Witness confirmation under inheritance law

The testator can choose between various forms of wills for dealing with his or her estate. In addition to a hand-written will, he or she may opt for the issuance of a public will (publicly authenticated will) or the conclusion of a publicly authenticated inheritance agreement with one or more heirs.

If the testator chooses a publicly authenticated will, then as soon as the public deed has been signed and dated, he or she must declare to two witnesses that he or she has read the document, or has had it read to him or her by a notary, and that it contains his or her will. The same applies to the conclusion of an inheritance agreement, under which the contracting parties must declare to two witnesses, in particular, that they have read the signed document, or have had it read to them by a notary, and that it contains their inheritance agreement. The witnesses must, inter alia, provide written confirmation that, in their opinion, the testator or the parties had the capacity to make a disposition (i.e. the capacity to form a judgment). Under certain circumstances (e.g. where the testator or a contracting party is deaf or blind, as well as under extraordinary circumstances), witness confirmation may be subject to other requirements.

Witness confirmation is dealt with in Arts. 501 et seq. of the Civil Code (Zivilgesetzbuch, ZGB).