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5 things you should know about inheritance and succession in Spain

Many people have doubts about how to begin to process an inheritance or succession in another country. And it is very common to think that it is a difficult process, when it is simply a fast and safe process for citizens who do not live in Spain. Thus, it is important to gather as much information as possible and to be clear about the deadlines so that the process is not complicated. Therefore, in this article we will give you a small introduction to the subject with: 5 things you should know about inheritance and succession in Spain.

1- What taxes are paid when receiving an inheritance in Spain?

Inheritance in Spain is aggravated by inheritance tax. This means that the heirs are obliged to pay this tax in order to have access to the estate or legacy of the deceased.

In this case, the management of the taxes is transferred to the tax administrations of each community. And in principle, it should start in the municipality where the deceased had his or her principal residence. The amount of each case varies depending on various factors, but is estimated in each case on a case-by-case basis.

In order to carry out this process, it is advisable to turn to a lawyer specialized in tax legislation, especially in inheritance and succession in Spain. Because the mastery of each of the steps to be taken, the drafting of the corresponding documents, among other legal procedures, will guarantee the transfer of the assets in the corresponding time periods. Besides being able to obtain a great amount of benefits, in case there are debts or claim situations to be solved.

2- It is possible to claim an inheritance without a will

In the event of death without a will, the Spanish Civil Code establishes the order of distribution in case there is no legally valid will. For this, the heirs are classified by positions according to the degree of kinship they have with the owner of the assets.

These categories are divided into descendants, ascendants, spouse or widower, siblings and cousins. In case of not having any forced heirs, it is necessary to evaluate in depth if there is any legitimate successor, either by will, kinship or designation.

3- In inheritances and successions, assets and debts are also transferred.

When a person dies, he/she leaves in succession not only his/her rights but also his/her obligations. Therefore, it is not possible to inherit only a part of the debts or other obligations that the deceased may have. This represents the total patrimony of the person, and the most common when claiming this patrimony, is that if there is a debt, it is repaid with some of the deceased's assets.

In order to pay debts through one of the assets of the estate, it is advisable to establish this procedure in the will. In this way, the assets that will cover the amount of the debt, and who will be responsible for the payment of the debt, are detailed. This is beneficial in case the heirs are uncertain as to what the debts are and how they should repay them.

In the event that the debts are greater than the assets to be inherited, the inheritance will be by benefit of inventory, and the heirs will not have to use their own assets to pay for the obligations of the deceased.

4- Time limits to claim an inheritance and avoid penalties or fines from the tax authorities.

Once the death has occurred, the liquidation of the inheritance taxes must begin. For this, there is a term of six months from the date of death, and in case of not being able to afford these taxes, this term can be extended in case it is requested. This is the only time limit established in the Spanish Civil Code, so there is no exact time in these claim procedures. In case of requesting access to the pronouncement of inheritance in SpainThe heirs have a period of thirty days to reject or accept their part of the succession.

5- Under certain conditions, it is possible to disinherit one of the beneficiaries.

In order to disinherit one of the beneficiaries of an inheritance in Spain, it is necessary to verify that one of the reasons described in the law is fulfilled. Let us remember that Spanish law defends the family institution and the preservation of legacies and estates. Therefore, only in specific cases such as aggression, falsification of documents, among others, are sufficient grounds to withdraw the benefit.

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