To marry or not marry (Geneva, house)

Hello fellow mustachians,

My partner and I have recently purchased an apartment in Geneva. We are currently single and have one kid. The notary mentioned the succession tax for not married in Geneva is around 54% which will obviously put a huge burden on my partner or me if something were to happen.

We were discussing the option of marrying but according to this calculator (Cookie Not accepted) the additional cost would be around 30k CHF per year vs doing our taxes separately (gross incomes 115k > 10k tax and 165k > 20k tax).

I was thinking about doing a testament and getting a life insurance each on the side to pay for the taxes if anything were to happen. The cost of both life insurances for 0.5M CHF is around 1,000 CHF per year and given that we are already life partner on our respective insurances (2eme pillier) it seems like the best option. Am I missing something?

Thanks a lot and bon weekend!


Since you both have good salaries a life insurance maybe it’s not worth it. I view it more in case one of the two doesn’t work. Of course it depends on your lifestyle but I think you can live well even with one child with just one of your two salaries.

BTW, I didn’t know the marriage penalty was so huge!

you probably can get life insurance much cheaper than that. i saw one that was 50 Fr per month for 500k insurance.

The difference in taxes seems too important. You shall benefit from a wedding and the splitting due to the gap between both salaries.

What kind of simulation did you run ? Married tax rate + 1 child for the higher salary and single tax rate without child for the lowest ?

Without testament the succession tax rate for unmarried partners is not relevant cause the partner would not be an heir…

Just make a testament and make your kid the only heir of yours. No money lost.

If you die, your wife will also lose out on the AHV-widow rent. That’s close to 30k/year of missing income.

Presumably, the wife would have her own AHV (assuming she is also working).

Do you know the provider?

So I calculated 10k for 115 CHF gross income with 1 kid unmarried + 20k for 165k CHF gross income with 1 kid unmarried (total 30k together) vs 280k CHF gross income married with 1 kid for 60k in taxes

Exactly we need to make a testament, but if the house is 50/50 and I would like to avoid a usufruct for my wife as it is quite expensive. Thus, providing her with 25% of my part of the house and the other 25% for my kid will avoid doing the usufruct.

Yours calculations are not correct. Therefore, the big gap.

The higher income will usually get the married tax rate with 1 kid, while the lower salary will get “single tax rate with no kid”

what would the cost for usufruct be? I wasnt aware of any significant cost.