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Estate inventory in Finland – the estate inventory deed

In this article we have combined answers from our experienced lawyers who answer to frequently asked questions regarding the estate inventory deed in Finland and its purpose.

What is the estate inventory and the deed?

What is in the estate inventory deed?

Estate inventory is a process in which assets and debts of the deceased are presented and listed on a written deed of estate inventory. In the deed, the deceased person’s properties are valuated based on its value on the date of death.

The purpose of the estate inventory deed is to serve as basis for the Tax Administration. It refers to the information presented on the deed upon assessing inheritance tax for each shareholder of the estate.

The shareholders of the estate are the inheritors of the deceased person. Therefore, the deed also contains a list of the shareholders. Person can gain status of a shareholder based on family relationships, marriage or by being universal beneficiary to an estate under a will left by the deceased person.

When must the estate inventory deed be completed?

The estate inventory must be completed within three months of the death of a person. After that a copy of the estate inventory deed must be submitted to the Tax Administration within one month from the completion of the estate inventory deed.

If the estate of the deceased has a lot of assets and debts or it does not seem possible to submit a completed estate inventory within three months of the death, it is possible to request an extension for the submission of the estate inventory deed. The request for the extension must be made from the Tax Administration. The request must be submitted within three months of the death. The tax administration grants extensions for justified reasons.

If you are granted an extension, you still have to submit a copy of the written deed of estate inventory within one month from its completion to the Tax Administration.

The estate inventory deed containing details of the descendant's assets and debt is delivered to the Tax Administration.

Deed of estate inventory is late or has not been submitted at all

If you fail to submit the deed in time or you do not submit it at all, you may have to pay a late-filing penalty or a punitive tax increase to your inheritance tax.

If the submission if maximum of 60 days late, private shareholders of the estate have to pay 50 euro late-filing penalty. If the shareholder is a company or a corporation, the fee is 100 euros.

If the submission if more than 60 days late, you may have to pay punitive tax increase as a part of your inheritance tax. The amount varies depending on the size of your share of the estate.

How is the deed of estate conducted?

Who is responsible for conduction of the estate inventory and the deed?

The person who is best informed of the deceased person’s assets and debts is responsible for the estate’s inventory. This is called the person reporting the estate. This often means the widow of the deceased or one of the children but this is not mandatory.

For the estate inventory, the person reporting the estate must send invitations to an estate meeting to all shareholders of the estate, the widow, as well as all previous spouses if the division of properties has not been completed after the divorce.

Previous spouse’s marital rights to an estate

It is fairly normal that the ex-spouses do not have any demands towards each other and they part ways in good terms. However, in this case it is highly recommended to write up a deed on this simply stating that the properties have been divided and the spouses have no demands towards each other.

If a long time has passed since the divorce and no written document has been made, in a worst case scenario both of the ex spouses may have died within short period of time. In this case it might be two different estates’ shareholders in the dispute over marital rights based on an old marriage from years ago.

When and why to apply for an estate administrator?

When the administration of a decedent’s estate has not been specifically arranged in accordance with the Inheritance Code, the shareholders shall administer the property of the estate jointly in order to settle the estate. On the petition of a shareholder in the estate, the court shall order that the property of the estate is to be surrendered to the administration of an estate administrator and appoint someone to serve in this capacity.

The court shall appoint as estate administrator a person who can be presumed capable of settling the estate with the skill demanded by the type of the estate and who accepts the appointment. Special attention shall be paid to the suggestions of the shareholders in the estate and also of other persons whose right is dependent on the settlement of the estate. A shareholder may be appointed as estate administrator only if it is not opposed by any of the shareholders of the estate and it can be deemed beneficial to the estate.

Having an estate administrator typically makes things smoother in an estate, especially if there are many shareholders in an estate. Without an estate administrator each shareholder might be required to be present if you wish to access the deceased person’s bank account for example. An estate administrator can do so alone after being appointed to the task by the district court.

Annia’s lawyers as estate administrator

Our lawyers at Annia can act as estate administrators upon request and we have extensive experience and knowledge of the estate matters. We will always ensure that the estate is administrated accordingly and efficiently in a way that we can ensure the best possible outcome for the shareholders of an estate.

We offer a 15 minute free consultation to everyone so you can always turn to us risk-free to determine whether it would be beneficial in your case to apply for an administrator.

Death of a close relative is always mentally taxing and estate inventory is not usually the first thing you want to handle at the time. We can take it upon us to administer the estate’s day-to-day business and draft an estate inventory deed for the Tax Administration as well as apply for extension if needed.

Estate inventory meeting

The invitations to an estate inventory meeting must be sent out without undue inconvenience before the meeting. This has typically been interpreted as at least two weeks before the meeting, although the time can be shorter if the estate is undisputed and the shareholders unanimously agree to the time set for the meeting.

In the meeting the person reporting the estate appoints two people as trustees, whose job is to appraise the assets and debts of the estate on the date of death. The trustees shall certify in the inventory deed that they have noted everything in it correctly and appraised the assets of the estate to the best of their ability on the time of death.

Documents that are to be presented and attached to the deed

Members of the estate must be presented documents of the deceased person in the meeting. This includes at least the following: report on the descendant’s family relationship, which you can order from the church parish if the descendant was a member of the church, or from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency as an extraction from the population register. Delivery of the requested documents might take a while so it is recommended to send in the order well in advance. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency takes around three weeks to deliver the report on the family relationships.

In some cases it might be required to attach a life certificate of some inheritor. This can also be obtained from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency as an extraction from the population register. The purpose of these documents is to prove the right to inheritance.

Lawyer examining report on the descendant's family relationship that she has received from the Digital and Population Data Services, extracted from the population register.

The deceased person’s potential will and prenuptial agreement are also to be presented in the meeting and attached to the deed.

The documentation that is to be presented in the estate meeting varies case-to-case and a providing a complete list in this context is not practical. However, you can contact us for consultation if any questions arise on this matter.

Deed of estate and the estate meeting

Deed of estate inventory is often drawn up by law firms. We have completed numerous estate inventories and deeds for over a decade and we can always ensure a proper handling of the estate inventory and the deed. We can also put together all the documents that are necessary relating to the assets and debts of the deceased on your behalf.

Estate inventory deed must be signed by at least the person reporting the estate, as well as two appointed trustees, as well as the estate administrator if one has been appointed to the task. It is normal that all shareholders sign a deed of an estate.

Appraising the assets and debts of the estate for the deed


As mentioned above, it is up to the two trustees to appraise the assets and debts to their best ability. Everyday household property does not typically have to be appraised if its value does not exceed four thousand euros. On the other hand it is important the appraise things such as vehicles and real estate, as well as valuable pieces of art to name a few. Often shareholders turn to expert on these matters and order an appraisal from a realtor in case of a real estate, for example. We have wide network of experts from different fields, that are ready to help our clients when needed to give an appraisal.

Possible investments and bank savings are naturally to be included too based on their value at the time of death. If the deceased owned a company, it is highly recommended to always turn to lawyer’s help in these cases to ensure the continuation or proper termination of the company’s business. The company itself is also to be appraised and listed on the deed.

Debts and other deductions from the estate’s assets

Debts acquired before the time of death of the deceased are to be paid off and reduced from the amount the shareholders inherit from the estate.

After this the shareholders can deduct from the total savings of the estate’s assets the following: funeral expenses and expenses directly related to the inventory, the deed and the meeting. This means that none of the shareholders is liable to pay the mentioned expenses from their own savings, but the expenses and debts are paid off from the estate’s total savings before the inheritance is distributed to the shareholders.

Lawyer’s legal fees can therefore be deducted from the estate and a shareholder does not have to pay the legal help by themself.

This reduces the total savings of the estate and therefore also lowers the inheritance tax the shareholders must pay after receiving the inheritance.

Annia is here to help you

Annia’s professional lawyers offer their vast knowledge to your service at your time of need.

Our lawyers can offer you consultation or they can act as administrator upon request. Annia has experience from over a decade on these matters and estate inventory deed is something we deal with on daily basis.

We stay by your side and guide you through one of the roughest patches of your life.

You can always turn to us risk-free, as we offer 15 minute totally free consultation before starting an assignment. Contact Annia and let us help you!

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