Here is our guide to understanding how to act in relation to an inheritance with assets located in Spain. Whether you are the designated heir in a Spanish will or in a foreign Will or you have the status of executor of the Will, we can help you throughout the procedure.

Bear in mind that when talking about inheritance the document preparation takes quite a long time as some documents need to be legalised and translated. It is very important to know that the tax obligations must be fulfilled within six months whether or not you have to pay taxes.

  • Documents

    In order to be able to obtain the deed of adjudication of inheritance (Inheritance Deed), it is necessary to prove before the Notary who the heirs are. In order to determine who or who the heirs are, it is necessary to know if there is a Will. In order to know if there is a Will granted in Spain, it is necessary to request a certificate from the Register of Last Will Acts, which is a record containing the Wills granted before Notaries in Spain.

    To obtain this certificate it is necessary to attach the death certificate. We need you to provide us with this death certificate, if you also have a copy of the Will made in Spain it will be easier to ask for the Certificate of Last Will Acts.

    Along with the death certificate we will need the following documents:

    • Deed of the property.
    • Last receipt of the Tax on Real Estate (IBI).
    • Certificate of the balance of current accounts at the date of death.
    • Certificate of the value corresponding to any investment made in Spain.
    • Vehicle documentation.
    • Balance of loans or other existing debts at the date of death.

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  • How to Proceed

    When you let us have the documentation we will do the following:

    We will request the Certificate of Last Will Acts which is necessary to obtain the authorized copy of the Will.

    If it is a death certificate issued in the United Kingdom, we proceed with its legalization by means of the Apostille of the Hague Convention and its translation.

    We prepare an assessment of the inheritance and the calculation of taxes, notary fees, registration, fees, etc.

    If the deceased does not have a will granted in Spain but in his country the initial procedures are the same as it is necessary to prove that there is no will here. For United Kingdom citizens at the same time the client must obtain Probate of the UK Will as well as the Grant of Representation.

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  • Adjudication Deed

    As with the sale and purchase of property, it is possible to carry out all the processing of the inheritance without your presence in Spain, provided that a power of representation is granted (Power of Attorney). Please read our information on Powers of Attorney.

    Our office prepares the documentation and the valuations of the assets of the inheritance and ask the Notary for the corresponding deed of inheritance adjudication to be prepared.

    A deed is necessary whenever there is a real estate property and it is necessary to change the name of the owners in the Property Registry. In other cases, a private document and the payment of taxes is usually (but not always) sufficient to be able to gain access to the existing balances in current accounts.

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  • Final Steps

    Basically, the last processes are very similar to that of a sale with the difference that when there are current accounts, deposits, etc. It is necessary to take all the documentation to the bank or banks. Their legal department will carry out the relevant checks of the documents and if all is in order, release the funds.

    We then prepare and pay the inheritance tax (IS), notify the City Council and settle the Tax on the Increase in the Value of Urban Land (IIVTNU) and present the deed to the Land Registry .
    We make the change of owner in the cadastre (register) so that the Real Estate Tax (IBI) details are changed to those of the new owner.

    Where there are ongoing payments to be made (IBI and Utility Bills) we will set up Direct Debits in your Bank Account so that the transfer is as seamless as possible for you.

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  • Work Finished

    All this work usually takes between four to six weeks. Once concluded we arranged a meeting with our clients. The purpose of this meeting is to provide all the documentation related to the registration of the property, what we call the property title. Also to finalise the budget that we were working to and return any excess or collect any difference in our favour. In general we allow in the budget for the maximum but there are expenses such as the Notary or Registry that are estimated and there could be differences at the end.
    When the client is not in Spain, a copy of all the documentation and the settlement is sent by e-mail, keeping the originals until the client picks them up from our office.

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