Almost everyone has been moved by the sad fate of one of the greatest scholars of our time, Stephen Hawking, who suffered for decades from the serious and incurable disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The disease is still largely under-researched, although people die from it every year. The University of Zurich plays a leading role in ALS research. It therefore made sense to establish a foundation in Zurich to provide the best possible support for ALS research.

The Foundation may be supported by testamentary dispositions (wills, inheritance contracts), either by appointing it as heir or by bequeathing it a legacy. Endowments are also possible, i.e. payments into the basic assets of an already established foundation to pursue the specified purpose of the foundation. According to its legal nature, an endowment is a donation that increases the basic assets of an established Foundation. Depending on the donor’s objectives, the donation is either to be used for the direct pursuit of the Foundation’s objectives in the same way as income from the Foundation’s own basic assets or can also flow into the Foundation’s basic assets in order to generate additional income on a permanent basis.

The financial contributions also serve to promote complementary medical approaches, i.e. also in treatment methods and diagnostic concepts which see themselves as alternatives and supplements to scientifically based medical methods. The aim of all approaches is to help those affected by ALS and to contribute to the goal of, at some point, eliminating the risk of falling ill or dying from ALS.

If you would like in-depth advice on questions of inheritance law, we always recommend that you consult appropriately qualified experts. We would be very happy to provide you with advice in a personal meeting.

Prof. Dr. jur. Norbert Joachim
Lawyer, specialist lawyer for inheritance law