Whether a person dies intestate or under a will, his or her estate is divided according to the Norwegian Inheritance Law. In general, a deceased person's estate is divided into two classes: one for the surviving spouse and one for the children. The inheritance laws also stipulate that two thirds of the estate is reserved for descendants. The remainder of the estate is usually distributed to the parents and siblings of the deceased.
The Dødsbo Oslo is the main legal reference in the distribution of assets. It is founded on the principle of universal succession and distributes the estate on conflict-suppressing considerations. The law also lays down the lex domicilii principle, the principle that the laws of a country are applicable to its citizens even if the country is not their domicile. However, the NIADE does not address questions such as the choice of law for the distribution of an estate.
The Norwegian Inheritance Law has been adopted to ensure that a person's family has the right to inherit his or her estate. It also regulates the administration of a person's estate. This can be done as a public probate or a private division. The deceased's spouse is entitled to a third of the estate and a surviving cohabitant is entitled to half.
To ensure that a person's assets are distributed according to the law, the Norwegian Inheritance Act includes a statute that states that the spouse of a deceased person inherits the entire estate if the deceased had no will. However, a spouse can also claim a reduced inheritance if he or she has no children. In cases where the deceased left no children, the spouse will be entitled to a share of the estate of up to four times the Norwegian public pension base rate. If the spouse is the only surviving heir, he or she can claim a minimum inheritance of NOK 251,000.
In addition to the statutory provisions, Norwegian inheritance laws also include some special provisions relating to forced heirship. For example, a deceased person can reduce the inheritance of his or her children. This reduction can only be made if the spouse of the deceased is informed about the reduction beforehand. In other words, the deceased's children can claim their inheritance only if they are aware of the reduction before the deceased dies.
The Norwegian Inheritance Law also regulates the administration of the undivided possession of the estate for a surviving spouse. This process is overseen by the district court. The district court can also verify the death of a person by consulting the National Population Register. The district court will send a guidance letter with practical information to the estate. The surviving spouse can request a resequencing of the estate, but this must be approved by the district court.
The Norwegian Inheritance Law does not differentiate between movable and immovable properties. However, there are certain special rules regarding the distribution of real estate. For example, resale of property may trigger tax duties.