In order to deal with an inheritance in Spain, we advise you to look for a legal advisor. If you hire a lawyer it will be much easier for you as he/she will deal with all the paperwork, translations and notaries.
The heirs will need to sign a Power of Attorney on behalf of the Lawyer. You can sign it in your country with a Notary Public or Spanish Consulate/Embassy if you are not planning to come to Spain.
The required paperwork is:
1. Death Certificate. If the deceased didn’t pass away in Spain, the original document will be needed and will have to be translated by an official translator and will have to be legalized with the Apostille if the document is not coming from the EU.
2. Will. If there is no Spanish Will but there is a Will in another country, the original Will with Grant Probate will be needed and will have to be translated by an official translator and will have to be legalized with the Apostille. If you don’t know if there is a Spanish Will, your lawyer will request a Last Wills Certificate and will find out if there is a Will and in which Notary Office is recorded that Will.
3. List of the assets in Spain. Your lawyer will assist you by requesting real estate information to the Land Registry or to the banks if there are any bank accounts.
4. If there is no Will, the intestacy proceedings will have to be done and Grant of representation and Certificates proving the relationship with the heirs (birth or marriage certificates) will be needed (and will have to be translated by an official translator and will have to be legalized with the Apostille.
5. Notarized copy of passports of the heirs.
6. NIE Number
This process will be much easier if there is a Spanish Will, therefore we advise you to draft one if you have any assets in Spain.
If there is no Will (intestate) or the heirs don’t agree on the inheritance division, you will need a Court Order giving instructions on how to split the assets to the Spanish Court.
If you have a Court order in your Country, you will be able to enforce it in Spain and the Spanish Court will order the same as the Foreign Court.
Inheritance Tax in Spain
The heirs accepting the inheritance (beneficiaries) are the ones liable for paying the Inheritance Tax.
You will have 6 months to pay the inheritance tax since the date of death. Inheritance taxes have to be paid up front prior to changing the title deed to the heirs in the Land Registry. Paying taxes and registering the new title deed in the Land Registry is mandatory and the property cannot be sold without this.
The tax will be calculated according to the region of the assets, relationship with the heirs, the value of the assets, etc.