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Anna Elisabeth Nordbø
Photo: Attorney Anna Elisabeth Nordbø helps members by answering their questions about private law

Advice and Tips

Private law: Good advice isn’t expensive – it’s included in your membership

Published: Sept. 3 2022

Can buyers cancel a home purchase agreement? How does inheritance law work? What information must be included in a cohabitation agreement? You’ll find some answers to these questions here.

The attorneys at Tekna can help you out with a lot more than just answering questions about working conditions. In our private law department, attorneys Anna Elisabeth Nordbø and Hege Rutgersen are ready to advise Tekna members about the best course of action to take in their particular situation.

Hege Rutgersen
Tekna attorney Hege Rutgersen

- The only areas that we normally don’t advise on are criminal cases, tax issues and immigration law. These are large, complex legal areas for which we don’t have the necessary expertise, explains attorney Hege Rutgersen. So when we’re asked about these kinds of cases, we refer members to a criminal lawyer, the tax authorities or The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

Don’t take cases to court

In contrast to Tekna’s employment lawyers, Anna and Hege don’t take any cases to court.

- While we gladly help members by giving them legal advice and judicial assessments, we can’t take their cases – for example, ones involving child custody – to course. We don’t write contracts or power of attorney agreements, either. But we do help you look through drafts of them or interpret a will.

As Anna explains, people quite often just need some advice and guidance when they find themselves in an uncertain situation.

- And, she continues, it’s best when members contact us before getting into a conflict. Starting out with a solid contract helps people avoid having a lot of disagreements later.

Typical questions

Below you’ll find the most common questions members ask our attorneys along with what you should do before contacting them. Attaching all relevant documentation to your initial e-mail can greatly shorten your case’s processing time. Please note that your case might take up to 14 days to process during busy periods. As a member you can contact our private law attorneys at [email protected]

Inheritance and wills:

It’s been shown that far too often, inheritance settlements create splits in families; as a result, our attorneys are asked daily how this situation can be avoided. There are often three main issues that are brought up:

  • Help to write up a will
  • Consent to retain undivided possession of an estate
  • Inheritance settlement

If you’ve made a draft of your will, feel free to send it in for an appraisal. This also applies if you’re in the middle of an inheritance settlement and are wondering how to settle it. When our attorneys are sent all your relevant documents when you first contact them, they’ll be able to give you helpful answers more quickly.

Buying/Selling real estate:

These three questions often appear when people are making a housing transfer:

  • - Help reading through a purchase contract draft
  • - Assessing defects after closing a property sale
  • - Guidance in connection with complaints

The most important point to remember when buying and selling property is that offers are binding. So while Tekna’s attorneys can’t cancel a purchase, they can read through the home purchase agreement and give you feedback on it. They can also assess defects after a housing purchase (although this does depend a lot on where the problem lies). And if another area of expertise is needed to make assessments, our attorneys will refer you to other specialists who can help you. Remember to attach all relevant documentation when contacting us so that your case can be processed more quickly. 

Cohabitation agreement:

Have you bought a home with your girlfriend or boyfriend? If so, it’d be smart to work out a cohabitation agreement. It’s been shown that far too often, people see the need for doing so only when their relationship has soured – and then it might be too late to agree on things that otherwise wouldn’t have been that difficult.
Tekna’s attorneys recommend using this form from DNB to create a cohabitation agreement.
  Once you’ve filled it out, they’ll help you look it over. It’s also smart to have your «numbers» ready when contacting our attorneys. For example, how is your home financed? How have you divided your equity and debt? Send your home purchase agreement draft and questions to:  [email protected].

Power of attorney:

While it may be wise to draw up a power of attorney, very few people actually understand what this term means. In short, a power of attorney is a private legal alternative to general guardianship that gives you a greater possibility to decide who is to look after your personal and financial interests on the day you’re no longer able to look after them yourself.  Here’s a helpful form you can use to create a power of attorney. Tekna’s attorneys help you read through your draft in addition to asking you some tough questions: What points do you want included in the power of attorney, and who do you want to look after your interests? What if this individual can’t take on this task? 

Family law:

There are often two questions that Tekna’s attorneys hear when couples split up:

  • - What will my financial settlement be if I get divorced/have a marital breakdown?
  • - What are my legal rights?

Some people also have questions about the rules that apply to children in cases of divorce/marital breakdown:

  • - What does shared parental custody entail?
  • - Will our children have two homes? Or will one of us have primary custody and the other have visitation rights?
  • - What does “in the child’s best interest” really mean?

In order for our attorneys to be able to provide the best possible answers, they need to see all of your documentation when you first contact them. Please send your questions and documentation to  [email protected].

Landlord/Tenant law:

One of the most common issues that Anna and Hege come across is landlord-tenant law. This happens either before people enter into a contract – or when there’s been a relationship breakdown between landlord and tenant.
Common questions include the following:

  • Can you read through my rental agreement?
  • Can you explain my rights and responsibilities as a landlord/tenant?
  • What can a landlord decide in a rental agreement, and what’s not allowed?
  • What am I required to do if I/my tenant want(s) to move out?
  • What happens when there’s a non-payment of deposit?

Tekna’s attorneys read through your rental agreement draft and suggest ways to improve it if needed. 
Here’s a good form to use if you need to write up a rental agreement.

As in all legal matters, it’s smart to attach all documentation when first contacting our attorneys, whether it’s a draft of a rental agreement or an agreement on which a dispute is based. Doing so makes the job both easier for the attorneys and faster for you.

While Tekna’s attorneys can often provide help by answering your questions about private law, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, issues involving tax, immigration and criminal law require a certain kind of expertise, so you’ll need to talk to a specialist if you need help in one of these areas.

Also, please keep in mind that our attorneys are only advisors, so they don’t write any contracts themselves. As such, they can only advise you on any existing contracts or agreements you might have.

Please attach all relevant documentation concerning the contract in question when you get in touch so that our attorneys will be able to give you better and faster service.

Please contact our attorneys at [email protected].

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