Division of Inheritance in SpainUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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Inheritance matters in Spain are governed by the Civil Code which establishes in Article 9.8 that the assets of a deceased person will be divided between the heirs in accordance with the deceased’s wishes expressed in the will. The Inheritance Law also specifies that the testament will prevail over any other legislation, unless a person dies intestate (without leaving a will). However, there are also certain limitations in the Inheritance Law. In case of intestacy, the Succession Law applies and the estate will be divided among heirs. Also, if a marital property regime applies, the marriage legislation will regulate the succession.
Our Spanish lawyers can provide you with more information about the enforcement of other laws related to inheritance.
The Spanish legislation on the division of the inheritance
The Spanish Inheritance Law was designed to protect the family and limits a testator’s freedom when it comes to the division of assets. The law provides for the so-called “enforced heirs” who have the legal right to inherit two-thirds of the estate. The division of inherited assets under the Spanish legislation will be done as it follows:
- - one-third of the estate will be divided in equal shares between the children and the spouse, the so-called compulsory heirs,
- - one-third of the estate will be divided among the other compulsory heirs chosen by the testator,
- - one-third of the estate will be divided among those stipulated in the deceased’s will.
For assistance in matters related to the divisions of assets in case of inheritance, you may refer to our law firm in Spain.
Accepting an inheritance in Spain
The inheritance legislation also applies to foreign citizens living in Spain or accepting an inheritance from Spanish citizens. There are several steps one must follow in order to gain possession of the inherited assets. The first step is signing a Title Deed of Acceptance. The inheritor must know that the Spanish legislation provides for an inheritance tax. The second step will be determining the inheritance tax to be paid. In case of real estate inheritance, the last step will be registering the property with the Spanish Land Registry.
For more information about the inheritance tax and assistance in gaining possession of inherited assets, do not hesitate to contact our Spanish attorneys.