Death report and inheritance

There are many matters to be settled when a member of your nearest family dies, and quite a lot of them may seem difficult. The district court will always be able to guide and instruct you in these matters.

Dealing with bereavement cases at individual courts

Some courts have detailed information on the way they handle bereavement cases on their own websites. The District Courts hear such cases except in Oslo, where it is the Oslo County Court. Link to list of courts

Overview of different forms for inheritance and administration of an estate: http://www.regjeringen.no/jdskjema

How do you register a death?

When someone dies, the person’s next of kin should immediately contact an undertaker. In addition to the funeral itself there are many practical matters that need to be arranged, i.e. the death is to be registered at the district court where the deceased used to live.
Usually the undertaker will take care of this if you make an agreement about it. As spouse or next of kin, however, you may also register the death at the district court yourself. The court will give you further instructions, among other things about how you can administer the estate of the deceased.

Legal notice for size of debt

A legal notice is an announcement placed in the Norsk Lysingsblad and local newspaper where the deceased was resident. The announcement gives creditors a period of 6 weeks to submit their claims against the deceased. Claims not received within the deadline will lapse. The legal notice does not concern mortgage pledges, tax or duty claims.

An heir who wants the court to issue a legal notice before taking over debt has to submit the application in writing and pay a fee of NOK 4 520.

If the estate is to be taken into private administration, the heirs must accept liability for the deceased's debt. The exact size of the debt may not be known for a variety of reasons. To obtain details before taking over liability for debt, the heirs can ask the Registrar's Office to issue a notice to creditors of closing date for claims. The notice can also be issued once the heirs have accepted liability for the debt, but that has to be done by the heirs themselves. The objective will be to avoid new claims being made once the heirs have shared the assets amongst themselves.

Meeting at the court

It may be convenient to meet at the district court to discuss what need to be done with the deceased’s assets and capital, the estate. At the meeting you may be asked about the family of the deceased, the assets and properties, debts and her/his last will and testament. You should bring the deceased’s last will and testament with you, marital agreement and documentation about his/her property, debts and belongings.

The inheritors must decide upon how to administer the assets, i.e. who is to divide the personal property of the deceased among the inheritors. There are several types of administration of an estate, and a private division is the most usual one, i.e. the inheritors themselves agree upon who is to inherit what. Therefore it is important to determine who are the actual beneficiaries of the deceased.

Inheritance tax

Inheritance tax was abolished as from 1 January 2014, but can still be payable in certain circumstances. Read more on the Norwegian Tax Authority’s website. 

You can also read more about inheritance at the Ministry of Justice and Public Security's website