It's never too early to plan your estate. Arrange your affairs in writing – this way you create clarity and can be certain that your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. Remember that pension fund assets are governed by legal regulations, which you cannot get around by writing a will:
In the event of death, the AHV does not pay out assets, but only a monthly survivor's pension.
In the event of death before retirement, the pension fund pays a survivor's benefit stipulated in the regulations. Depending on whether you've decided on a pension or lump-sum payment, estate planning is as follows:
- Drawing a pension: The regulations determine to what extent the spouse or common-law partner is eligible for a pension.
- Lump-sum payment: Under the terms of statutory entitlement regulations, you are free to dispose of your assets by will as you choose.
In the case of pillar 3a, the nomination of a beneficiary is regulated by law in the event of death: The surviving spouse gets all assets from 3a. You potentially have the opportunity to nominate the common-law partner as the beneficiary – but you must do this in writing. If there is no surviving spouse or partner, the children have a claim to your assets.
In any event, spouses and children have a claim to statutory entitlement in the case of valuables such as real estate, savings accounts, securities or life insurance policies. Anything in addition to this is yours to dispose of as you choose.
Settling the inheritance
If there is neither a will nor contract of inheritance, the rules of intestate succession are brought into play. If the result is that the beneficiaries are the right people, you basically do not need to do anything.
With a will, you avoid ambiguities or even disputes. A will, for example, can be written out by hand if it's drawn up in accordance with certain procedural requirements. In this respect, it's advisable to enlist the help of an expert. You can amend or revoke your will at any time.
Estate planning guide
You'll find extensive information on the topic of estates and inheritance in our free guide.