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.


  • Arv og skifte - skjema

    Ministry of Justice and Public Security
    Her finner du blant annet skjema for erklæring for privat skifte av dødsbo, fullmakt ved privat skifte av dødsbo og melding om uskiftet bo.
  • Gravferd - skjema

    Ministry of Culture
    Her finn du skjema for krav om gravlegging og/eller kremasjon og søknad om godkjenning av gravminne.
  • 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.