Kind of heirs. Three parts of an inheritance in Spain. How to disinherit a child or spouse in Spain

heirs in SpainAccording to Spanish legislation, there are three types of heirs:

Voluntary heirs:

Those appointed in the will. Should they come to decease before the testator, the right to inherit will not be passed on to their descendants.

Heirs entitled to a reserved share:

They are, in essence, the children or descendants. Should there be no children, then this share shall go to the parents or ascendants. The Spanish law acknowledges 1/3 of the estate of the deceased person to this type of heirs.


They inherit specific things like an apartment, jewels or a car. The legatees must be appointed in the will and their share cannot diminish the non-disposable reserved share.

The inheritance in Spain is divided in three shares:

1/3 of the non-disposable reserved share (la legítima):

This is 1/3 of the estate over which the testator cannot freely dispose. This portion of the estate must devolve compulsory onto the heirs as mentioned before (second type of heirs).

1/3 of “mejora” (improvement):

1/3 of the estate may be either in equal parts or unequally be distributed among the heirs. Some heirs may get more or they may all get an equal part. To the contrary, it is also possible to leave this part to none of the heirs.

1/3 of free disposition:

The testator has the absolute freedom to leave 1/3 of the inheritance to any person whosoever he considers appropriate.

How to disinherit a child or descendant?

In essence, it is possible to disinherit children or descendants in case they deny to maintain the parents or ascendants or if they use defamatory speech towards them or physically or verbally abuse them.

How to disinherit the spouse?

In Spain it is possible to disinherit the spouse if she or he did not comply with the marital duties, denied to maintain the children or spouse or made an attempt on the testator’s life.

Do not hesitate to contact Arcos & Lamers Asociados, your team of lawyers and economists in Marbella for any question regarding your inheritance in Spain.


María Teresa Arcos, lawyer in Marbella.

Wim Lamers, accountant in Marbella.

  • Wim Lamers
  • Fiscal advisers Marbella, Inheritance Marbella, Spanish Inheritance Tax, Spanish Will, Tax Advice Marbella,

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