Death and Inheritance Tax


One of the most complicated things to have to deal with is when you are the beneficiary of an inheritance.

We provide you with comprehensive advice from when you make your own Will with a view to your inheritors to dealing with executing the Will. The main activities related to executing an acceptance of inheritance are detailed below…

We help with:

  1. 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.
  2. Obtaining all relevant documentation related to the assets of the inheritance, the wills and any other necessary certificates.
  3. Verification at the Land Registry.
  4. 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.
  5. Inheritors will usually be liable to Spanish Inheritance Tax unless Residents of Spain for tax purposes (and then various allowances may apply but some tax may be incurred).

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 death.

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.

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 has some allowances available, depending of the relationship between the inheritors and the deceased:

Once the 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

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, such as go to the Notary.

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

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 the heirs are as per the applicable legislation, also legalised with the Apostille.

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.

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.

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.

If you have a friend or family member that may need assistance with an inheritance, please contact us to discuss.

We will be happy to meet with you and explain how it works. Did you know for instance that if you are leaving your Spanish assets to your unmarried partner, they will not be able to enjoy any tax free allowance at all; so it is important to be aware of what might have to be paid in tax?

Also, if you have not made a Spanish Will, please do so as this will make matters much easier in Spain when something happens to you and it is relatively inexpensive.

Looking for a solution?

Feel free to get in touch with any enquiries and one of our friendly members of staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

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