Who are the beneficiaries?

This site gives more information about the conditions for being a beneficiary.

Who are the beneficiaries?

You are a beneficiary if you inherit something in the deceased’s will, or if is decided in The Inheritance Act. If the deceased has not written a will, The Inheritance Act regulates who are the beneficiaries. The Inheritance Act has also regulations about lineal heirs’ (children and grand children) demands on inheritance. Cohabitants with children have limited rights according to The Inheritance Act. Cohabitants without children must use a testament if the want to secure each other. Registered partners are judicially equal to spouses. What is being said about spouses below, therefore also concerns registered partners. The district court will assist you in setting up a list of the deceased’s inheritors.

Are You an inheritor according to The Inheritance Act?

Children and grand-children

Children and grand-children of the deceased are called “first inheriting class” ("første arvegangsklasse") in The Inheritance Act. The main rule is that the estate goes the children of the deceased. If these children are not alive, the estate goes to their children, i.e. the deceased’s grand-children. If the deceased has no children or grand children, the estate goes further to his/her mother and father.

Mother, father, siblings, nieces and nephews

These are called the “second inheritance class” ("andre arvegangsklasse"). If his/her mother or father is not alive, the estate goes to their children (the deceased’s siblings).

If none of these are alive, their part of the estate goes further to their children (the deceased’s nieces and nephews). If a niece or a nephew is not alive but has his or her own children, the estate goes further to them.

Half-sisters and half-brothers are also in second inheritance class, but these will only inherit the parent they had in common with the deceased. Only in cases where the deceased has no relatives in the second inheritance class, the estate goes further to grand-parents, aunts and uncles.

Grand-parents, aunts, uncles and cousins

Grand-parents are described as the third inheritance class. If the grand-children are not alive, the estate goes further to their children, i.e. aunts and uncles of the deceased. If they are not alive, the estate goes to their children, i.e. nieces and nephews of the deceased. The estate goes to the government (“staten”) if there are no relatives in this inheritance class or if the deceased has not made a will that tells who are the beneficiaries. The children of the deceased’s nieces and nephews are not inheritors according to The Inheritance Act.

Minimum claim for the spouse

As widow, widower or registered partner you are normally assured a minimum amount after your deceased spouse/registered partner, if there is capital left after the funeral. The spouse’s standard right to inheritance mandated by law is one quarter the part of the lineal heirs, and otherwise half, but this part may be reduced in the will that the spouse has been acquainted with before the death.

Even if the inheritance has been reduced in the will, the living spouse has nevertheless the right to a minimum amount. The size of the minimum inheritance is dependent on the existence of lineal heirs of the deceased, i.e. children and grand-children. If there are no lineal heirs, the minimum inheritance is six times the basic amount of the social security scheme. If there are lineal heirs, the minimum inheritance is four times the basic amount. The basic amount is adjusted by the Storting one or more times each year, in accordance with changes in the general income level. You will find information about the basic amount of the social security scheme on their web site, i.e. www.nav.no or by making an inquiry at your local social security office.