To end one’s life with a good deed – a pleasant thought. More and more people are favouring non-profit organisations in their will. By making a legacy in favour of the Swiss AIDS Federation you are enabling effective prevention and standing up for HIV positive people and their families.
The advantage of an estate settlement
The settlement of your estate gives you the security that your last will has been respected and that after your death your assets are distributed as you have seen fit. People and organisations will be taken into account according to your wishes.
Definition of legacy
In a legacy or bequest a specific amount of money or material assets are bequeathed. Legacies are passed on before the division of the inheritance. The statutory legacy may not be breached. Legatees are not liable for debts of the deceased.
Difference between a will and a contract of inheritance
In a will the male or female testator alone decides about their whole estate. A will can be made any time and freely changed, by one’s own hand or by a notary. A contract of inheritance on the other hand must always be attested by a notary. As an agreement between the male or female testator and with the future heirs, the settlement can only be changed by both the contracting parties together. This offers safety against hasty opinion shifts by one of the partners.
As far as the legal statutory-legacy share has been taken into consideration, you can dispose of your estate as you wish. In exceptional cases statutory-legacy heirs can be disinherited, perhaps because they have committed a severe criminal act against you or they have wounded their family law duties. If there are no statutory-legacy heirs available, you can freely decide what to do with all your assets.
Common-law spouses as heirs
Without favouring in your will or a family settlement, common-law spouses are not entitled to inherit. Only married couples, and parents and children, are protected.