Last will and testament
According to the laws of Finland the primary heirs are the deceased’s children, stepchildren, adopted children and their children. If the deceased has not any of the above, the inheritors will be the spouse, parents and the siblings, or their children. If the deceased has had no spouse, parents or siblings or their children, the inheritors of the estate will be his/hers aunts or uncles.
Cousins do not inherit according to the laws of Finland. If there are not closer relatives than cousins, the State of Finland will inherit you.
If the deceased was married at the time of death and had no children, the estate is inherited by the spouse.
If none of the above mentioned legal heirs exist, or if the deceased has not left a last will and testament, then the estate goes to the State of Finland.
Last will and testament is also a very good way to plan the inherit taxation, since inherit is taxable income in Finland.
Why do you need the last will and testament in Finland?
Here are some good reasons for making a last will and testament:
- You want to guarantee the financial stability of your spouse after your death.
- Your family is a so-called blended family, possibly with one or both of the spouses having children from an earlier relationship, and possibly also having children together.
- You want to make sure that, in the event of one of your children getting divorced, their spouse has no marital right to your inherit any part of your estate.
- You are childless or unmarried, and you do not want your estate to go to your distant relatives.
- You want to include persons of your own choice, such as godchildren, longtime carers or other beneficiaries of your estate.
- You want to support one or more charitable causes, etc.
- You want to avoid extra taxes
Why is the last will and testament so important?
A last will and testament is the only way of influencing how your property will be divided after your death. It is also a way of providing instructions for the distribution of your estate when, as is usually the case, there is more than one heir. The instructions for the distribution of an estate must be followed in the distribution of an estate.
No other types of wills – such as oral agreements, statements or hearsays – have any legal standing. By law, any agreement on the distribution of the estate of a living person is null and void.
The last will and testament can safeguard the widow
One of the most common reason for making a last will and testament is to safeguard the widows position. Typically, a person making a last will and testament wants his or her spouse to get ownership of the property for the length of the widower-to-be’s life. The widow has an absolute right, regardless of any distribution claims made by any other party, to maintain ownership or possession only of the couple’s shared home.
How to do the last will and testament in Finland?
The formal requirements of a last will and testament are determined by the law.
If the last will and testament has not been made in according to the law, then any party who has a claim has the right to have the last will and testament declared null and void.
The last will and testament must be made in writing. The last will and testament must contain the explicit statement that the document is the last will and testament of the person who made it. The last will and testament must be signed by the person making it, by own hand, and two persons must be simultaneously present as witnesses to the signing. These two persons must also sign the last will and testament to confirm the signatory´s signing.
It is recommended that the services of a lawyer will be used in making a last will and testament, to ensure the correct form of the last will and testament.
Law office Amos has the capacity of drafting the last will and testament in both Finnish and English in legal form and also to witness the signature of yours.
Legal Counsel, Tuula Rainto, wrote this article and updated it 21.3.2023. You can always give her a free of charge phone call.