Inheritance Law Spain

Spanish inheritance law and procedure are totally different to that applicable to common-law systems such as in the UK. There are also differences with regard to other European countries and Spanish inheritance tax laws differ between the regional authorities of Spain.

Under Spanish inheritance laws, a certain proportion of a Testator’s estate must be left to their surviving wife/husband and their children. However, foreigners can leave their Spanish property and assets to anyone of their choice.

If you have any property in Spain, it is strongly advisable that you make a Spanish Will as this action will speed up the legal process of inheritance.

I strongly recommend making a will in Spain (even if you already have a Will in your home country) because:

1. If you die in Spain with only a Will made abroad then the Spanish authorities will require the heirs to prepare an authorised translation of the non-Spanish Will. This will require an “apostille” (an official stamp verifying the signature of the judge) on the original document all of which involve work, costs and time that could be easily avoided through making a Spanish Will.

2. The time limit for making an inheritance tax declaration in Spain is 6 months from the date of death of the deceased. If you are waiting for probate to be completed from the home country of the deceased and then have to obtain a translation and the “apostille” before taking it to Spain, you can easily overrun this inheritance tax time limit and be subject to fines.

3. A Spanish Will allows you, to a certain degree, to regulate the distribution of your assets.

4. You can also make inheritance tax savings by making the right kind of Will in Spain.


Warning: any information or advice contained within is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking any action and Carolina Just Miró and the publishers of cannot be held liable for any action taken in reliance upon the advice and guidance provided herewith.

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