Testament and Disposal of Estate.

What Must Everyone Consider in Their Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a matter that is factual and rational, whilst being emotional at the same time. Many factors play a role. It is worthwhile analyzing one’s own situation on a regular basis and being familiar with the legal provisions. 

The first question is when you should deal with the disposal of your estate. The answer is simple: "Each time there is a change!" For instance, upon marrying, starting a family, or divorcing. The Swiss law regulates a lot, and in such a way that people who have not settled their estate can also sleep well at night. However, it does not regulate everything, and this leeway can be used to settle your personal matters. 

Age is not what determines the necessity of the disposal of an estate; the family and professional situation is.

Zeno Suter, Head of Tax and Inheritance Planning for the Region Central Switzerland at Credit Suisse 

Involve Family

Family members appreciate clear and direct communication. They are happy to be involved or informed with regard to inheritance planning. This way, a lot of things can be explained and settled during one's lifetime. Heirs have the opportunity to ask questions and the testator has the peace of mind that comes with having settled one's affairs and discussed them with the future heirs. In inheritance situations, old feelings and unresolved situations often come back to the surface. These can often be resolved during one's lifetime, especially with difficult constellations. Whether an inheritance brings joy or suffering directly depends on the relationship between the testator and the heir during their lifetimes. 

Donations and Advancements

A lifetime bequest is always worthwhile if certain asset portions are no longer needed and if it benefits the recipient. This can be for continuing education, a real estate purchase, or starting a family. If you make a donation during your lifetime, remember that life expectancy and the related costs rise continuously and that you may need the money yourself later on. 

There Is No Silver Bullet for Estate Disposal

There is no silver bullet when it comes to inheritance. The disposal of every estate has an emotional and rational component. For this reason, unlikely scenarios and personal relationships should be taken into account in planning. Additionally, it is worthwhile adjusting previous decisions to current circumstances from time to time. Last but not least, an inheritance – like the living will and the advance directive – must be responsibly managed.