Who inherits?

If you are married, the surviving spouse inherits all the assets. If you have children together, they must wait until both parents have died before they inherit. If the deceased has any children with someone else, those children have the right to receive their inheritance before the surviving spouse. Spouses can avoid this by writing a will in favour of each other. A will cannot take away a child’s right to their statutory portion.

If there is no surviving spouse and no will, the estate of the deceased is distributed as follows:

  • If the deceased leaves children, they inherit from their parent. If there are no living children, the grandchildren inherit. Adopted children have the same inheritance rights as the deceased’s own children.
  • If there are no children, the deceased’s parents inherit. If there are no living parents, the siblings of the deceased inherit. If there are no living siblings, the children of the siblings inherit.
  • If there are no children, parents or siblings of the deceased, the grandparents inherit. If there are no living grandparents, their siblings inherit. Otherwise, the estate passes to the Swedish Inheritance Fund, which distributes the money to charitable causes.
  • Cousins do not inherit if they are not named in a will.
  • Cohabiting partners do not inherit from each other unless a will is drawn up in favour of the surviving partner.
  • Those living in a registered partnership have the same inheritance rights as spouses.