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Swedish Inheritance Law

Rights of children from 1st marriage vs 2nd wife

Skylar7
post 21.Jan.2013, 11:56 PM
Post #1
Joined: 21.Jan.2013

Hi Everyone,

I hope someone can help me with this. My deceased father-in-law has two children from his first marriage. His second wife, my mother-in-law, did not contribute financially to the marriage, but she received a number of gifts from him, such as a summer house and a car. All gifts are under her name. Now these two children are claiming that, because the money the gifts were paid for came directly from their father, they are entitled to 25% of everything my mother-in-law owns, and are trying to force her to sell. Is this correct? In that case, shouldn't my husband and his siblings be entitled to 25% of any gifts my father-in-law gave to his first wife, given that she never made any financial contributions to the marriage, either? These two children were never adopted by my mother-in-law; they lived with their own mother, with my father-in-law paying child support until the last one turned 18. Everybody involved (both deceased and alive) is Swedish, and with the exception of my partner, have lived and worked in Sweden all their lives. Any answers will be much appreciated.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 22.Jan.2013, 01:14 AM
Post #2
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

It is a complex matter and I suggest that the involved parties hire an independent lawyer to manage the estate.

Since your mother-in-law received those gifts from her husband, and not from someone else, they are likely still a part of the common asset between husband-wife, no matter whose name they are under. In fact, assets that were acquired by each party before marriage is generally not considered to be part of the shared estate at all.

In the case where the deceased has children from other marriages, the assets between husband and wife first has to be divided as if it was a regular divorce. First after the assets are divided can each part claim their inheritance from the death estate. So in this case the assets between your father-in-law and your mother-in-law will first be divided as if they were divorced, say 50% each.

Your father-in-law's children will then share the father-in-law's 50%, however if any of those children are also children to your mother-in-law, she will receive their part, which is passed on to her children when she dies. Technically, husband/wife do not inherit each other in Swedish law, they only get to dispose their children's inheritance until the remaining spouse dies.

Now, the above is what happens if there is no will. If there is a will, then your father-in-laws children are still entitled to half of what they would have been entitled if there was no will.

TL;DR: Your father-in-law's children are entitled to 50% of the shared estate between you father-in-law and you mother-in-law.. That your mother-in-law has things in her name likely does not matter since she received it from her husband.
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skumdum
post 22.Jan.2013, 01:26 AM
Post #3
Joined: 28.Jun.2011

.
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Skylar7
post 22.Jan.2013, 02:13 AM
Post #4
Joined: 21.Jan.2013

Hi Bender,

Thank you very much for your reply. There's a will stating that the children from the first marriage get 25% of my father-in-law's assets, the other 75% goes to my mother-in-law. The children from the second marriage get to inherit after my mother-in-law's death.

About hiring a lawyer, my mother-in-law suffers from paranoid personality disorder, so that's completely out of the question. She doesn't even trust her own children, so getting her to trust a stranger, no matter how honest, is impossible.

I think Swedish inheritance law is very complex, and I really find it difficult to understand that gifts from one spouse to the other have to be included in the inheritance. I'm not saying that the other two children should be denied their due, all the opposite; it's just that they have been so vocal about their rights they made me doubt for a second, thinking that maybe they were trying to get all they could wring out by any means.

Thank you again.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 22.Jan.2013, 02:59 AM
Post #5
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

QUOTE (Skylar7 @ 22.Jan.2013, 03:13 AM) *
Hi Bender, Thank you very much for your reply. There's a will stating that the children from the first marriage get 25% of my father-in-law's assets, the other 75% goe ... (show full quote)

Ok, then the father-in-law's children (from both marriages) are entitled to a total of 50% of the death estate no matter what the will says and the remaining 50% will then go to the mother-in-law. In addition to those 50%, the mother-in-law also gets disposition of the part that the children from the second marriage were entitled. So if there were 2 children from the first marriage and 2 from the second one, the mother gets 50%+25%=75% and the children from the first marriage 25%. The children from the second marriage has to wait for the mother to pass away before they get their share.

QUOTE (Skylar7 @ 22.Jan.2013, 03:13 AM) *
I think Swedish inheritance law is very complex, and I really find it difficult to understand that gifts from one spouse to the other have to be included in the inheritance.

It is because everything acquired during a marriage is automatically marital property. If one wishes that something should not be marital property one has to officially register it (or properly document it, but it may still be marital property if the gifts were large and in a short timespan). If your father-in-law for example owned a summer house before entering marriage it would not be marital property but once he gives it to the wife it becomes marital property since she acquired it after the marriage. Any martial property is split up after death and the children of the father-in-law inherits his part. The law is complex and you really need a professional to handle this. Anyone of the heirs can ask for the district court to assign an independent counselor to handle the division of the estate.
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Skylar7
post 22.Jan.2013, 03:32 AM
Post #6
Joined: 21.Jan.2013

Hi Bender,

Thank you again. Yes, hiring a lawyer is the thing to do, but with a deeply paranoid person that is proving slightly difficult, to say the least.

The way you explain this, though, is very easy to understand, and I really appreciate your answers.
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Yorkshireman
post 22.Jan.2013, 08:53 AM
Post #7
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

You need to check the paperwork around the gifts that your father-in-law gave to your mother-in-law before his death. Whilst a gift between husband and wife remains part of the marruage, even if it was not beforehand... It depends how the gift was given. If the gift of the summer house and/or car was given to your mother-in-law and a gåvobrevet (deed of gift) was created that specifically states that the gift is given to be enskilde egendom (personal/individual property) then it is not to be included, since it is not part of the division of assets, it becomes the property of the mother-in-law. Often gifts are not done like this because once done it cannot even be included in any divorce asset seperation, but always good to check wink.gif

Also, if I remember correctly, once the assets are divided 50%-50% between mother-in-law / father-in-law, you then total up the children that the father-in-law had, and each have equal share of his assets. So, if I understand correctly there are 3 children, 2 from a previous marriage and 1 from the current (your partner)? ...the 2 children from the former marriage are entitled to 66% of your father-in-laws assets.
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Skylar7
post 23.Jan.2013, 03:47 AM
Post #8
Joined: 21.Jan.2013

Thank you so much for the extra info, Yorkshirem. There's a will that states how the assets are to be divided. The children from the first marriage get their laglott on their father's death, then my husband and his siblings (two), get theirs on my mother-in-law's death. The remaining assets are to be divided among all the children. From what I understand the first children are getting 25% now, and my mother-in-law the rest.

There's no way to find out about the type of gift now, but all that information will surface when my mother-in-law is gone, which of course we don't want to happen any time soon; but her lack of cooperation is a major headache.

Thank you so much again.
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Yorkshireman
post 23.Jan.2013, 08:53 AM
Post #9
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (Skylar7 @ 23.Jan.2013, 03:47 AM) *
There's no way to find out about the type of gift now, but all that information will surface when my mother-in-law is gone, which of course we don't want to happen any ... (show full quote)

I know it sounds hard, but You need to give your mother-in-law a wake up call!... If there is no deed of gift for the summer house and/or car, then She is in a worse position and those items should be included into the total division of assets. Which I suspect is what the children from the 1st marriage are hinting at, they will want proof of the gift in a legally correct formed gåvabrev.

Also, what isn't clear is what relation your husband is to your father-in-law? Is he a biological child? That also can have an effect on inheritance rights, regardless of any Will.
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