Distribution of the estate of a deceased person
When a registered owner of a property has passed away, the property should be transferred to the heirs. A “Declaration of ownership by inheritance” must be completed and submitted along with the certificate of probate to the Norwegian Mapping Authorities for registration.
Private administration of a deceased's estate
In the event of private administration of a deceased's estate, the District Court will issue a certificate of probate. The certificate of probate must be sent to the Norwegian Mapping Authority along with the form “Declaration of ownership by inheritance”, when the heir is transferring the property from the deceased to him/herself. In this instance, the deceased’s heirs will often complete the distribution of the estate themselves or with the assistance of an executor or other administrator.
When a spouse or co-habitant has the right to take over the entire estate from the deceased, the District Court will issue a certificate of undivided estate. The certificate of undivided estate must be sent along with the form “Declaration of ownership by inheritance” when the surviving spouse or co-habitant shall register the property in his/her name.
Judicial administration of a deceased's estate
In the event of judicial administration of a deceased's estate, the District Court will arrange the division of inheritance and settlement. This will usually take place through an appointed trustee. The District Court will issue documentation which confirms the appointment to the trustee.
The trustee will transfer the property directly from the deceased person to the new owners by issuing a new title deed. The trustee’s signature need not be certified by witnesses, because the trustee is deemed to be an extension of the District Court in accordance with the rule for certification in Section 17 of the Norwegian Land Registration Act. The document appointing the trustee must be sent to the Norwegian Mapping Authority along with the deed when this is to be registered.
All of the heirs, or the heirs who have assumed liability for debt pursuant to the Norwegian Administration of Estates Act, must sign the declaration of ownership.
In the event of undivided administration of an estate, the surviving spouse or co-habitant must sign the declaration of ownership alone.
Alternatively, the declaration of ownership can be signed by a representative, executor, attorney, broker or real estate agent.
Transfer and sale of inheritance
Sometimes the heirs will agree that the property they have inherited should be sold or that only one of the heirs should be the sole owner of the property. In such instances, the heirs must fill out a deed or form for transferring title of a housing cooperative unit, in addition to the declaration of ownership.
The heirs who have assumed liability for debt can sign the deed alone.
If the declaration of ownership and deed are sent for registration in the same envelope, it is important that the return address is the same on both forms. This will ensure that the invoice for fees and stamp duty is sent to the correct person.
Registration fee and stamp duty
A registration fee is calculated per document that is registered. The fee for the registration of real estate is NOK 500. In some instances, stamp duty that is 2.5% of the property’s market value will be calculated.
The registration fee for housing cooperative units is NOK 500. Stamp duty will not be calculated when transferring housing cooperative units.
There is an exemption from paying registration fees if this involves a transfer to a surviving spouse or co-habitant in an undivided estate. This is stipulated in Section 4 of the Norwegian Regulations relating to registration fees etc.
It is standard practice that an exemption from paying fees is also granted for the transfer of title to a surviving spouse in connection with a joint will and testament, for inheritance according the rules relating to minimum inheritance and in instances in which the surviving spouse is the only legal heir.