6 What are the consequences of death?

The surviving spouse's rights are protected partly by the regulations on the division of property in case of dissolution of marriage (according to the principles that have been mentioned under 2.1 and 5.1), and partly by inheritance law. Under the Inheritance Code (ÄB) 3:1 the surviving spouse inherits before joint children or other successors. A division of property is not actually at issue in such a situation, since the surviving spouse takes over, by matrimonial property law and inheritance law, all the property of the deceased’s estate. The children's inheritance rights in these cases are to be postponed until the time of the surviving spouse's death (ÄB 3:2). However, if the spouse who died first leaves behind children who are not common (known as separate children) a division of property will have to be made (if the separate children waive their rights under ÄB 3:1, however, the surviving spouse under the same conditions also inherits their inheritance). The separate children's right consists of the legal share (in Swedish: laglott). As legal share, each child is entitled to receive an equal share of one half of the total estate.

Division of property is also necessary in cases where the deceased spouse left a will, because the surviving spouse's inheritance rights are not protected against testamentary dispositions. Under ÄB 3:1 paragraph 2, there is a basic protection for the surviving spouse when there are separate children, other heirs or legatees who shall receive the inheritance. Basic protection means that the surviving spouse is always entitled, through the estate of the deceased spouse and so long as the estate is sufficient, to property of such a value that, together with the property that the surviving spouse received at the division of property, is equivalent to four times the base amount (for 2012 four times the base amount is estimated at 176,000 SEK).