Distribution of estate – send a copy of the deed of distribution to the Tax Administration

After the estate inventory meeting has been held, the inheritance can be distributed. You can start the distribution of the estate without any separate permission from the Tax Administration even if you have not yet received the inheritance tax decision. 

You must make a deed of distribution for the estate. The decedent’s property is transferred to the inheritors based on the deed of distribution.

The deed of distribution must show

  • what property has been distributed
  • what the value of the property is at the time it was distributed
  • what property each inheritor has received
  • what property has not been distributed, if any
  • whether the entire estate was distributed.

Send a photocopy of the deed of distribution to the Tax Administration after it has been made.

Send a copy of the deed of distribution to:

Finnish Tax Administration
Inheritance and gift taxation
P.O. Box 760
00052 VERO

Frequently asked questions

The children and grandchildren of the decedent are entitled to receive their lawful share of the inheritance even if the decedent has left their property to someone else in their will. The lawful share is half of the inheritance the heir would have received without a will. 

If you are an heir entitled to a lawful share, you must present your claim separately to each inheritance beneficiary. You must make the claim within 6 months of when you were first informed of the will. 

The estate can be distributed after the estate inventory meeting has been held.

There is no set time limit for the distribution of an estate. 

The parties to the estate can agree to only distribute a part of the estate or not to distribute the estate at all.

If there is only one party to the estate, the estate does not need to be distributed.

The property of the deceased is distributed between the parties to the deceased person’s estate. If the deceased did not leave a will, the portion distributed to each party is determined by the statutory order of inheritance.

Order of inheritance:

  1. Children. If the child has died, the inheritance is passed on to the decedent’s grandchildren and then to great-grandchildren.
  2. Surviving spouse.The surviving spouse inherits their spouse if they were married to the decedent and the decedent has no children or grandchildren of their own.
  3. Mother and father. If the father and mother have died, the inheritance is passed on to the decedent’s siblings and then on to their children.
  4. Grandparents. If the grandparents have died, 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.

Inheritance is usually distributed as follows: First, each inheritor’s share of the inheritance is determined. For example, if the decedent has three inheritors in the same family line (such as siblings), the share for each is 1/3. The shares of distribution determine what portions of the total inheritance value belong to each inheritor. The inheritors can receive their portion as a sum of money or as property.

The distribution of an estate does not need to be confirmed at a Local Register Office if all parties to the estate are at least 18 years of age and none of them is under guardianship.

If any of the parties are under 18 years old or have a guardian for other reasons, permission by the Local Register Office is required. The Local Register Office’s permission is also required if the distribution only concerns a part of the estate.

For more information on seeking the permission, visit the Local Register Office website (section 9) (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish)

If you receive a real estate unit – such as a plot of land or a house – in the distribution of the estate, you must register as its owner by requesting title registration from the National Land Survey of Finland (request form available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).

If the deceased person was married, the property of the spouses must be divided before the estate of the deceased spouse can be distributed. To document the division, you must draw up a deed of division. However, both the division of matrimonial property and the distribution of the estate can be included in the same deed.

However, the property does not have to be divided at all if the spouses do not have matrimonial rights to each other’s property.    

If you sell property that is included in the deed of estate inventory for a different price

  • before you receive the inheritance tax decision, send us a copy of the deed of sale
  • after you have received the inheritance tax decision, you can make a claim for adjustment.