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Old 13.12.2009, 12:50
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Providing For Pets Under Swiss Inheritance Law

Although I probably should have put this under the Family Matters section, I'm posting here because this applies specifically to pet owners.

We are a year away from being eligible to apply for Swiss citizenship, but among the things stopping me: I am concerned that I might not be able to ensure that my dogs are adequately cared for after my death if my will had to follow Swiss inheritance law.

As an Auslander, I've claimed Heimatrecht and set up a trust in my will that ensures my dogs are provided for financially for the rest of their lives - the balance then goes to the rescue group who will care for them. But if I understand it correctly, if I were a Swiss citizen setting up such a trust (which means the bulk of the estate goes outside the family, and some of the folks who would be obligatory heirs get zip) is not allowed.

The family members who would be obligatory heirs under Swiss law are not really animal lovers; it worries me greatly that my taking Swiss citizenship could mean that the mutts would essentially be left to their goodwill. Volunteering with a rescue, I've seen it all too often: The family promise Mum that they will look after her beloved four footed friend - but before Mum is even in the ground poor Fido is abandoned without so much as a backward glance.

So a question for pet-owning Swiss citizens: How do you ensure your animals are provided for after your death, given the restrictions of Swiss inheritance law?

All info and advice is much appreciated.

(I know that there are threads about wills as Auslanders, but this is applies specifically to writing a will as a pet owning Swiss citizen, which I don't think has been covered - please forgive me if I've missed something discussing this aspect.)
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pets, swiss inheritance law, testament, wills

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