In general, inheritances are usually passed between descendants, ascendants and spouses. But there are circumstances in which the heirs collaterals or those who have other degrees of consanguinity are the ones who receive the assets. That is why in this article we will explain what you should do if you are a cousin of the deceased, and the circumstances are ideal for you to make the claim of that estate.
Degrees of kinship of inheritance in Spain
There are degrees of filiation that produce a series of obligations and rights in certain circumstances. In Spain, there are 4 degrees of kinship established in the Spanish Civil Code, as follows:
- First degree: descendants and ascendants, i.e., children and parents.
- Second degree: grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.
- Third degree: uncles, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-grandparents, and great-grandchildren.
- Fourth grade: cousins and great uncles and aunts.
This establishes that depending on the context in which the facts take place, it can be determined to whom the assets of a deceased person correspond. Therefore, it must be clear that when that person dies, two situations can arise: the first one is that the person has a will, and the other one is that he/she does not have a will or it is declared null and void.
Do cousins have the right to an inheritance in Spain?
Yes, cousins are entitled in an inheritance in Spain, in the case of no spouse, no parents, no children, no siblings, no nieces and nephews. Which would establish a claimed inheritance under the 4th degree of kinship, which must be compounded under a 40% or 60% inheritance tax.
Similarly, there are communities that establish other degrees of priority, but in article 954 of the Civil Code, it is clear that if there are no direct heirs, the collateral line is followed up to the fourth degree.
How is an inheritance divided among collateral relatives?
If the inheritance is between siblings, the inheritance is divided in equal parts, except in the case of siblings with double filiation (filiation by father and mother) or single filiation (kinship only by father or mother). In such cases, the siblings with double filiation must inherit twice as much as the second siblings.
In complex inheritance scenarios, that is, those that are processed by the third and fourth degree of filiation. One must proceed before an intestate succession which is that which is issued by the judge or notary in case there is no will. And in these cases there is no priority between those of single and double filiation. And although they are entitled to the totality of the inheritance, these are the most expensive in tax matters, because no tax reduction is applied.
How much tax do cousins entitled to an inheritance in Spain have to pay?
While it depends on the autonomous community where the inheritance is located, taxes range from 16% to 29% depending on the value of the estate. For example, in Andalusia, 16.5% is charged on inheritances of 100,000 euros, but 29% is levied for those exceeding 500,000 euros.
In the case of the community of Aragon, heirs aspiring to an estate of 100,000 euros will have to pay around 15,871 euros in inheritance taxes. While an estate worth more than 500,000 euros will have to pay approximately 168,800 euros.
Another of the communities with a high tax rate is Asturias. inheritance tax for collateral inheritances 100,000 euros is 24.8%, and inheritances with a value of 500,000 euros amount to 44.8% of inheritance taxes. But these percentages are almost equal to those of other communities such as the Canary Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Extremadura, Galicia, the two Castillas and Murcia, where tax rates range from 24% to 44%.
Among the communities with lower percentages, we have the autonomous community of the Basque Country, whose percentages range from 14.5% to 22.5%. And the community of Navarra, with 17% of taxes for inheritances of 100,000 euros. And 28% for inheritances of 500,000 euros.
How to claim an inheritance in Spain?
In case you are a cousin of the deceased and you have to claim his inheritance in Spain, you must be clear about the conditions of the inheritance. That is, if you are sure that the deceased does not have any other heirs, you can hire the services of a law firm that will allow you to start the process. Because the law firm will have the responsibility to locate other possible heirs, as well as to establish the mechanisms to prove the filiation link before the authorities.
In many cases, the cousins at the time of starting the process have been surprised to find that there are other forced heirs who have more rights than them. Therefore, the claim process they are carrying out is annulled, and the direct heirs are the ones who inherit the estate.
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