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Wealth transfer Swiss inheritance wealth doubles in last 20 years

A child holds a 50 franc note

Staying on good terms with parents can pay off - increasingly so

(Keystone)

The Swiss are passing on more inheritance wealth to family, friends and other beneficiaries than ever before - the CHF63 billion ($65 billion) bequeathed in 2015 is double that of 20 years ago, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

The Office for Work and Social Politics Studies estimates than an additional sum of between CHF16 billion and CHF21 billion is given away in gifts each year.

The rise is apparently not just a question of increased generosity. Around a third of all Swiss pass on very little of their wealth or nothing at all, the study reveals. The figures have rather been inflated by an unusual boost in Swiss property prices over the last decade – one of the main assets that are typically bequeathed. 

The average bequest is valued at CHF170,000, with only 17% of all inheritances worth CHF1 million or more.

The study found that people are typically waiting later in life before they start putting wealth aside for beneficiaries. This is attributed to the rising life expectancy of the population.

swissinfo.ch/mga with agencies

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