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Marriage and other private matters

We advise on the 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.

Wealthy individuals should consider the legal issues and other aspects that may arise from marriage, moving to or away from Denmark, serious illness, etc. In the event of a major change in your personal or family situation, it will be relevant to discuss with our specialists how you are positioned and whether legal action should be taken. It provides peace of mind and avoids unpleasant surprises if an analysis is carried out in advance so that risks are identified and any precautionary measures are implemented or deliberately excluded.

Marriage and marriage contracts

Denmark is one of the countries in the world with the highest degree of equal division of matrimonial property when a marriage ends in the event of divorce or death. This generally applies even if the marriage was short.

Therefore, when entering a marriage, it is relevant to consider whether the spouses should deviate from the principle of equal division of property by drawing up a marriage contract to create a more balanced solution. For example, if one spouse owns a business, it may be relevant to ensure a solution where divorce cannot put a strain on the liquidity and solvency of the business by having to distribute large funds to the other spouse.

Marriage contracts can also be used – typically in conjunction with wills – to reduce or eliminate taxes or to provide the surviving spouse with the best possible security upon the death of the other spouse.

At Gorrissen Federspiel, we handle many cases with international aspects and assist, among other things, expatriate Danes who are getting married or Danish resident clients who are getting married to people living abroad to clarify their legal position. This may involve clarifying the extent to which the marriage is governed by Danish or foreign law and, where relevant, ensuring the appropriate legal regulation taking this into account, for example by creating a Danish marriage contract, or ensuring that a foreign marriage contract is recognised under Danish law (in relation to assets placed in Denmark). The aim here is also to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure the right solution for the client.

Moving to or away from Denmark

When moving to or away from Denmark, a number of legal, and in particular tax law, consequences may arise that should be identified in advance to prevent unpleasant surprises. The same may be the case if a person residing abroad wishes to take on work in Denmark and in this connection must stay in Denmark for an extended period of time. We can assist with this analysis before moving to Denmark, and we can also handle the legal issues that moving to Denmark may entail.

In relation to moving away from Denmark, we advise on the handling of the relocating party’s real estate in Denmark, unrealised gains on investments, the scope of permitted residence in Denmark, etc. Our advice will ensure that the legal position is known to the relocating party to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Our Tax practice group can also assist with all disputes and issues related to personal tax matters. See the details here.

Lasting power of attorney

In the past, guardianship may have been necessary if a person developed dementia or was otherwise unable to manage his or her affairs.

Since 2017, a lasting power of attorney has allowed you to decide in advance who will act on your behalf if you find yourself in such a situation. Compared to a guardianship, a lasting power of attorney is a much simpler and more flexible arrangement. In addition, with a lasting power of attorney, you have a secure say in who is granted the authority to act on your behalf if you become ill.

Most people will never need a lasting power of attorney, but it provides security for both the principal and his or her relatives. If dementia or other serious illness sets in, a lasting power of attorney can simplify the legal side of this difficult situation.

For most business owners and wealthy individuals, setting up a lasting power of attorney will be relevant and prudent. Gorrissen Federspiel can advise on this and assist with setting up lasting powers of attorney.

Lasting powers of attorney may be simple and standardised or comprehensive and individualised. For example, they may be limited to certain matters, the powers may be divided between different persons, or supervision and other control mechanisms may be established that limit the agent’s freedom of action.

Learn more about our experience

Family Offices og Family Constitution

Including establishment thereof, preservation of family assets and family businesses, investments and safeguarding family interests.


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Wealth planning, transition and optimisation

Including tax optimisation, succession by living hand and upon death, shareholders’ agreements, pension and insurance, inheritance planning and advancements, wills, gifts and family loans.


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Administration of estates and foundations

Including divorce proceedings, estates of deceased persons and inheritance disputes and we set up and provide advice to nonprofit foundations.


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Purchase and sale of private assets in Denmark and abroad

Including holiday homes, aircraft, yachts, woodlands, estates, manors, horses and works of art.


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