Revocation of a testament and disputes
The district court solves disputes related to a testament.
You can freely change the contents of a testament you have drawn up or revoke the document altogether. If you opt to draw up a new testament, take into account the provisions concerning the format for drawing up a testament.
When you wish to change a testament, you should destroy all copies of your previously valid testament by tearing them apart before witnesses to ensure that there will later be no uncertainty about which is the correct testament. If there are two or more testaments, the most recently drawn up document is considered valid.
A testament is invalid if the formats laid down in law have not been complied with in drawing up the document. A testament drawn up by a minor concerning property other than the assets personally earned by a 15-18-year old is invalid.
A testament is also invalid if a mental illness or other health disturbance of the testator had influenced the making of the testament in a way that the illness or disturbance can be considered to have influenced drawing up the testament. A testament can also be declared invalid if the testator was coerced into making the testament or induced to it.
The testament will still be valid if the testator had sufficient understanding of what they were doing. For instance, alcoholism, a memory disorder, a mental illness or being under guardianship does not make the testament invalid if the testator can otherwise be considered to have sufficient mental capacity.
If you consider that a testament is invalid, you must dispute it in a district court. This means that you must make a claim against the testator in the district court within six months of having been informed about the testament. If the court finds the testament invalid, the inheritance will be distributed to the heirs as specified in the law.
An heir disputing a testament must be able to indicate that the ground of invalidity has been in force at the time of drawing up the testament.
As a direct descendant, you are entitled to a so-called lawful share even if the testament otherwise specified on the inherited property. The lawful share amounts to one half of the value of the share of the estate that, according to the statutory order of succession, devolves on you if no testament had been drawn up.
As an heir, you must claim your lawful share separately with a so-called lawful share notification. The notification must be submitted to the beneficiary before witnesses within six months since you have been informed about the contents of the testament.
Yes. If you have committed a deliberate or criminal act that has seriously offended the decedent or a relative or adopted child capable of inheriting the decedent or a descendant of such a person, the testator can specify in their testament that you will be left without your lawful share. However, a claim by the decedent of offensive or criminal activity does not suffice as a reason for disinheritance.
According to law, a continuous “dishonourable or immoral life” led by the heir is also grounds for disinheriting the heir. Proof is also needed for disinheriting a person on these grounds.
If you have committed a crime or other seriously offensive deed under the age of 15, your parents are not entitled to disinherit you.
You do not have to accept an inheritance. You may waive it in full or in part. Inform those formulating the estate inventory about your decision.