Be cautious and seek quality professional advice before accepting an inheritance. There currently are many families who have no option but to disclaim an inheritance as a result of the financial crisis (mainly). It has also been reported that the acceptance of inheritance has decreased due to the Inheritance Tax in Spain.

What does accepting an inheritance in Spain imply?

When someone decides to receive assets and interests from a deceased person, they should first proceed to accepting the inheritance. This may be done in two ways:

  • By expressly accepting the inheritance. By notarial deed (deed of acceptance of inheritance), or through a private instrument.
  • Tacit acceptance of inheritance in Spain. When the acceptance is implied following possession by the heir of the deceasedestate.

The acceptance of an inheritance in Spain may be pure and simple, which means that heirs make their own deceased assets and interests as well as all debts and obligations. However, heirs may accept the inheritance on the condition that debts do not surpass the value of the inheritance. This would allow separation of estates (personal & inherited) and heirs would pay creditors only insofar as the value of the assets inherited allows it.

Can you disclaim an inheritance?

Yes, you can. There are many cases where liabilities are much higher than assets, for example when properties were bought during the economic boom at high prices with mortgages amounting the whole purchase price. Nowadays their value is twice lower than the mortgage amount.

Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance

Before going to the Notary Public to draw up the Deed of Acceptance of the Inheritance, the heir-to-be needs to follow the following steps:

  1. Obtain the Death Certificate of the deceased.
  2. Apply for the Last Will Certificate (fee: EUR 3.70). Before issuing the said certificate, the relevant official will refer to the general registry of last wills and testaments in order to check any wills related to the deceased.
  3. Is there a will? If there are no wills, the heir-to-be will proceed to the Grant of Representation at the Notary Public´s Office.

Deadlines to Accept an Inheritance

The only deadline to accept an inheritance is that of the Inheritance Tax payment, 6 months as of Declaration of the Deceased´s death.

Cost of Accepting an Inheritance

Among other frequently asked questions, people usually wonder about the price of accepting the inheritance. To address this matter and ascertain what applies to your case, we must consider the geographical factor, wills, degree of kinship, etc. At Carbray we have lawyers specialising in inheritance law and taxation related. We will help you with your inheritance. Do not hesitate to contact us!

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