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What is a marriage contract, a co-ownership agreement and a will?

Many people forget to consider the importance of regulating their personal and economic circumstances when buying a new home. However, it is a very good idea to do so. This way, you can relax in your new home knowing that your fortune, assets and wishes will be respected in the event of your death, possible annulment of relationships or a separation/divorce from your partner.
On this page, you can learn about the difference between a marriage contract, a co-ownership agreement and a will, and in which cases it makes sense to invest in them.


Marriage contract

If you are married or planning on getting married, you should continue reading. As a rule, in Denmark, married couples have joint property. This means that everything you and your partner own before and during the marriage will be joint property. Or in other words: In the case of a divorce, your partner is entitled to 50% of everything you own.

Therefore, a marriage contract regulates the fortune in your marriage, and how this fortune will be divided in the case of a divorce. For example, you can choose to make a special combination of separate property. This way, if one of you dies, your fortune is joint property and will be shared 50/50, but if the marriage ends due to a divorce, your own fortune is completely separate property, and then you will not have to share your own fortune with your partner.

It can be a good idea to make a marriage contract in the beginning or during your marriage, so you agree on how your fortune should be divided if your marriage somehow ends.

A marriage contract can with advantage be made at the same time as a joint will, if your want to make sure that the distribution of the fortune is respected in the will.

Co-ownership agreement

If you are buying a new home with your partner, your mom, your best friend or maybe your cousin, you will need a co-ownership agreement.

A co-ownership agreement regulates circumstances regarding your joint home, and it is a good way to determine solutions for possible conflicts in the future. For example, you can decide how to share the operating costs, you can make sure that no one can sell the property without consent from the other person, and that in the case where one of the persons want to sell, the other person gets preemptive rights.

Furthermore, you can add in the agreement how much money you have each contributed with to buy the property. This way, if you want to sell the property again someday, it is easier to decide how to share the sales proceeds. The advantage of this is that if you invest different amounts in the property, you can have these contributions back.



You and your partner split up and sell your common apartment that you own 50/50.

When you bought it, you invested kr. 110.000 and your partner invested 50.000 kr.

The sales proceeds are kr. 200.000.

If you do NOT have a co-ownership agreement, the kr. 200.000 will be divided like this:

Kr. 110.000 for you.

Kr. 50.000 for your partner.

The remaining sales proceeds will be divided so that you receive kr. 20.000 each.

So, not matter if you are single, married or cohabitant, we always recommend you to make a will and marriage contract or a co-ownership agreement when you buy a new home.



Everyone needs a will – they just do not know it.

It can be uncomfortable to talk about what should happen to your money and assets when you are no longer here. However, a will is a an investment for life that you will end up appreciating when death someday occurs.

A will regulates who should inherit your money and assets. Due to the Inheritance Act in Denmark, your marriage partner and children (also called heirs of the body) will inherit 25% of your fortune. The rest of your fortune you can decide on your own how to divide.

If you are married, you can make a joint will with your partner where you can take each other into account in the case of death. This means that the partner left behind is allowed to stay in your common home and inherit as much as possible. Due to the Inheritance Act this means that your children will inherit a total of 12,5%, and the remaining 87,5% will go to the marriage partner of the dead person.

Likewise, unmarried cohabitants can consider each other in a joint will. But if your do not make a will, there is no right of inheritance between cohabitants, and the inheritance will go to the heirs of the body – which will in the case of an unmarried couple be children and parents of the deceased.

Therefore, there is no excuse for not making a will. This is useful no matter if you are single, cohabitant or married. Just look at it as a possibility for you do decide for yourself who should inherit your fortune when you die.


What is a marriage contract?
A marriage contract is a document signed by both parties in a marriage. In the document it is stated who is entitled to what in the event of a divorce or if one of the parties dies.

What happens in the marriage contract?
The married couple can decide what the marriage contract should contain, but often it is an agreement on who gets what in the case of a divorce or death.

How does marriage contract end?
To annul a marriage contract, you must make a new on. So, if you regret the decisions in your current marriage contract, the only solution is to make a new one where you agree on the new terms and both sign the document.

What should be included in a marriage contract?
A marriage contract should consist of a description of the involved parties (name, address etc.) and a section about what will happen in the event of a divorce and death. Additionally, a marriage contract includes a list of both party’s assets and finally a registration of the contract to make it legally binding.

What is a co-ownership agreement?
A co-ownership agreement is a document that states how different circumstances should be handled regarding the sharing of a home between for example partners, family members or friends over the age of 18.

What rights do co-owners have?
If two people own a house together, they each own half of it. Therefore, it can be problematic if one of the parties wants to sell, and the other one does not. By signing a co-ownership agreement, you can avoid situations like this, because everything will be decided in the agreement when you are still on good terms. Additionally, if you are not married, and one of you dies, you risk that the other person’s half of the house is assigned to the person’s relatives.

Buyer's Agent

Preparing a house co-ownership agreement, a marriage contract or a will

A marriage contract, a co-ownership agreement and a will are documents that you make in cooperation with a lawyer or Bomae. However, the document must be signed by yourself and a minimum of two attesting witnesses or a lawyer. You have the possibility to make a will, a marriage contract and a co-ownership agreement when you turn 18.

It is a good idea to sign the documents in front of a notary to make sure that the document is stored at the Central Register of Wills. A notary falls under the court of justice, and the document can be signed in any jurisdiction.

Buyer's Agent

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