Jurisdiction in inheritance dispute during a private divison of estate

Supreme Court order 15 February 2021, HR-2021-291-A, (case no. 20-093263SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against order.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M (Counsel Claus Krag Brynildsen)


N (Counsel Marie Nesvik)

Justices: Øie, Noer, Arntzen, Thyness, Steinsvik

A Norwegian citizen domiciled in Switzerland died in 2009, leaving a considerable fortune. The assets were mainly placed in real estate in Norway and in foreign banks, particularly in Luxembourg and Switzerland. He had written in his will that he wanted his estate divided privately in Norway under Norwegian inheritance law. A Swiss court had found that testation benefitting an heir living in South Africa, who had been favoured in the last change of the will, was invalid. This heir then brought an action against the heirs living in Norway claiming that the testation was valid. The Supreme Court stated that the consideration of avoiding different rulings by different courts within the same case was not sufficient to establish a non-statutory domicile principle in Norwegian law contrary to the rules on venue in chapter 4 of the Dispute Act. The case was thus subject to Norwegian jurisdiction under section 4-4 of the Dispute Act, with Oslo District Court as venue, see section 4-3 of the Dispute Act.

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