Inheritance procedure in Spain, Spanish Wills and succession

Our company provides you with comprehensive advice upon executing a will before notary as well as preparing and signing the deed of acceptance and vesting of estate before any public notary. The main activities related to executing an acceptance of inheritance are as follows:

Fiscal advice, providing you with all information about expenses and taxes to be taken into account upon executing the deed of acceptance and vesting of estate.

Obtaining all relevant documentation related to the assets of the inheritance, the wills and any other necessary certificates.

Verifications at the Land Registry.

Preparation and execution of the public deed of Grant of Probate before Notary, settlement of taxes inherent to the succession as well as the subsequent submission at the corresponding tax office and registration at the Land Registry.

Do you wish to draw up a Will in Spain?

Your business is in good hands at Arcos & Lamers Asociados, Spanish property lawyers. Your solicitor in Spain!

This law firm has the pleasure to line out some notes that should be taking into regards to granting of a Spanish Will and some details to take into account concerning the tax implications of the corresponding Inheritance in Spain.

Arcos & Lamers Asociados provide legal advice to non-tax residents in Spain at the time of granting a Spanish Will that will ease the legal procedure of Inheritance acceptance of those assets located in Spain and to avoid unnecessary delays as well as future contingencies for the inheritors.

The Spanish Will will state that it disposes only of those assets situate in Spain.

As per the Spanish legislation, at the time of your decease, the law applicable is the national law of the deceased (art. 9.8 Spanish Civil Code). Therefore it would be your national inheritance law which governs your inheritance situation of all your assets (also those located in Spain), being able to leave your estate to the person of your choice, but always complying with your own national law.

You should also confirm that your own national inheritance law is governed by the principle of free disposition of your assets by Will.

It may be possible that the national inheritance law remit to the law of the country where the assets are located (Spanish law). If this were the case, the Spanish Inheritance law establishes, in general terms, the following partition of the estate:


– 1/3 “Legítima”: The “legítima” is that share of the state that must be left in equal parts to compulsory heirs, i.e: primarily children and spouse.

– 1/3 “Mejora”: The “mejora” is the share of the state that can be left to one or more compulsory heirs, to improve the “legítima”. The difference with the “legitima” is that the testator can choose to whom of the compulsory heirs can improve with this share of the state.

-1/3 “Libre disposición”:  This would be the third share of your state which you are free to dispose.

The Spanish Inheritance law establishes the principle of free disposition of your assets by Will which means that you would be entitled to grant a Will, respecting the 1/3 of “Legitima” and 1/3 of “Mejora”, (in case that your national law remit to the Spanish law).

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Requirements and formalities of the Spanish Will

Arcos & Lamers Asociados provide legal advise to our client to grant the Spanish Will called “Open Will” signed before a Civil Notary Public in Spain. This would be the most common, but as well, the most recommended format due to the fact that the same is directly enforceable, and will allow to your inheritors to initiate the Acceptance of your assets in Spain, immediately after your decease.

The Open Will in Spain can be signed in double column format, Spanish and the language of your choose. The document must also be translated and signed by a translator.

Once signed, the Notary keeps the original Spanish Will in his records, and provides you with an authorised copy of the same.

Finally, the Notary sends a notification to the Central Registry of Last Wills in Madrid (“Registro Central de Actos de última voluntad”), where the name of the testators, the protocol number of the Notary and the date of the granting of the Will is registered.

This notification will allow to the inheritors to localise a copy of the Spanish Will after your decease.

Spanish Tax liabilities. Spanish Inheritance tax

Although your National Law is applicable for the distribution of the Spanish assets, from a Fiscal/Tax point of view, the inheritors will be liable to Spanish Inheritance Tax. In general terms, the Spanish Inheritance Tax would be rated on assets located in Spain only (properties, bank accounts, vehicles, insurance policies, etc).

The Inheritance tax in Spain has to be settled within the 6 following months after the decease.

This Spanish tax is payable by the inheritors and not by the inheritance (estate). This means that the tax should be paid before the inheritors can deal with the assets of the inheritance.

For example:

Whether the estate includes deposits in a Spanish Bank account, the inheritors would have to settle the tax before they can access to these deposits.

Or, if the inheritors desire to sell a property in Spain, they first will have to settle the Spanish inheritance tax.

It is necessary to value the assets and liabilities, taking into account the market value of the assets at the time of the death. The total sum, deducted the charges, will be then liable to tax (expenses of the funeral can also be deducted).

Spanish Inheritance Tax reductions. The Spanish inheritance tax establishes a minimum exemption over the tax to be paid, depending of the relationship between the inheritors and the deceased:

Group I: Descendants, adopted children under 21 years old: General exemption of 15.956,87 euros, plus € 3,990.72 per the number of years to arrive at age 21, per a maximum exemption of 47.858,59.

Group II: Descendants, adopted children over 21, parents, adopted parents: exemption 15.956,87 euros.

Group III: Collateral of 2º and 3º grade: brothers-sisters, nephews-nieces, aunts-uncles:  exemption 7.993,46 euros.

Group IV:  Those not mentioned in group 1, 2, 3 above, friends, etc: No exemption.

Once the above tax exemptions have been deducted, the Inheritance Tax will be applied on the remainder of the inheritance in Spain, as per a general scale of Spanish Inheritance Tax

NOTE: The above mentioned information has been produced by Arcos & Lamers Asociados, Spanish property lawyers, Spanish tax lawyers, accountants and tax advisors in Marbella. The same is issued for informative and guidance purposes only and it is not legally binding as this information is drawn up taking into account Spanish tax legislation in force at the time of drafting the present. The same or part of the contents of the same should not be reproduced, nor given to third parties, without the authorization of Spanish Law firm Arcos & Lamers Asociados. This Spanish law firm is situated in Marbella, from where services throughout Spain are developed.

Please do not hesitate approach Arcos & Lamers Asociados directly in order to apply for a first free legal-tax consultation. your solicitors in Marbella, Málaga,

Inheritance procedure in Spain. Spanish Inheritance Law

The disposition of assets located in Spain by non residents heirs is not an automatic procedure. Please note that it is necessary to carry out some steps in order to have the Spanish properties and assets registered in the name of the heirs.

In these brief lines, the English spoken Spanish law firm is pleased to inform you on the procedure of acceptance of Spanish inheritance to be followed:

It is necessary to obtain the original Death Certificate. In the event that the decease has occurred out of Spain, it is necessary that the certificate is stamped with the Apostille of the Convention of The Hague.

It is also necessary to obtain an original copy of the Spanish Will granted by the deceased, or if the Will was granted out of Spain, have it stamped with the Apostille of the Hague Convention.

In the event that there is no Will at all, it will be necessary to obtain a certification issued by the corresponding authority, stating who are the heirs as per the applicable legislation, also legalised with the Apostille of the Hague Convention.

Once all the documentation is in place, together with some documentation to be obtained in Spain by your representative (Spanish lawyers and/or Spanish Accountants), it is necessary to arrange a meeting at the Notary in Spain to proceed with the signing of the acceptance Title Deed of the Spanish Inheritance.

The next step would be to settle the Inheritance Tax in Spain and to proceed with the registration of the property in the name of the heir, at the corresponding Land Registry.

Please note that the heirs will need to have NIE numbers, necessary to appear in front of the Notary in Spain and to have the Spanish properties registered in their names.

The Spanish lawyers, accountants and Tax advisers of our Firm Arcos & Lamers Asociados located in Marbella, Costa del Sol,  will be pleased to assist you in the whole  mentioned procedure  in order to have property registered in your name.

This Spanish Law Firm, will also be pleased to advise you in the granting of your Wills in Spain, provide the necessary Tax advice and any legal advice you may need in Marbella, Málaga, the Costa del Sol or in the total Spanish Territory.

Arcos & Lamers Asociados, your Spanish lawyers, fiscal advisors and accountants in Marbella, Málaga, Spain. Do not hesitate to contact us for any of your legal, tax, accountancy, company, labour inquiries.

More information on Inheritance tax in Spain, Spanish Will´s and inheritance procedures in Spain.

How to obtain a copy of a will granted in Spain or to find out whether a Spanish will was granted or not

In order to find out the existence of a Will in Spain, or to obtain a copy of the same, it is necessary to obtain the Death Certificate.

With this Death Certificate, it will be possible to apply, to the “Registro de Actos de Última Voluntad” (Last Wills Registry) a certificate of the last Spanish Will of the deceased, which will show if the person  already granted a Will in Spain, and details of the Notary where the Spanish Will was granted. Read more….

Necessary documentation for non-resident who wish to proceed with the Acceptance of Inheritance in Spain. Spanish Inheritance Tax.

A considerable number of doubts may arise in a very delicate moment when, in addition to taking decisions such as going to a professional law firm in Spain to assist you in the acceptance of your Spanish inheritance, you need to prepare the documentation required to proceed with the acceptance of the assets of the deceased in Spain. Your Spanish lawyer should provide you aswell the corresponding breakdown of taxes and disbursements involved. Specially to mention of course the so called “Impuesto sobre sucesiones y donaciones” Inheritance tax in Spain.

Let us explain in a simple way the documentation that must be prepared to grant your acceptance of Spanish inheritance in front of a Notary Public. Read more….

Your Will in Spain, Spanish Law Firm in Marbella is informaing you.

The Will in Spain is the act by which a person decides,  for after its death, they way to leave all its assets or part of them.

In Spain, each individual person should grant a Will,  not being valid to prepare a testament by two or more people together, or in one single document, neither the Will in Spain may be granted by a third party or a representative

The Will can be open or closed. Do you wish to obtain additional information on a open Will in Spain? Read more….

Inheritance tax in Spain, information on procedure, Tax and Spanish Will´s among others.

Besides our this general web site, our multi-lingual proactive English speaking law firm in Marbellawould like to invite you to visit the micro web “Inheritace in Spain” by Arcos & Lamers Asociados.

At this new web we are providing deep going information on the following subjects:


1)      Spanish Inheritance procedure.

2)      Inheritance tax in Spain, examples.

 3)      whether the national or regional law is applicable.

4)      information on drafting a Will in Spain, among others.