Inheritance. Basic elements.
To face an inheritance could be a hard moment due to the emotion condition, uncertainty, accompanied of the bureaucratic process.
But what do we consider inheritance?
In accordance with the RAE description, it is “a set of goods, rights and obligations that, when someone dies, are transmissible to their heirs or to their legatees.”
Under the Spanish Civil Code, article 657; “The rights to the succession of a person are transmitted at the time of death”. Also, the article 659; “the inheritance includes all the goods, rights and obligations of a person, which are not extinguished by the death”.
The information below includes some of the most important suggestions in order to manage an inheritance. Taking into account the two main differences; Intestate Succession (succession without a will) and a Testamentary Succession (with the a will).
BASIC AND COMMON documentation for Intestate Succession and Testamentary Succession.
The Death Certificate is a document that certifies the death of the person. The authority responsible to provide that certificate is the Civil Registry where the death has taken place, with some exceptions and special rules.
The request will be in person or electronically and may be collected in the Civil Registry itself or request the postal delivery.
Certificate of Last Wills.
The Certificate of Last Will is the document that will give us a essencial information about if the deceased has died with a will and in that case the details about it, (Notary and date of signature) or if, on the contrary, has died without a will.
It can be requested in person at the Territorial Management of the Ministry of Justice.
Certificates of Insurance Contracts for Death Coverage.
This certificate will confirm if the deceased had or not, at the time of death, current life insurance contracts with death coverage and / or an accident insurance contract that covers the death.
We request that document at the Territorial Management of the Ministry of Justice.
Once obtained these essential documents to any succession, we will be able to know how the next steps will be taken, especially taking into account the Certificate of Last Will which we will know if it is Intestate Succession or Testamentary Succession.
Particularity of the Testamentary Succession. Inheritance with Testament.
Obtaining an authorized copy of the will.
Once the testamentary situation of the deceased is known through the Certificate of Last Will, it will be necessary to go to the Notary Public indicated in the certificate and request an authorized copy of the will. Also, it can be request to any Notary Public who request the will to the Notary in which the deceased granted a will.
We call “Opening of the Will” when it is read by the Notary to the parties involve. If the content is known in advance it does not give more problems, although sometimes surprises may arise about; improvements, testamentary substitutions, legacies …
The testator can dispose about the goods but always has to respect the Legitimate System that the Law can stipulates, it depends on the personal Law.
Particularity of Intestate Succession. Without will.
Declaration of Heirs.
In the case that the Certificate of Last Will establishes that the deceased did not make a will, it will be necessary to go to the competent Notary Public and request for the Declaration of Heirs in order to indicates who are the heirs.
The Notary competent could be; in the last domicile or habitual residence of the deceased, where the deceased has more part of his patrimony, or in the place of the death.
The succession will be governed extrically by what is established in the Law.
Inventory of goods and debts. The decedent´s assets.
The purpose is to know the assets left by the deceased.
Properties. Its location can be carried out by requesting notes in the Property Registry. Also the existence of properties can be verified through Cadastral Certifications.
Bank balances. Information about the bank accounts where the deceased had an open account to certify the balance existing at the time of death.
About the vehicles, the place to obtain the certification of current ownership will be the Provincial Traffic Office.
The household ítems (personal effects) have a general value of 3% of the total value of the assets. Unless the heirs establish a lower value or prove its non-existence. On other hand, the jewelry or objects of extraordinary value will be rated independently of the 3% general.
Once all the assets and debts of the successor are known, the process shall continue with the Liquidation and Distribution to each heirs.
Liquidation and Distribution document.
The distribution of the decedent´s assets will be made according to the will or the Law.
The Liquidation and Distribution document can be done by public deed or by a private contract.
In any case, by public deed or private contract between the parties, the succession entails the obligation to pay certain taxes.
Inheritance Tax is regulated for each Comunidad Autonoma in Spain.
It is important to say that although its result does not lead to payment because of the reductions, bonuses or exemptions stipulated by the Law, the tax must be applied. Its liquidation must be submitted in front of Andalucia Government.
The term for the liquidation of the Inheritance and Donations Tax is six months from the date of death, although during the first five months can be requested an extension for six additional months.
On the other hand, Tax on the Increase in the Value of Urban Land, (Plusvalía) has be liquidated as well. This tax is settled at the Town Hall of the place where each property is located and the fee will depend on the years since the previous transfer of the property. Also, it will depen on the discounts that may be applied according to each municipality.
The most advisable way to carry out these steps is to have the help of professionals in the sector who can advise you at any time.
You do not hesitate to contact us o any question, we will be happy to resolve any issue related to your inheritance, will or certificates necessary for the process.