Axarquia Solicitors

Organizing an inheritance in Spain is a difficult task for everyone, specially if you don’t know the Spanish law.

In this post we explain the basic steps to be followed when a non-resident or expat passes away owning assets in Spain. It is necessary to carry out a legal procedure to change ownership of assets of the deceased person into the name of the heirs.

1st Step: Get an original death certificate. This official document is normally provided by the funeral company and it can also be obtained from the Civil Registry.

2nd Step: Get original certificates of the last will (if any) signed by the deceased person, as well as the certificate of any life insurance policies in place.

With these certificates we will confirm if the deceased person made a will in Spain. We can find two situations:

  • Existence of a will made inside or outside Spain. In this case the assets will be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased person.
  • Non-existence of a will. If the deceased person never made a will, the distribution of his assets will be made according to the laws of his nationality.

3rd Step: the heirs or relatives of the deceased person will have to sign an inheritance deed in front of a Spanish Public Notary in order to accept and distribute all the assets. Please, be aware that debts are also inherited so it is important to confirm that the value of the assests is higher than any possible debts.

4th Step: Filling Inheritance Tax Form 650 with the local Tax Office. For EU citizens there are allowances up to 1.000.000 euros per heir (in case of direct relatives: spouse and children), so in most cases there won’t be any inheritance tax to be paid. The inheritance taxes must be filled within 6 months from the date of the death.

5th Step: Take the inheritance title deeds to the Land Registry in case the deceased person owned a real state property or to banks /insurance companies in case the deceased person had funds, bank accounts or life insurance policies.

We recommend hiring the professional services of a solicitor so this procedure can be done in a speedy and correct way.


For more information get in contact with Axarquia Solicitors