Estate planning

A Swiss bank account and your estate

If the holder of a Swiss bank account passes away, the Swiss bank will immediately lock the account until all heirs are known and identified by the bank. All heirs together are considered as legal successors of the account holder.

It is not the bank’s duty to divide the assets in the bank account according to applicable inheritance law. The bank will unlock the account when all heirs are known and accounted for. Access to the funds in the account is subject to distribution and payment instructions agreed on and signed by all heirs collectively. If one heir does not agree and refuses to cooperate, the funds remain blocked until all the heirs are in agreement on the distribution and payment of the account holdings. Probate can be a long dragging-on affair and last wills and testaments can be contested resulting in funds not being immediately distributed.

Simplified estate planning

Within an insurance company-based framework, estate planning becomes simplified. Upon death of the DVA or PPLI policyholder, and upon receipt of the required documents, the funds held within the policy's underlying investment portfolio are distributed immediately to the policyholder's designated beneficiaries, upon their instruction to the account of their choice without probate, and distributions may not be contested. And there may be tax benefits as well.

The policy provides the ways and means to take spendthrift children, patchwork families, cherished friends and relatives, trusts, charities, forced heirship issues and so on into account when planning your estate.

Swiss SEC RIAs can manage the policy's underlying investment portfolio if they are designated to do so (or other designated asset manager).

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AWS is independent and unbiased and does not recommend, prefer, endorse, solicit or discourage any particular listed Swiss SEC RIA, other service provider or wealth management-related product. Furthermore, the website content, opinions, privacy policies or services provided are their own and are not endorsed by AWS in any way. This publication is for your information only and is not intended as an offer, promotion, or solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument or perform any other financial transactions. All information and opinions expressed in this publication reflect our current views as of the date of the publication and may be liable to change without notice. Please read the disclaimer.
DVA PPLI:While it is legal for an American to purchase a policy from a foreign insurance company, this must be done so from outside United States jurisdiction. Foreign insurance companies, their products and the brokers that work with them are not registered in the United States with the SEC or the US State insurance commissioners and they may not promote or market the policies on American soil. The information provided here is of generic nature as it relates to American investors and is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute the promotion or solicitation of any insurance company, product or broker. Please read the disclaimer.