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Certificates of Inheritance – legal framework in Switzerland

Posted by on 31 January 2017

According to a new leading case of the Federal Supreme Court, the recognition of a foreign certificate – in this case the certificate of inheritance established by the Egyptian court – should be refused in Switzerland when it is manifestly incompatible with Swiss public order, that is to say, when it runs against the fundamental principles of the Swiss legal order in an unacceptable way.


We have prepared a pdf for you, which examines the following points:

Legal Situation in Switzerland regarding certificates of inheritance 

  • What is a Swiss certificate of inheritance and why do I need one?
  • What are the legal effects of the Swiss certificate of inheritance?
  • What are the costs for a Swiss certificate and how long does it take to be issued?
  • Who is entitled to request a Swiss certificate of inheritance
  • What else is required in order to obtain a Swiss certificate of inheritance

Judgement of the Federal Supreme Court as of November 21th, 2016, 5A_355/2016 

  • Facts
  • Considering in law
  • Summary

Please click on the button below to download the pdf.

Download PDF

 If you liked this article you may also be interested in reading about Swiss marital law - i'ts never too early and hardly ever too late for a marriage contract, written by Oliver Arter and Daisy Vacher

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Topics: Private Clients | Tax | Litigation | Notarial Services

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Oliver Arter

Oliver Arter’s practice focuses on private clients and their advisers (banks, family offices, foreign advisers) in all aspects of domestic and international wealth planning. He also specialises in banking, asset management and regulatory matters. Oliver became of counsel in June 2009. His work involves representing and advising private clients on the structuring of assets (trusts, foundations, international business corporations), domestic and international estate planning, division of estates, execution of wills, matrimonial property rights, advance care directives and living wills, taking up residence and taxation. In addition he advises Swiss and international banks, asset managers, investment advisers and family offices on regulatory and contractual matters and represents them in proceedings. He publishes extensively in all his fields of practice. Oliver is an academic consultant with the Institute for Legal Theory and Legal Practice at the University of St Gallen, and is frequently invited to give lectures and chair conferences. Oliver Arter graduated with a law degree from the University of St Gallen in 1996 and was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 2000. His working languages are German, English and French. He is a member of the Zurich Bar Association, the Swiss Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) and the Banking Law Association (“Bankenrechtliche Vereinigung e.V.”). Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Chambers High Net Worth and Legal500 have ranked him for many years in a row as a leader in the field of private client.

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Daisy Vacher

Daisy Vacher's work focuses on matters of Swiss immigration and the procurement of work permits for companies wanting to employ foreign nationals in Switzerland. Before joining Froriep as an attorney, Daisy Vacher spent three years working for Fragomen Global Immigration Services in Zurich. Before that she was an associate attorney with Izaguirre Law in Colorado Springs, USA. In 2006 she completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Arizona followed by her Juris Doctor degree from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in 2011. Later that same year she was admitted to the Colorado Bar. She is a native English speaker and has a good command of German, Spanish, French and Italian.

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