A person has passed away and the Inheritance needs to be settled. The probate process will be different depending on whether or not the deceased had a Spanish Will in place or did not have a Will in place. This article will discuss what needs to happen when someone passes away with a Will in Spain.
What documents are needed to start a Spanish Inheritance?
Initially, you will start an Inheritance procedure with two documents. The first document is the death certificate of the deceased and the second document is the Last Will and Testament.
The death certificate can be obtained from the registrar’s office (Oficina del Registro Civil) in the municipality where the death occurred. The Last Will and Testament can be obtained from the Notary who drew up the Will.
Honouring the Will
We begin by recognizing that, on the death of the deceased, those called to the Inheritance must complete an inventory of all assets and debts included in the estate.
This inventory should be done as soon as possible and will be used to determine the size of the estate and how it will be distributed.
The next thing to do is to contact a notary public in order to open the succession. The notary will need to see the original Will and any other documents related to the estate. They will also need to see the death certificate.
The notary will then begin the process of distributing the estate according to the Will. This can be a complicated process, so it is important to have a professional on your side.
Get help with your Inheritance in Spain from a professional
It is also worth noting that, in Spain, there is a system of forced heirship. This means that, even if somebody dies with a Will, their estate must still be divided in a certain way. A certain percentage of the estate must go to the spouse and/or children of the deceased. In this way, the Will needs to be followed, but the Spanish Inheritance Law also needs to be respected.
This can complicate matters if the deceased did not want to leave anything to their family. In these cases, it is best to seek professional legal advice in order to ensure that
Not accepting an Inheritance
When you are in a Will as an heir, you have the right to accept or reject the Inheritance. If you reject the Inheritance, you will have no rights or obligations with respect to the estate. You will also not be held liable for any debts of the deceased. If you choose to accept the Inheritance, you will be taking on all of the rights and responsibilities that come with it.
There is a way to accept an Inheritance conditionally. This means that you will only be taking on the rights and responsibilities of the estate if the debts of the deceased are paid off first. This can be a good option if you are worried about inheriting any debts, some legal procedures are required for this.
Where is the Will kept?
The notary will keep a copy of the will on file so that it can be easily accessed by the executor in the event of the testator’s death.
Spanish law requires that all wills must be deposited with a public notary. This is to ensure that the will is properly executed and witnessed.
In addition, the notary can provide advice and guidance on the best way to execute the will, and can help to resolve any disputes that may arise.
What will happen with the Will when it is executed?
Upon execution of the Will, the relevant data shall be recorded in the Register of Last Wills in Madrid. The registered data will include the name, ID number and address of the testator, as well as the day and place of execution of the Will. The date of recording in the Register will also be mentioned. Likewise, any way of execution of the Will shall be registered in the Register. In this way, beneficiaries may have access to it after death, upon request.
Challenging a Will in Spain
If you are not happy with the way that a Will has been executed, or if you feel that you have been left out of the Will unfairly, then you may be able to challenge the Will in court.
Reasons to challenge a will are:
- The testator was not of sound mind when the Will was made
- Execution of the WIll was not properly done
- The Will was forged or fraudulently altered
- The value of an asset in the Will is greater or lesser
- You were dependent on the deceased and have been left out of the Will
- The Will is not clear or has defects
- There is a form of intimidation or violence within the WIll
When you want to contest a Will, you can do this with the help of an Inheritance Lawyer. You may need to go to court and present your case in front of a judge.
If the judge decides in your favour, then the Will may be declared invalid. This means that the estate would be distributed according to Spanish law, rather than according to the deceased’s wishes.
Calculating the Inheritance Tax after the Will
Depending on the value of assets in Spain (and outside) you will inherit according to the Will and Inheritance Law, you will need to pay Inheritance Tax. There are several allowances and reductions. The amount of tax that you need to pay will depend on your relationship with the deceased, the value of the estate, the value of your personal assets, and whether the person is a tax resident or tax non resident.
Typically, an Inheritance Lawyer will be able to help you with the tax calculation since it can be a complicated process. Shares, investments, businesses, and property in Spain and abroad must be appraised and taxed accordingly.
Getting help with your Inheritance
An Inheritance can be a complex area, and having professional advice can be good in order to ensure that you are following the correct procedures. Next to this, it may be better to let someone else focus on legal matters, so you can focus on important things.
Our Lawyer can offer you services to lighten the burden of Spanish bureaucracy and can assist you with anything that you may face. We can also help you to resolve any disputes with another beneficiary, in a way that would be satisfying to you. Contact us if you would like any help.
Get help with your Inheritance in Spain from a professional