14 January 2022

Introduction of a Swiss trust

  • Articles
  • Legal
  • Inheritance / Succession
  • Transactions / M&A

The Federal Council aims to implement a legal basis for the establishment of a Swiss trust and opened the consultation process at its meeting on 12 January 2022. The introduction of a Swiss trust will provide an additional, flexible estate planning instrument – a new alternative to foreign legal institutions and existing structures under Swiss law.

Trusts are a very common and well-known instrument in Anglo-Saxon countries. They are an established, versatile, and flexible instrument and are regularly used within estate planning and asset protection. In Switzerland, trusts have been recognized under the Hague Trust Convention since 2007; a fact that lead to their increased significance.

Swiss law does not yet provide for a trust law. In order to follow the international trend and to strengthen Switzerland as a business location, a new trust law shall be founded. Hence, the Swiss Federal Council aims to implement a legal basis for trusts and initiated the consultation process at its meeting of 12 January 2022 (lasting until 30 April 2022).

With the introduction of a Swiss trust an additional, flexible estate instrument is created. It represents a new alternative to foreign legal institutions and existing structures under Swiss law. This in particular in comparison to the less flexible Swiss family foundation, through which the family may not be financially maintained in an unlimited manner. It remains to be seen whether a new trust law will also lead to a respective foundation law revision.

MME's Private Clients Team gladly advises you on all questions related to the establishment of trusts and estate planning with trusts. We look forward to hearing from you.

Federal Council's press release on the introduction of a Swiss trust dated 12 January 2022: www.admin.ch