Division of Inheritance in Norway

Division of Inheritance in Norway

Updated on Friday 12th October 2018

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The Norwegian Inheritance Law deals with matters regarding succession and it represents the main legal reference in the distribution of assets. If there is a will, the properties and goods of the deceased person must be divided between the inheritors, according to wishes of the deceased.
If a person dies intestate, before being able to leave a will, the Succession Law must be followed for the division of assets. Our law firm in Norway can provide professional legal assistance to its clients related to the distribution of the inheritance in this country. 

The Norwegian legislation on the division of the inheritance

One of the main purposes of the Norwegian Inheritance Law is to make sure the family’s right to inheritance is respected. The close relatives of the deceased also known as enforced heirs have priority in inheriting the properties and goods left behind. For more details regarding the exact percentages which are going to apply in an estate distribution, you can address to our Norwegian lawyers for legal advice.
In case the deceased has no children, the spouse will inherit, according to the law, half of the common assets, and the rest might be distributed, in different percentages, to parents or to other relatives of the deceased person. In the situation in which the person who died was married and with children, the spouse can claim up to a fourth of the entire estate or a minimum of NOK 251,000. If both parents died, the children are entitled to two thirds of the common goods of their parents
Even if there is a will, it is however limited by certain provisions of the Inheritance Law. As such, a testator will not be allowed to disinherit his/her spouse or childrenOur team of Norwegian lawyers can provide more details concerning this aspect.

Who can inherit the assets of a Norwegian citizen? 

According to the legislation regulating this legal matter, there are several categories of persons who are entitled to inherit the assets of deceased Norwegian citizen. The distribution of assets can be completed following the wishes of the testator (in the limits of the Norwegian legislation) in the presence of a recognized will, but even in the absence of a will, the following are applicable: 
  • spouse – the spouse will receive a part of the assets depending on what other close relatives the deceased had;
  • children – if the spouse of the testator passed away, the children are entitled to the entire inheritance;
  • grandchildren and great grandchildren – they are entitled to the inheritance if the children of the testator gave up their right to inheritance or if they passed away;
  • grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins – they can inherit the assets of the testator as long as the person did not have any of the above mentioned categories of relatives;
  • the Norwegian state – the state is entitled to the person’s inheritance as long as the person does not have any relatives and if the person did not sign any will

Accepting an inheritance in Norway

There are certain situations, in which inheritance issues go beyond the borders of Norway, either because a part of the assets of the deceased is situated abroad, or because the heirs are international citizens. These cases fall under intestate succession regulations, contained in the International Norwegian Inheritance Law. It is significant that there are no inheritance taxes, imposed by the Norwegian Succession Law
The regulation concerning the lack of inheritance taxes in Norway is applicable starting with 2014. However, provided that the person owns assets in another country (real estate, more exactly), the heirs will be liable to taxation as prescribed by the national legislation of the country in which the respective real estate property is situated. 
Furthermore, heirs in Norway must know that the country has signed agreements related to this issue with several states, which refer at the avoidance of double taxation of inheritance and this is applicable in the case of Scandinavian countries and the United States of America.  
The death of a person must be reported to the local court, and one of the heirs of the deceased must assume the responsibility for the funeral, as well as for any debt of the deceased, if such be the case. The court may delegate a trustee in order to administrate the estate, or the heirs can hire a Norwegian solicitor to help them in the distribution of assets

What are the main rules of law regulating Norwegian inheritance? 

The legislation on inheritance is given by several rules of law, which can be detailed by our team of Norwegian lawyers. The right of receiving ownership in Norwegian property is given by the following: the Act of Inheritance, the Act on Settlement of Estates, the Act on the Allodial and the Qualified Allodial Right, the Act on Duty and Tax on Inheritance and Certain Gifts and the Act on Marriage.  
Foreigners who are entitled to obtain ownership rights in a Norwegian property can benefit from the provisions of two main international conventions signed by Norway, given by the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, and the Nordic Convention of November 19, 1934; we advise foreign nationals to refer to our Norwegian lawyers for more details concerning these rules of law.  
Feel free to contact one of our attorneys in Norway in order to clarify for you all questions regarding the distribution of the inheritance in this country. Our law firm in Norway can assist natural persons with in-depth advice on the legislation regulating the distribution of inheritance in this country.