Inheritance of people who have died without heirs
The State Treasury supervises the government’s entitlement to the inheritance of people who have died without heirs.
Every year, the State Treasury is notified of approximately 600 persons who have died without heirs, representing around one per cent of all deceased people. About 60 per cent of the people who have died without heirs had drawn up a will.
After a person has died, his or her heirs must be identified. This is performed by acquiring a detailed account of ancestry. This account of ancestry can be obtained by collecting extracts from parish registers or, in the case of people not belonging to the church, extracts from the population register. The compilation of this account may also be allocated to a party providing special services for providing extracts.
Who are considered heirs?
1. Direct heirs (children)
2. Spouse (marriage or registered partnership)
4. Siblings and their children
6. Aunts and uncles
7. Secondary heirs (the father, mother, sister and brother of a previously deceased spouse and the descendants of the brother and sister)
If no heirs are found via these proceedings and the person in question has not drawn up a will, this person’s estate will be inherited by the government. The State Treasury must be informed of the death as soon as the account of ancestry is completed. The State Treasury is not entitled to process other estates than those of people who have died without heirs.
Notification of a person who has died without heirs (in Finnish) >>
Notification of a person who has died without heirs (in Swedish) >>
After receiving this notification, the State Treasury must select an administrator for the estate. The State Treasury has held a bidding contest for the management of the estates inherited by the government. In the areas subject to this bidding contest, the State Treasury primarily uses select attorneys at law and legal aid offices as administrators. In other areas, the State Treasury grants the estate administration proxy to a person it considers suitable, to an attorney at law in the first instance.
All property inherited by the government will not remain in the possession of the government; instead, it can be re-transferred upon request.
Close person's request for the transfer of property inherited by the government (in Finnish) >>
Close person's request for the transfer of property inherited by the government (in Swedish) >>
If a person who has died without heirs has drawn up a will governing his or her property, the will must be submitted for information to the State Treasury.
How to submit a will for information to the State Treasury (in Finnish) >>
How to submit a will for information to the State Treasury (in Swedish) >>
If no heirs are found via the ancestry account proceedings, the person’s estate will be inherited by the government in accordance with section 5 of the Code of Inheritance.
Decisions on property passed to the state