Mother’s Death in the US Not Confirmed to Daughter Skip to content

Mother’s Death in the US Not Confirmed to Daughter

By Iceland Review

Anný Dóra Halldórsdóttir, whose mother continued to receive pension benefits from the Icelandic Social Insurance Administration ten years after her death in the US in 2000, said she was informed of her mother passing away but never received confirmation.


Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“Sending the death certificate was simply forgotten about,” Halldórsdóttir told “We were surprised when we heard that the money of a deceased woman was being withdrawn.”

Halldórsdóttir said she had heard about her mother, Steinthóra Eyjólfsína Steinthórsdóttir, who lived in a small town near Fargo, passing away the day that she died and called for confirmation.

“I asked whether the ashes could be sent to Iceland but never received any answer. Of course I believed that she was dead but I was never given any confirmation,” Halldórsdóttir said.

Halldórsdóttir explained that the death certificate wasn’t sent because her mother’s death had never been formally confirmed. She was buried in the US.

Steinthórsdóttir had nine children, six of whom have passed away. Halldórsdóttir is the only sibling living in Iceland; she has two sisters in the US.

Halldórsdóttir’s family has sent a letter to national broadcaster RÚV demanding an apology for the coverage of her mother’s affair and the connection with Einar Kárason’s Devil’s Island.

“This news reported by the national broadcaster is shameful; there was no need to mix this Devil’s Island into the story,” Halldórsdóttir said. According to RÚV, her mother inspired one of the characters in the book.

“Who can prove that we are part of this Devil’s Island?” Halldórsdóttir asked, adding, “Einar Kárason should be ashamed of himself.”

When asked, Halldórsdóttir said neither the Icelandic Social Insurance Administration nor the police contacted her to ask about her mother’s fate.

The Capital Region Police’s fraud department is investigating this case. However, it is considered unlikely that the ISK 14 million (USD 121,000, EUR 88,000) paid out after Steinthórsdóttir’s death will be reclaimed. It has not been reported who benefited from the misunderstanding.

Click here to read more about this story.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!