Death and inheritance

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

The next of kin of the deceased must ensure that the death certificate is sent to the district court and police station in the area where the deceased had resided. An undertaker can usually help with this. 


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

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, the surviving spouse or cohabitant with whom the deceased had children 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 must not submit an inheritance or gift notification for any inheritance or gifts you received during or after 2014.


District courts in Norway supervise the division of estates. In Oslo, the City Recorder’s Office (Oslo byfogdembete) may be contacted 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 Nav's web site.


  • 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)  
  • Hjemmelserklæring ved arv, skifte og uskifte

    Norwegian Mapping Authority
    Når en person dør, bør man overføre den avdødes eiendom til arvingene eller til en ektefelle eller samboer i uskiftet bo. Ved privat skifte skal det fylles ut en hjemmelserklæring.
  • 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 and coffin transportation arrangements

    Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV)

    Funeral grant is available when the deceased was a member of the National Insurance Scheme. Funeral grant is means-tested. Under certain conditions it is also possible to get a grant to have the coffin transported to the cemetery closest to the former residence of the deceased. 

  • Become an organ donator

    Norwegian Directorate of Health

    Organ donation is when a person allows an organ of their own to be removed and transplanted to another person. Log in to register as an organ donator. Information in English on