– February 13, 2023

“What happens if I leave two different wills? Which one will ultimately apply after my death?”

If no will is left, intestate succession in accordance with Art. 457 ff. Swiss Civil Code come into play. If one wishes to apply the so-called voluntary succession and also appoint other survivors as heirs who are not provided for as such by law, this must be done by means of a testamentary disposition.

If a testator makes several testamentary dispositions, then in the event of death the more recent one applies in accordance with Art. 511 para. 1 CC, unless it undoubtedly constitutes a mere supplement to the old testamentary disposition. The earlier testamentary disposition then becomes invalid and is replaced by the newer one. 

If one wishes to prevent this, it is advisable to make a corresponding remark in the newer will and to make it clear that both wills are to apply, or that the newer testamentary disposition is a mere supplement to the older testamentary disposition. 

However, if the newer testamentary disposition suffers from a formal defect, the old testamentary disposition remains in force and the newer testamentary disposition is invalid. A lack of form exists if the will was not written, dated and signed by the testator’s own hand.

If you have any questions regarding inheritance law, our lawyers will be happy to advise you.