The Council of States has approved revisions to Swiss inheritance law, the main emphasis of which is on giving testators more freedom: they will be able to decide what happens to at least half of their estate in the future. If approved by the National Council as well, the new legislation could go into effect in 2021.
The main features of Swiss inheritance law have remained unchanged for the last 100 years. Societal relationships and lifestyles, however, have not. Not only are people living longer, but their living arrangements have changed to include common law spouses and patchwork families. On top of this, social security systems now give heirs greater security than in the past.
These are reason enough to adjust the country’s inheritance law to better reflect the realities of modern-day life. The Gutzwiller motion first got the ball rolling in 2010. The Council of States just heard the draft bill for the first part of the inheritance law revision on 12 September 2019. There is a chance that the bill could be adopted by the National Council in 2020 and that the amendment would enter into force in 2021 at the earliest.