This article we explain the procedures to follow when handling an inheritance in Spain. However, it is important to note that this is only a summary of the salient points, and to ensure the correct procedure is followed the intervention of a specialized attorney is necessary. 1.First it is essential to obtain the death certificate from the country where the person died. In the case of foreigners who have died in their country of origin and have assets in Spain the Death Certificate would be obtained there and then should be translated into Spanish and an “Apostille” (an official stamp), should be acquired to make it valid for use in Spain. Without this document, which is the only official proof of death, the heirs will not be able to process the inheritance. 2.Secondly, after 15 working days from the death (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), The Certificate of Wills and, where necessary, The Contracts and Insurance Certificate must be acquired. The first is necessary to confirm whether or not a will has been signed by the deceased, and the second as proof of any insurance contracts that provide compensation for the death. In order to obtain these certificates it would be necessary to present the Death Certificate, fill out an official application form and provide proof of payment of the fee (currently 3.60 € for each certificate). These certificates are issued on the spot. 3. Get a certified copy of the will. Once you have found out which Notary signed the Last Will and Testament of the deceased you would need to apply for a Certified Copy of the will from that Notary. This can only be applied for by a person directly mentioned in the document, (an heir or legatee), or with a Power of Attorney, by a legal representative of any interested party. 4. Make an inventory of assets and debts to inherit. The next step is to locate all assets held by the deceased in Spain and collect all documentation relating thereto. These assets must be valued later in order to distribute them as requested by the deceased and then for tax purposes. 5.Signature of award deed of inheritance. This is done in writing naming who are the heirs, specifying the inventory of assets and debts, and listing what is awarded to each heir. 6.Payment of taxes. There are two tax liabilities if a property is part of the inheritance: a. Inheritance Tax. b. The tax increase in value of urban land known as "municipal capital gain"(Plus Valía). Both taxes should be paid within 6 months from the date of death. In addition to the aforementioned costs inheritance also generates notary fees and registration fees which are highly variable since they depend on many factors such as the number of documents or the amount of goods and their value. To this you should add Lawyers fees, as this complicated procedure would definitely require the assistance of a qualified professional. José Manuel Garzón Macho – Senior Partner Please contact us if you require assistance in this or any other legal or tax matter for a free, no obligation appointment, by phone on 952 901 225 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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