information, our team of specialists is gladly available.


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