Signature requirement for handwritten wills

In accordance with Art. 505 para. 1 ZGB, the handwritten testamentary disposition must also be signed by hand in order to be valid. If the signature is missing, the will is invalid.

The testator’s will as a prerequisite for drawing up a will

In principle, the testamentary disposition must be made in the testator’s own hand. This is so that the testator’s will to dispose of his or her assets upon death can be expressed. However, as a rule, the testator’s will must be independently verified irrespective of whether the formal requirements are met (Federal Supreme Court 5A_405/2022 of 3 April 2023).

What happens if no will was made before passing away?

If a person passes away suddenly and unexpectedly, or has not made a will before his or her death for other reasons, sooner or later the question arises as to how the inheritance is to be divided and also who is to be considered as the heir. But what happens if no will was made before passing away?

Should I reject the inheritance or not?

The fear of inheriting debts is often a reason when it comes to rejecting an inheritance. The heirs also have little time to decide: According to Article 567 paragraph 1 of the Swiss Civil Code, the rejection must be declared within three months.

Lower compulsory portions in the Swiss inheritance law

Modernisation of the almost century-old inheritance law of Switzerland: In future, testators will be able to freely dispose of a larger part of the estate. This was approved in the 2020 winter session of the Swiss parliament. What does it mean?