ln the absense of a will, the estate will pass to the spouse and the direct descendants of the deceased, according to chapters 1 and 2 of the Danish lnheritance Act.
ln the absence of descendants, the surviving spouse will inherit the entire estate. lf the deceased leaves descendants, the surviving spouse inherits one half of the estate, and the other half is distributed evenly amongst the direct descendants, § 9 of the Danish lnheritance Act.
ln the absence of a surviving spouse, the estate will pass to the relatives of the deceased.
The relatives are divided into three classes of intestate heirs:
Danish law recognises three basic principles regarding the division of the estate:
Firstly, no member of a subsequent class can assume position as an intestate heir, if one relative lives, who belongs to a preceding class.
Secondly, the estate is distributed evenly on each family line of the relatives. Each child and the descendants of the child form one family line. Furthermore, each parent and the descendants thereof form one family line, and the grandparents form their respective family line.
Thirdly, Danish law recognises the "representation principal". The descendants of a legal heir do not assume position of a legal heir prior to the death of that legal heir. lf the legal heir has not survived the deceased, the portion that the legal heir should have inherited, will be distributed evenly amongst his or her direct descendants.
Under Danish law, the spouse and the direct descendants are entitled to a reserved portion of one fourth of the estate. ln other words, the deceased is entitled to dispose of three quarters of his estate by will. The reserved portion of the spouse is 1/8 of the estate. The other 1/8 of the estate is distributed evenly amongst the direct descendants. lf the deceased does not leave any direct descandants, the surviving spouse must receive 1/4 of the estate. The reserved portion for the descendants is also limited to 1/8 of the estate, if the deceased has bequeathed a partner in life to that extent. Furthermore, the deceased has the right to Iimit the reserved portion of the descendants to the amount of DKK 1.1 00.000. This is not possible with respect to the reserved portion for the spouse.
The Danish tax liabilty and rate depends on who inherits, the value of the estate and the amount passed on. Three tax classes are in place:
|Tax debtors||Tax rate|
|Spouses and registered partners||None|
Children, grandchildren, great grand children, parents, divorced spouse orpartners in life, having lived together for at least 2 years
|15 % of the value of the estate above DKK 264.100|
|All others||15 % af the value of the estate above DKK|
This information was compiled by LEAD advokatpartnerselskab.