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Estate inventory – what does it mean and what to do?

An inventory of the deceased person’s property is presented and a written deed is prepared at a meeting arranged for the purpose. The deed is a complete list of the decedent’s assets and debts left behind. In addition, the deed of estate inventory also contains information about all the inheritors.

Inheritors i.e., shareholders of the estate, are the decedent’s children or grandchildren and any universal beneficiaries under a will. In addition, the surviving spouse is a shareholder until the property is distributed. If there are no direct heirs such as children or grandchildren, the surviving spouse is the estate’s only shareholder. If there is no surviving spouse, the following persons are regarded as shareholders of the estate:

  1. The decedent’s parents
  2. The decedent’s brothers or sisters if neither one of their parents is alive
  3. The children or grandchildren of those of the decedent’s brothers or sisters who are deceased

The estate inventory must be completed within 3 months of the date of death.

A deed of estate inventory is always required, even when the decedent did not leave any assets and property behind, or even if the estate only has debts. After the estate’s debts are recorded in the deed of estate inventory, the inheritors’ responsibility for any of the estate’s debts will cease.

Who must arrange the estate inventory meeting?

The person who is best informed of the decedent’s wealth is responsible for the estate’s inventory. This normally means the spouse or one of the children.

Deeds of estate inventory are drawn up by banks, law firms, legal aid offices, etc. as a service. They can also put together all the documents that are necessary relating to the decedent’s assets, property and debts on your behalf.

If you prepare the deed of estate inventory yourself, make sure you have collected all the information and documents.

Checklist before the inventory meeting

Ask for the following documentation well in advance of the meeting:

If further documentation is needed for the estate inventory meeting,

You are entitled to receive information if you are

  • The surviving spouse
  • An inheritor
  • A beneficiary of the will
  • An administrator or executor of the estate appointed by the district court.

Extended time for the estate inventory

You can request an extension to arrange the meeting at a later date, if you submit a request for extension of time within 3 months of the date of death. If the final day of the 3-month time limit is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, you must submit the request by the last business day before that day. We grant extensions for a justified reason only.

Please note that if you get an extension of time to arrange the meeting, the written deed of estate inventory must still be sent to the Tax Administration within one month from the date when the meeting is held.

You are an inheritor or you are the person reporting for the estate

  1. After logging in to MyTax, select Manage your tax matters.
  2. Select Tax matters — Activities relating to inheritance tax — Extended time for estate inventory or submitting the deed of estate inventory.

Request an extension of time in MyTax

You represent a bank, law firm or a similar organisation

Log in to MyTax and select Report or request information in a limited scope.

Request an extension of time in MyTax

If you cannot submit an online request

If you do not have access to MyTax, complete a paper form to ask for extension of time (in Finnish and Swedish).

Remember to include your contact information and to sign the form.

Frequently asked questions

The Tax Administration can only give instructions for what is required of the deed of estate inventory for purposes of inheritance taxes and submittal of the necessary tax return. If you plan to arrange the meeting for estate inventory with people participating over a remote connection, make sure that the deed you draw up will also meet the requirements of other parties that will need the estate inventory deed later, such as banks and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

As long as the deed meets the following requirements, it can be processed at the Tax Administration even if the meeting was conducted remotely:

  1. The deed must contain all required personal details on the shareholders of the estate, the beneficiaries of the will, and information on property and debts of the deceased and the surviving spouse (including the deed’s required enclosures), and information on the relationships under family law.
  2. The deed must contain an account of where, when and how the meeting was held, who were present and therefore aware of the matters discussed, and who presented matters for discussion.
  3. The deed must include declarations made under oath, and certificates from the person reporting the estate and from the trustees.

The children and grandchildren i.e. the direct heirs are entitled to receive their lawful share of the inheritance even if the decedent left their property to someone else in their will. The lawful share is half of the inheritance the heir would have received if there were no will.

If you are an heir entitled to a lawful share, you need to turn to the will’s beneficiary (beneficiaries) and present your claim to them. You must make the claim within 6 months of when you were first informed of the will.

Page last updated 5/27/2024