Many choose to sit with the responsibility of completing an estate after the death of a family member. This means that many people opt out of a lawyer and even if there is a little money to be saved on the lawyer’s fee, you are on the other hand also alone with all the difficult things that have to be done in connection with estate processing.
In the event of a death in Denmark, the heirs, the banks, the Insolvency Court, the Tax Agency and various other authorities are involved. It is therefore an ongoing communication with many different agencies, and many private individuals find that the grief over the loss of the family member wells up again and again.
The deceased’s assets must be disposed of, including closing bank accounts, selling securities, terminating leases or transferring properties. The deceased’s liabilities must be paid, but perhaps some claims against the deceased must be completely rejected, e.g. obsolete debt.
During the processing of the estate, the Probate Court has a number of deadlines during which the heirs must submit information about the estate itself to the authorities. It is, among other things, 6 months after the death that you must submit an opening status, which is an overview of the deceased’s assets and liabilities per the day of death, while a final estate statement must be submitted no later than 15 months after the death. If the deadlines are not met, the Probate Court will appoint a lawyer as executor to manage the further processing of the estate.
The final inventory must be approved by the Tax Agency and the Probate Court. This means that the value at which the deceased’s assets are included is reviewed and revised, and then the Tax Agency can question the value and demand changes. You must therefore be sharp on the current rules on valuation if you want to avoid extra amounts from the Tax Agency.
If the estate’s holdings are over DKK 3,160,900 (per person in 2023), an estate tax return must also be prepared with any calculation of non-payment of residual tax as well as any share and property capital gains taxation.
With a lawyer’s help, you avoid overlooking important details, deadlines or legislative requirements for the estate. The actual overview of the estate, the ongoing processing of the assets and the preparation of the official documents for the authorities is something that we typically find that many people have problems with. Therefore, it can be a good idea to get a lawyer on the sidelines when one of your loved ones passes away.
At DreistStorgaard, we have lawyers who specialize in private law, and can therefore advise you and your family so that you can safely get through a difficult time. If you have questions or need to know more, contact us on phone 56 63 44 66 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org .
By associate attorney Mette Tarp Pedersen