Brief Overview

Printout from the book of inheritance, 1950.

94.295.125 - Gift of Sandy Kuharic.

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Skifte refers to the division of the estate of a deceased person.

From 1521 onward it became the law that in case of heirs who were still minors the division of the estate should be monitored by the local authorities and the outcome should be noted in a Skiftebog (or children's book as it was called at the time).

From 1792 it became the law that all inheritance had to be monitored because of the inheritance tax which was to be paid and the monitoring authority became organized. In 1919 this authority has been called Skifteretten (Inheritance court) and all cases of inheritance are monitored.

A letter such as this was sent to all heirs after the estate had been finally settled or could be requested from the court upon application. They are valuable sources of information as they contain, detailed addresses, sometimes as history of addresses of the deceased and the beneficiary, names of children and other relatives and date of birth and death. The overall amount can give a hint as to status of the individual.