Inheritance Planning for Expatriates.

Why wait until it’s too late? Take control of your legacy today and secure the future of your loved ones.

How we can help

We will help you ensure that everything will go according to your wishes.


Comprehensive estate planning offers a personalized solution to meet your needs and provides security for you and your loved ones. Whether you desire to secure preferential treatment of your life partner, provide for family members with special needs, or support a nonprofit organization, all of these aspirations can only be accomplished with careful and meticulous estate planning.

Switzerland is known for its robust yet complex legal system. Swiss inheritance law offers flexibility for individual solutions. It is highly advisable to take advantage of this flexibility and establish a clear and comprehensive estate plan.

We guide you in the inheritance planning process, from asset protection and inheritance taxes to the preparation of a will and execution of your last will. For these services, we charge an hourly rate of CHF 350.

OUR inheritance planning services

Wills and Contracts of Succession

A will and contract of succession allow you to individually structure your estate. With the consent of the statutory heirs, you may deviate from the statutory entitlement within the contract of succession. A will can always be adapted to new life circumstances while an inheritance contract can only be amended with the consent of all parties involved.

Our experts will advise you for the drafting of a will or contract of succession and their safe deposit.

Marriage Contracts

Married couples who want to customize their estate planning should consider a marital agreement. Costs may vary depending on the canton of residence and the scope of the marriage contract. These include the actual drafting of the contract as well as the notary fees.

We will be happy to guide you step by step from the initial consultation to the notarization of a marital agreement.

Execution of Last Wills

The appointment of a neutral executor can relieve your loved ones of administrative tasks during an emotionally difficult time and ensure that your last will is fulfilled.

You can appoint Deloris AG as your executor in your will, and we will work to ensure a smooth inheritance process according to your wishes. Of course, we can also support you in the inheritance process without appointing an executor.

Preparation of Advance Care Directives

If you lose your decision-making capacity due to illness, accident or old age and have not made any prior arrangements, the Adult Protection Authority must determine who will take care of your affairs and who is authorized to represent you. On the other hand, with an advance care directive you can specify who should take on this task yourself. Anyone who wants a self-determined solution must therefore act.

The advance care directive can be written by hand or in front of a notary. If you can no longer express your will in a medical emergency, your loved ones often must make important decisions. By depositing a patient decree, you can relieve your loved ones of this difficult task and give the medical staff caring for you the certainty that they are acting in accordance with your will. The Swiss Medical Association provides corresponding forms online, which you should best fill out together with your loved ones and in consultation with your doctor:


As a foreigner, you must consider some important aspects when planning your estate in Switzerland. Because with a Swiss residency, your estate automatically falls under Swiss law. This can mean that your will or trust made abroad may not be recognized in Switzerland or may not have the same effect as in your home country. With a will or contract of succession that is recognized in Switzerland, such unexpected turns can be avoided and planning security can be gained for you and your loved ones.

If you are married, you may be subject to Swiss matrimonial property law without a written agreement to the contrary. This can also have a significant impact on your estate. Talk to our experts, they will show you what you need to do to ensure that your last will and testament has the desired effect, taking into account the matrimonial property law.

The complexity of Swiss inheritance and tax laws
Swiss inheritance and tax laws are quite complicated, have recently been amended, and may vary significantly from the laws in other countries.
To avoid any confusion and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, we advise you to talk to one of our experts.
We are experts at structuring estates and optimizing inheritance taxes, meanwhile complying with the latest Swiss laws and regulations.
Navigating legal complexities
Switzerland is home to many international organizations whose workforce is inherently affected by Swiss inheritance laws.
Even though one’s own passing is nothing we like to think about, we strongly advise expatriates to have a legal framework in place.
For instance, there may be serious consequences for the surviving spouse. Depending on the deceased’s citizenship, nationality, and residence at the time of death, tax consequences may vary.
Given the sheer complexity that arises with cross-border inheritance cases, it is important to know that there is a team of experts who deeply understand one’s wishes.
We can help you navigate these complexities, then tailor an estate plan for your time in Switzerland.

Download our free checklist.

This checklist highlights all the crucial steps for a solid advanced care, including preventive measures and procedures in the case of death.

About the US Federal Estate Tax

In the United States, the Federal Estate Tax was reinstated retroactively to January 1, 2010, after an initially scheduled suspension in 2010. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that this tax could have an impact on your estate, even if you are not a resident of the United States or are not a US citizen.

The US estate tax is imposed on estates of US citizens and residents (so-called US persons). However, estates of persons who were neither US citizens nor US residents are also subject to this estate tax if certain assets - so-called "US situs assets" - are part of the estate. "US situs assets" is a term used in US tax law and generally includes assets that have some connection with the US, specifically:

1. real estate and movable property located in the United States;
2. shares of stock of companies incorporated under US law, regardless of the place of listing or custody of the securities;
3. certain US bonds;
4. investment funds (fund shares) issued by US institutions;
5. financial instruments and certain other contractual rights in which US institutions are debtors.

United States estate tax is generally imposed when the total value of all "US situs assets" in the estate reaches at least the amount of USD 60,000. However, higher tax allowances or exemptions may apply based on estate tax treaties between the US and the decedent's country of residence. Kindly note that Deloris AG and its employees are not permitted or able to advise you in this matter. Therefore, we recommend that you consider seeking professional advice from a qualified US tax advisor who can also advise you on the relevant declaration obligations (obligations to file with the US tax authorities).

Should you require advice in this regard, we can provide you with addresses of qualified US tax advisors. Kindly let us know.

Susanne Bereuter - Deloris AG

Don't wait until it's too late.

Take control of your legacy today and ensure a stress-free future for your loved ones.
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