Shortcut to writing your will

We’re very good at getting insurance on a lot of areas in life: House, car, accidents, animals, household, health. But paradoxically, very few of us consider insuring our last wishes – through a will.

Writing a will can be difficult for many people – it can be hard to talk about, but it does not have to be if you choose to turn everything a bit upside down according to Mette Willenbrock Hattens (inheritance consultant for the AIDS foundation).

“You can choose to see it as an opportunity to pass on something good; that way, a will is not perceived as an ending, but a beginning to pass on something important to others – and thus your legacy and wishes for the future are something you yourself have full control over”.

A will does not have to be difficult or expensive to create, but it does require a bit of reflection and time to think through.

Here are 3 things you should know about inheritance and wills:

1. Without a will, your partner will not inherit from you.

A lot of people wrongly believe that when you’re a couple living together in a paperless relationship, you automatically inherit from each other. This is not true – no matter how long you’ve been living together. According to the law of inheritance, cohabitants are not inheritors. Therefore, it’s extra important to create a will so you can secure each other.

The inheritance law divides inheritors in 3 groups:

  1. Spouses and children (and their successors)
  2. Parents and siblings (and their successors)
  3. Grandparents and grandparents’ children 

If you do not have any inheritors, the entirety of the assets falls to the state.

2. The will is especially important if you are:

  • An only child, unmarried, and childless – and do not want your assets to go to the state.
  • Unmarried, but wish to secure your partner (who is not legally an inheritor according to the law).
  • Have children from an earlier marriage.
  • Have a wish for your inheritance to be separate property.
  • Wish for certain organisations or persons to inherit from you.
  • Wish for a different distribution than the law decides.

When you create a will, you can largely decide yourself how the inheritance will be distributed. However, spouses, children, and children’s descendants are so-called forced heirs, so they have a right to inherit part of your assets (25%). The rest, you have full control over. 

If you are not married and do not have children, you decide over all your assets.

3. It’s easy to create a will.

To write a will is neither as complicated nor expensive as a lot of people think.

We recommend that you get the help from a lawyer, to make sure that your wishes are legally sound, and that the will cannot be misunderstood.  No matter what you choose, the will must be in writing and signed by two witnesses (who must not be included in the will) or by a notary.

Before you speak with the lawyer, it is important to reflect on what wishes you have for your legacy. Are there special relations or persons you want to include? Do you want to support an organisation, special friends, nephews, or nieces? This process can take a while. 

You can choose a lawyer yourself, but we can also refer you to one of the more than 200 family and inheritance lawyers who we collaborate with as a part of our partnership with Det Gode Testamente (The Good Will).


Get a subsidy for creating your will

If you choose to include the AIDS Foundation and/or other charity organisations in your will, you can get a subsidy for the lawyer bill. This amount covers most people’s expenses in the creation of a will with a lawyer. 

You can take our inheritance test and download a free will guide and checklist and get further inspiration and advice on, where we have collected the most important information about everything you need to know about inheritance and wills. 

Here you can also hear Lisbet, Mads Adam and Mikkel talk about why they have decided to write a will, and their good advice for you who may just be considering creating a will. 

We have also described the 30% rule, which might be relevant for you who do not have direct life heirs.

If you want to hear more or have questions, then you can write to Mette Willenbrock Hattens at: [email protected]

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