Death and inheritance

When someone dies, a death certificate is issued by a doctor or hospital authority. Normally, the inheritors decide how the estate (property, money, possessions) should be administered.

When the death certificate is issued on paper, the death must be notified to the district court. The funeral directors will normally help you to do this.  

When the death certificate is issued electronically, the notification will go directly to the National Population Register and the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry. The district court no longer needs a printout of the certificate, but can have the death confirmed by consulting the National Population Register. 


Everyone has the right to a free grave. Burials should be carried out within 10 working days following a death. Contact the parish council in the municipality for information about funerals, cremations and burials.

Had the deceaded made a will?

A will may have provisions on the conduct of a funeral in addition to the distribution of inheritance.

If the will is kept by one of the country's courts, the district court will be aware of the will when the death is registered.

Division of inheritance

There are several ways in which to divide a deceased person’s estate, however the rules for dividing an estate are more or less the same whichever way a division is carried out.

Private division

A private division is the most common type of division of a deceased’s estate, i.e. the inheritors themselves agree upon who is to inherit what. It is therefore important to determine the actual beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate, and to establish whether a valid will exists. 

If the inheritors are to carry out a private division, a district court will issue a certificate of probate. This certificate will give the inheritors complete control over the deceased’s estate. 

Public division

If the inheritors do not wish to take on the responsibility of dividing a deceased person’s estate, they can ask a district court to carry out a public division of the estate. The district court will then appoint a trustee to administer the estate on the court’s behalf. 

Undivided possession of an estate

If the deceased had children with the surviving spouse or cohabitant, the surviving spouse or cohabitant has the right to not divide the estate with their children. This is known as undivided possession of an estate. Their children will then wait for their inheritance until the surviving mother or father dies. 

Inheritance tax has been abolished

Inheritance tax has been abolished with effect from 2014. This means that you do not need to submit an inheritance or gift notification for any inheritance or gift you received during or after 2014.


District courts in Norway supervise the division of estates. Contact for advice on this topic.

You can also find information about death reports and inheritance on the Courts of Norway’s web site, You can find information about benefits for survivors on

Death report and inheritance

Norwegian Courts Administration

Here you can find information about registering a death and links to forms for inheritance.

Funeral - forms

Ministry of Culture

Here you will find forms regarding funerals. (In Norwegina only)  

Survivor's benefits - NAV

Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV)

Survivor’s pension (dependent's pension) and transitional benefits to survivors are benefits contributing to a subsistence income for a spouse/cohabitant after the death of the other person. If you are gainfully employed, have children, are a genuine job seeker or attend school, you may also be entitled to other benefits, which also is listed on this web page.

Dependent's pension - SPK

Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK)

When a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund dies, the spouse, children or registered partner have the right to a dependent's pension (survivor’s pension). Also a divorced spouse / registered partner may have the right to this support. A cohabitant is not entitled to a dependent´s pension.  

Grant for funeral

Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV)

Funeral grant is intended to cover incurred, necessary funeral expenses. The grant is means-tested.

Allowance for transportation of the deceased

Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV)

Allowance for transportation of the deceased is intended to help cover expenses in connection with burial. It is granted when the deceased’s body has to be transported over a certain distance.

Become an organ donator

Norwegian Directorate of Health

To donate means to give away an organ after your own death. Log in to register as an organ donator. Information in English and other languages on 

Dependents' pension - KLP

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP)

Find information about dependents' pension (survivor's pension, widow's pension, widower's pension) from KLP. (In Norwegian only)