Inheritance in Spain-Steps to deal with it

Dealing with somebody’s inheritance can be hard because we are never prepared to deal with our loved ones’ death but, unfortunately, this is part of life.

Nevertheless, apart from dealing with grieving them, we also have to deal with procedures and the inheritance.

If you need to deal with the inheritance of someone who had assets in Spain, please read the following checklist to help you a little bit with the procedure.

  • Approximately 7 days after death, you should request the Death Certificate at the Registro Civil (Spanish Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages).
  • Approximately 15 working days after death, and once you have the Death Certificate, you should go to any Notary office and request the Last Wills Certificate. The Last Wills Certificate will inform you if the deceased left a Spanish Will and the Notary Office where it is recorded. Once we know if there is a Will:
    1. If there is a Spanish Will, you should contact the Notary office where it is for getting it.
    2. If there is no Spanish Will, but there is a Will in the deceased’s national country, you should get it along with the Probate (if it is from the UK).
    3. If there is no Will at all, a Notary will have to issue the “Acta de declaración de herederos ab intestato” (a certificate stating who the heirs are).
  • Once you have the Death Certificate, Last Wills Certificate and the Will:
    1. If the deceased left bank accounts in Spain, you should go to the bank with all the before mentioned documents and request a “Certificado de Saldo” (a certificate informing about the balance on the account on the date of death).
    2. If the deceased had real estate or cars, you should get information about the assets to establish the inventory.
  • Once you have established the inventory (assets to inherit), you should bring all the before mentioned documents along with the inventory to a Notary Office for accepting the inheritance. The Notary will check also if the deceased had any life insurance. If the heirs don’t agree on how to split and share the inheritance, it will have to be done through Court.
  • Once the Inheritance has been accepted, Succession taxes have to be paid. There is a six-month term since the date of death for paying taxes. If there are properties, the Plusvalía Tax (Capital Gains tax) will also have to be paid.
  • Once taxes are paid, the tax payment forms along with the original Inheritance Acceptance Deed will have to be sent to the Land Registry to change the ownership. You should also inform the local tax office and city council about the ownership change. For changing the holders on bank accounts, the same tax payment forms and the original Inheritance Acceptance Deed will have to be presented to the bank.