Initial inheritance in Spain

Earlier we considered the topic of inheritance in Spain, if the heirs have already entered into rights in their country of residence. In this article, we will explain this procedure when the initial inheritance takes place in Spain. ⠀
Firstly, there is a 3-step system of inheritance in the country (Rule of three thirds):
▪︎ First third – Legal
▪︎ Second third – Voluntary
▪︎ Third third – Additional to legal

Legal part
This is a share of property that the testator cannot freely dispose of. It is distributed among the heirs by law on a first come, first served basis:

• Descending relatives: children and their descendants. These can be both born in wedlock and adopted or illegitimate children.
• Ascendant relatives: parents and their descendants.
• Spouse (s), including an official civil partner.
• In the absence of the aforementioned relatives, the uncles and aunts and their descendants enter the inheritance.

Voluntary part (by will)
Inheritance is established by order of the testator according to a pre-drawn up will unilaterally signed by a notary. The testator can refuse it at any time.
He is free to choose to whom he inherits this third of his assets. These can be both descendants under the law, as well as third parties who are not deprived of legal capacity under the law of Spain.

Additional part
The last third of the inherited assets can be used in favor of one or more descendants in the descendants and ascendants at the request of the testator by adding to the will.
If this share is not distributed on a voluntary basis, it will increase the legal amount.

! If the deceased had no heirs by law, then the right to inheritance is transferred to the treasury of the country. An exception is made if the testator made a will for a third party.

But the rule of three thirds may differ depending on the region.
For example, in Aragon, the legal share is 50% of the total inheritance, which may or may not be equally distributed among the heirs by law. In Catalonia and Galicia, it drops to 25%. And in the Balearic Islands it depends on the number of heirs. Initially, according to the law, the share is 1/3, but if more than 4 people enter the inheritance, then it increases to 50%.

Secondly, in Spain it is important to timely pay inheritance and gift tax within 6 months from the date of death of the testator. Otherwise, you can get on the penalty.

Each region has its own nuances when calculating the tax. Therefore, the final amount for the same inherited mass can be very different. Sometimes this is one of the reasons why the heirs give up their share if the tax is too high for them.

In conclusion, I would like to add that inheritance under a notarial will significantly speeds up the process and minimizes the risk of conflicts in the distribution of assets.

This process is not easy and requires specific knowledge. In order for it to pass painlessly, it is better to turn to professionals.

Our experts will help you enter into an inheritance, prepare a will, pay taxes, and more. Sign up for a consultation with us. We will be glad to help

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