Spanish Inheritance Tax

IWC are experts in overseas probate, fully conversant law relating to inheritance tax, wills and the probate process in Spain. Working alongside bi-lingual, overseas associates we can provide a professional fixed fee probate service covering both the UK and Spanish assets. We offer the following services for administrators who need to deal with probate and Spanish inheritance law in the event of the death of a British person who has assets in Spain.

  • Documenting the assets
  • Valuing the estate
  • Identifying whether or not there is a Spanish will
  • Power of attorney - so you do not need to be present
  • Translation of Documents - UK Will, Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration and the death certificate
  • Getting Documents Notarised
  • A Certificate of Law if necessary
  • Acquiring a certificado de ley from the consulate
  • Obtaining a copy of the Escritura or title deeds to property
  • Obtaining the Deed of Declaration of Heir
  • Informing the Land Registry
  • Calculations, forms and payment

For free help and advice on Spanish wills, law or probate, call now free on 0800 612 6105 or 0044 208 150 2010 if you're in Spain.

Spanish inheritance tax and laws are a cause for concern to many administrators these days as there are so many Brits who own property abroad or who retire there. Spanish probate is complex, difficult, time-consuming and costly and it is always recommended that you seek professional advice. Apart from the obvious issues, language barriers and not actually being present in the country, laws are complex.

Many Factors can effect the probate process and the distribution of the estate including the existence of a Spanish will, whether the deceased resided in Spain, provincial laws and the relationship of beneficiaries to the deceased.

Contradictory Laws

Spanish law states that, UK inheritance law applies to a UK national who dies owning property in Spain. You'd think therefore that the process would be quite straightforward. The problem is that English inheritance law actually contradicts this. Whereby it states that the disposal of immovable assets (property and land) abroad is governed by the law of the country where the property is situated. It is normally the case that British law will apply, but this can be further complicated if the deceased was resident in Spain or there was no will.

Herederos Forzosos (Obligatory Heirs)

In Spain, a person cannot dispose of their assets as they wish in the event of their death. A system of enforced heir-ship exists. No matter what the circumstances, Obligatory Heirs (descendants and spouses) must receive 66% of the estate. These are not normally applied to British citizens who are domiciled in the UK or in Spain. It only tends to be a problem where there is no Spanish Will or disputes arise in cases of contentious probate.

Making a will in Spain is paramount, saving beneficiaries time, money and hassle. It is always recommended to approach a specialist in international probate law as you must ensure that the will is valid in accordance to the law in that country and that it does not contradict a UK will. IWC offer a will writing service for those who have assets in Spain, call us 0800 612 6105 or 0044 208 150 2010 if you're in Spain to find out more.

Spanish inheritance tax is a minefield. The worst part is, it has to be calculated and paid within 6 months of death and penalties are imposed if payment is not made on time. This is why it's always best to contact a professional, who'll be able to deal with the matter quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the main differences;

  • Charged on the recipient, not the estate
  • Non-residents who inherit property in Spain, are automatically subject to inheritance tax
  • Different percentages apply depending on the beneficiaries' age and relationship with the deceased
  • Spouses are not exempt as in the UK
  • You will be liable to UK inheritance tax on the Spanish assets as well, there is no double tax treaty with Spain but HMRC currently grants 'unilateral relief'

You can make provisions to avoid a loved one having to pay unnecessary Spanish tax. If you are in the process of dealing with an estate which has assets in Spain, IWC can also help. Call us for more information on 0800 612 6105 or 0044 208 150 2010.

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Spanish Inheritance Tax

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