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).