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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche. www.costaluzlawyers.es

Probate procedure of foreigners in Spain
07 July 2008 @ 07:21

A) Why and when to probate in Spain? 
Some steps must be taken in order to see who is the heir of that asset in Spain and to have the asset fully and dully registered under the name of the heir in the Land Registry so the heir can enjoy a full and secure ownership on it. Till this is done, the asset cannot be sold and if a bank account is also left in Spain by the inheritor, that account will be frozen for the time by. 
b) Previous steps to be taken: 
I) Death certificate: If the deceased died in Spain, the death certificate can be obtained at the Civil Resgitry of the town where he/she died. The civil Registries in Spain are communly located in Courts or in the Town Hall ( for small villages). As an advise: ask for 4 or 5 copies of that for the different needed managements. If the testator died in the UK or any other foreign country, the death certificate needs to be obtained there,  trasnlated into Spanish and apostilled with the Hague stamp.
II) Certificate of the Last Will Registry: In order to see if there is a will or what is the last will a person made. The Death Certificate is required and you need to send an application which used to be sold in Estancos ( tobacconist´s) and are now obtained online. A lawyer or a “ gestor” can do it for you. 

If there is a Foreign Will:
III) Foreign will, translated and apostilled
IV) Letters of probate translated and apostilled

 If there is a Spanish Will:

V) A authentic copy of the foreign will is required ( the copy who was handed to the testator- copia simple- is not enough) ....

*Who can apply for the authentic copy of the will? 

 Just those people which inheritance rights according to the will, the legal heirs, or those entitled to rights in the inheritance if there was no willl. 

*How can this be obtained? They need to personally attend the Notary offices with the identification document  or send a letter of authorisation to a proxy person with a signature notharised by your local Notary.

If there is no will:
VI) A declaration of intestacy is needed, in the country of nationality of deceased.

c) How to adjudicate?
The heirs need to sign the Notary deed of heir adjudication, either in person or by Proxy.
 
d) How expensive is to be a heir in Spain. Inheritance tax.
I) Who pays? .- The tax is paid by each one of the persons who receive a portion or something in the inheritance, by inheritance or by legacy. 
II) How much is the IHT in Spain? .- It depends on different aspects:
 
a) The value of the goods acquired by inheritance. It is a progressive scale. The higher the value of the portion or legacy the more to pay. 

b) Family relationship with testator: The further the relationship is the more to pay. There is a minimum exempt amount for  close relatives ( it varies yearly).
 
c) Previous patrimony of heir: if the heir has a previous patrimony, it is more expensive. 
d) The family business or the family home are less charged if the heirs are spouse or children of deceased.
The tax needs to be paid within 6 months to prevent recharges. 
 As a document for the payment of taxes, the Notary deed of heir adjudication is enough, even just a mere " list of goods" is enough, so you can avoid Notary fees.

 You can auto-calculate the tax amount or  just can provide data to the Treasure for the calculation.
If there is Real Estate among the inheritance goods, the Plusvalía will also have to be paid. For doing so, you need to go to the Local Council where the estate is located.
 


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