We advise on all legal matters related to death, estate administration and inheritance law, and we assist spouses in connection with the legal aspects of separation and divorce. Our advice is based on our client’s individual situation and a recognition that divorce and death often involve dealing with a difficult and sensitive situation for the client. This may require special consideration when providing legal advice. It is essential to us that such matters are handled with decency and respect for everyone involved.
Administration of the estates of deceased persons and estate tax can be complex. If the inheritance is small, the estate is typically completely tax-exempt. Large estates, on the other hand, are taxable according to a set of rules that appears atypical in many respects and deviates from other tax principles.
In addition, estate taxation is characterised by the fact that it may be possible to obtain a lower tax rate if you make the right decisions during the estate administration. For example, in some situations it may make a big difference to the overall taxation of an estate whether the assets of a limited liability company owned by the estate are distributed as dividends or liquidation proceeds.
In many situations, it may be beneficial to consider the issue while you are alive and, for example, use a marriage contract or a succession plan in a will to reduce or completely eliminate taxation in a later estate.
An estate of a deceased person may be administrated by the heirs themselves as administration out of court if the heirs agree about this. In such a probate, we can, at the heirs’ request, handle large or small parts of the estate administration and ensure that it is carried out with the most favourable outcome for the heirs. Alternatively, the administration of the estate can be handled by an executor specified in the deceased’s will or appointed by the court.
We know that clients are different, and our advice is based on the specific wishes and needs of the heirs, so that the best possible process is planned and implemented for the heirs.
If a will is inadequately worded, a dispute may arise between the heirs. We are very conscious of avoiding this when we draft wills. Read more on our wealth planning, transition and optimisation page. An inheritance dispute is detrimental to the heirs’ relationship. We have experience in assisting heirs in such inheritance disputes, which we handle based on our core values of decency, high professionalism and value-creating advice.
As part of our advice to wealthy families, we have experience in setting up nonprofit foundations into which a portion of the family’s wealth is contributed during one’s lifetime or upon death. We also advise nonprofit foundations on their ongoing operations.
Foundation legislation in Denmark is outdated and complicated. Therefore, when a client wishes to set up a nonprofit foundation, we offer important advice to clarify whether setting up a foundation in the specific situation is the right way to place and manage assets to be used for charitable purposes. Considering the costs of running a foundation, a significant amount of capital should be placed for the setting up of a nonprofit foundation to be the most appropriate way to manage and distribute funds for charitable purposes.
We assist clients in connection with the legal aspects of separation and divorce. We advise on the formalities of divorce and assist in the negotiation and conclusion of agreements on property division, division of pensions, etc. We focus on ensuring a decent process while safeguarding our client’s interests in the best possible way.
We are probably the law firm in Denmark with the strongest international relations and network. Therefore, we can – in cooperation with foreign lawyers – assist in divorce cases with international aspects, if, for example, assets are located abroad or if the spouses’ financial matters are governed by foreign law.
In relation to international matters, we also advise Danes living abroad on Danish financial aspects of their marriage and possible divorce, including in connection with the conclusion of marriage contracts governed by foreign law.
Before entering marriage, a marriage contract should be considered to ensure appropriate regulation and distribution in the event of later divorce or death, regardless of whether the marriage has international aspects or is a purely Danish matter. This issue is described under ‘marriage and other private matters’.
Including holiday homes, aircraft, yachts, woodlands, estates, manors, horses and works of art.
Including establishment thereof, preservation of family assets and family businesses, investments and safeguarding family interests.
Including drawing up of marriage contracts, moving to or away from Denmark (including tax law issues and advice on remaining assets in Denmark/abroad) and lasting powers of attorney.
Including tax optimisation, succession by living hand and upon death, shareholders’ agreements, pension and insurance, inheritance planning and advancements, wills, gifts and family loans.