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Spanish Inheritance Law and Tax - Espada Gerlach

Spanish Inheritance Law

Spanish Inheritance Tax

When we want to write a will, we may doubt on whether to attend a notary office or not in order to get more information. Even though both possibilities are correct, we highly recommend meeting with a professional expert in inheritance, legacy and wealth management in order to have all the necessary information when issuing the will.


In Spain, inheritances are regulated in the general national system, except for the Basque Country and Navarra, which are regulated under a more favourable tax regime, where it is cheaper to inherit. However, the legislation in other regions offers certain deductions, that in some cases even lead to a deduction almost as high as the total inheritance tax.

It is important to note that the residence of the deceased person, and not of the heir, will be of consideration in regard to the succession taxes and the inheritance in general.


The tax will be paid by the person who receives the inheritance. The payment of a succession tax may also be due to the lawful share left by a deceased.


Once the inheritance right is accepted (you can accept the inheritance or rescind the right to inheritate) the value of the tax is calculated by using several factors:

  • The value of the estate
  • The family relationship with the deceased
  • The previous patrimony of the heir (possessed goods before the inheritance)
  • Other conditions: If they are a spouse, children, family businesses, family housing situation, etc.


When a person deceases and didn’t leave a will or maybe left a null will, then you ought to apply the legal regime for intestate successions.

Intestate succession is a legal figure contemplated in Spanish legislation and takes place when one of the following facts are applicable:

  1. When the deceased didn’t leave a will, or an invalid one, or the will has been lost.
  2. When the testament does not name an heir to all its assets or doesn’t include all its goods in the will. In this case, the intestate succession will take place in the undetermined part of the goods, rights or obligations.
  3. When the heir has died previously.
  4. When the heir or heirs repudiate (reject) the right to inherit.
  5. When the heir is unable to inherit (to accept the inheritance).


  • Inheritance: Also known as the last will of the deceased, is the legal act (legal declaration) by which a person transfers his assets, rights and obligations to another or other persons, after his death. The transfer of assets from parents to children through inheritance is one of the most common acts. However, there are other alternatives that could be more beneficial to the family. In any case, each succession should be analysed and studied.
  • Heir: Person or persons who receive the inheritance of a deceased. The patrimony is shared among all the heirs.
  • Patrimony: Set of assets owned by a person or an institution, either acquired by family inheritance or by leaving them in inheritance to a successor.
  • Will: It is a document (legal act) in which a person disposes of his property in favour of another person. The deceased must write the document in front of a notary.
  • Succession law: The legal regime (normative) that regulates the inheritance.

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On your city council website, you will find information about all the key points to consider when managing a patrimony, testament or other taxes related to inheritances.

We are specialists in international inheritances.

+34 933 012 741

International Inheritance Lawyer in Barcelona

We collaborate with lawyers in Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and Munich, which allows us to offer a service to our clients throughout the field as a specialist lawyer in Spanish inheritance law:

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Alejandro Espada Gerlach

Tel.: +34.933.012.741
Móvil: +34.609.376.006

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