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Inheritance and inheritance taxation

After a person has died, an inventory of the estate must be made, in which the assets and debts of the deceased and the surviving spouse, if the deceased was married, are listed. If there are no other stipulations in the will, the inheritance is determined in accordance with the provisions in the Code of Inheritance. The first people in line to inherit are the children.

It may sometimes be difficult to get in contact with the heirs. For example, the deceased may have children of whose existence those responsible for the estate inventory are not aware. Some register offices offer special services for providing extracts from the population register to executors of the estate. The register offices providing this service will, if required, draw up a summary of the statutory heirs to the estate of the deceased.

Inheritance taxation is based on the deed of estate inventory, which is sent to the tax authorities at the latest within one month after the inventory of the estate. Inheritance taxation is progressive, i.e. the greater the value of the share of inheritance, the higher the inheritance tax.

Taxation is divided into two tax brackets on the basis of the family connection. Lower taxation is for close relatives, such as married partners, children and parents. Other relatives and non-relatives fall into the second category.

Direct heirs, i.e. children or grandchildren, can also receive an anticipated inheritance. This is considered a gift and is counted as the recipient's share of the estate on the person's death, and inheritance tax is determined according to the total. Gifts that are given in advance to direct heirs are usually deducted from their inheritance. The giver can stipulate in the deed of gift that the gift is not an inheritance, in which case the receiver pays gift tax only for the value of the gift.

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Suomi.fi editorial team | State Treasury