In case of death

The loss of a dear person implies a feeling of loss and emptiness. When in sorrow, it may be difficult to find the energy to deal with the legal and practical questions involved.



An unpredictable situation


The family does not have to deal with all the legal questions itself. HjulmandKaptain’s lawyers are available for replying to questions such as:

  • Is a distribution of the estate required, or will another solution be more profitable?
  • Which form of distribution should we opt for?
  • Will we as heirs be liable for the deceased’s debts?
  • Will there be any insurance payout?
  • Are there any practical matters to be handled now, e.g. housing conditions, financial affairs, pension commitments etc.?


We can give prompt answers before the meeting at the Probate Court. In difficult times, our advice may help clarifying the situation and create security and peace to handle the grief.


When do I need to involve an attorney?


Normally, we recommend people to contact us shortly after the funeral. However, if the deceased was running a business, we ought to be contacted shortly after the date of death.




Appropriation of the estate


If the deceased leaves less than DKK 40,000 to the dependants after payment for the funeral, all the deceased’s assets will be appropriated to the beneficiaries. In such situation, the dependants must pay all the funeral expenses. However, they will not be liable for the deceased’s debt.


To retain undivided possession of an estate


When a married person dies, the survivor often decides to retain undivided possession of the estate. Such decision requires that there are children of the marriage, and that any separate children of the deceased give their consent. Even though this form of distribution is frequently applied, it is not necessarily the most appropriate one.


The surviving spouse must be aware, if the deceased leaves any debt or has any claim to insurance payout or compensation, before deciding to retain undivided possession of the estate. For the purpose of opting for the most appropriate solution, it may be a good idea to contact HjulmandKaptain.

Estates are administered by the probate courts, who decide the best form of administration on the basis of the facts, e.g. the family situation, the amount of assets and the existence of a Will. Typically, the dependants will be contacted by the probate court after the date of death.


Forms of administration


Administration out of court


If there are any assets left by the deceased, the estate may be administered out of court. Administration out of court presupposes that all heirs are in agreement. It is possible for the individual heir to issue a power of attorney to the administrator of the estate. Subsequently, the attorney will request an administration out of court from the probate court.


By agreement with the heirs, we can attend to the following:


  • distribution and sale of the assets of the estate, including any real property;
  • preparation of statements to the tax authorities;
  • preparation of conclusive accounts for the estate.


Administration by means of an administrator


As an alternative to an administration out of court, the estate may be administered by one of our lawyers, being appointed as a licenced administrator by the probate court. This may be an option in case of uncertainty as to the amount of the deceased’s assets, the division of inheritance, or in case of disagreement among the heirs.


The heirs do not always have a freedom of choice as to the form of administration. For instance, it may be essential, whether the deceased has drawn up a Will. However, the form of administration opted for will also depend on other factors such as family situation and assets. HjulmandKaptain has the experience and knowledge required for giving a qualified answer to all legal questions.