Succession

If inheritance tax is often seen as an unfair tax, particularly in case of direct line succession, it is nevertheless still strongly implemented in Switzerland. The tendency over the last few years has been to abort this tax in case of direct line succession, but there are still some cantons which levy that tax in all cases (Vaud for example), with or without exemption limit. Its tax base and tax rate is very close to the gift tax.

The differences between the Swiss cantons regarding inheritance tax are very significant and planning ones inheritance is also planning the inheritance tax. The tax planning is individualized and has to take into account the entire wealth of the tax payer. We put our experience at your disposal to analyze your personal and family situation as well as your wishes regarding inheritance and we will advise you on the best possibilities to optimize your wealth and your inheritance wishes based on current and future law.

Furthermore, a succession may contain bad surprises regarding some income and wealth that the defunct could have hidden to the tax authority while alive. How should the heirs react? What has to be declared? What are the tax duties? What return has to be filed? Are there some penalties? Should the heirs renounce to the succession? Should the heirs stay silent? Etc. etc. Those are common questions when the defunct had the (wrong) idea to hide some income or wealth to the tax authority without thinking of what will happen at his death. We will be able to guide you through your choices by providing you with our experience, our advices and our opinion on the current legislation and your legal duties.