Distribution of inheritance in Finland


After the estate inventory has been done, the property can be divided to the heirs. However, there is no time limit for the division. It is also possible in Finland that, the heirs can agree to only divide a part of the estate or not to divide the estate at all.

The estate does not need to be divided if there is only one heir. Then the property is deemed as having been inherited by the heir at the time when the decedent died.

Who will inherit the property left behind?

The property is divided to the heirs of the death estate.  he death estate and heirs are stipulated in the Deed of Inheritance, also called as estate inventory. If the decedent did not leave a will, the statutory order of inheritance determines the portions of the inheritance receiving to each heir.

The statutory order of inheritance in Finland:

Children. If the child is dead, the inheritance is passed on to the decedent’s grandchildren.

Surviving spouse. The surviving spouse inherits the deceased spouse’s estate, if the surviving spouse was married to the decedent and the decedent had no direct heirs, i.e. children or grandchildren.

Mother and father. If the father and mother are dead, the inheritance is passed on to the decedent’s siblings and then on to their children.

Grandparents. If the grandparents are dead, the inheritance is passed on to the decedent’s uncles and aunts. After them, the inheritance goes to the state of Finland. The decedent’s cousins are not considered inheritors.

What are the rules about distribution of inheritance in Finland?

The property that can be distributed consists of the property recorded in the Deed of Inventory, also called as estate inventory.

If the decedent was married, the property of the spouses must be divided, i.e. partitioned before the estate of the deceased spouse can be distributed. This is so called matrimonial right and it has to be ended before distribution of the inheritance. However, the property does not have to be divided at all if the spouses had prenupt.

Prepare a deed of partition and a deed of estate distribution

To document the division of matrimonial property must be done in writing. It is called as The deed of partition.

After that you must be drafted the document of the death estate’s distribution. It is called The deed of distribution.

However, both the division of matrimonial property and the distribution of the estate can be included in one deed. It is mandatory that photocopied document of the above mentioned documents must be sent to the Finnish Tax Administration.

Legal assistance

Most people need legal assistance for drafting the deed of inventory and assisting with the portioning the property as well as dividing the property.

Amoslaki can help you with these matters and if needed the documents are drafted bilingually. You can always contact us free of charge and consult us.

This article was written by Tuula Rainto, Attorney-at-Law. e-mail: [email protected] and phone: +358 45 1115577

More articles in English
Deed of the Estate Inventory (“perunkirjoitus”) in Finland?
Who will inherit according to the laws of Finland