Inheritance law in Spain

The following questions arise when a non-spanish, european citizen, with a property in Spain, dies:

According to the Spanish law conflict rules are tested right of inheritance under the law of the country where the deceased was a citizen of a fatal day. When a Swedish citizen died must therefore question of who inherits his determined according to Swedish law. This applies whether the deceased’s habitual residence (residencia) and rule refers to all the deceased’s movable and immovable assets, both in Spain and abroad.

Distribution is either legally (by law) or testamentary (as will).

  • The legal right of inheritance of a deceased Swedish citizens follow the rules in Swedish law; Inherited Code.
  • The statutory succession can be modified by will, with the exception of breast heirs entitled to a reserved portion.

The very process of holding estate administration, division of property, succession and inheritance taxation of a deceased Swedish citizens with assets in Spain, whether or not resident in Spain, shall be governed by Spanish law.

If the deceased was domiciled in Spain (tax residence) must ordinance include virtually all property in Spain and abroad. In general, the law of succession bigger on universality, which in practice means that the handling of an estate shall be made only in one country and cover all the deceased’s property “world wide”.

But a Spanish estate is not a legal entity and therefore there is no tax on the estate as a separate taxable entity. In Spain, the taxpayer is the heir and therefore heir tax resident crucial for unlimited or limited tax liability in Spain. A Swedish heirs, tax resident in Sweden, considered as nonresident in Spain. He or she arvbeskattas only for Spanish property and included in the heir’s inheritance, irrespective of the deceased resident status in Spain.

If the deceased was domiciled abroad will, however territoriality that apply to inheritance ordinance in Spain. Boutredningen will include only the assets located in Spain and heir arvbeskattas only for the estate located in Spain and is included in the heir’s inheritance.

Under Spanish law, the validity of a testament form reviewed under the law of the country where the will is drawn up. Validity of Testament contents reviewed under the law of the country where the testator was a national at the time of death.


  • Testament must be in writing and signed by the testator.
  • Makar sign varsitt will. Mutual wills between spouses are not normally set up in Spain (in some parts of Spain is allowed in this form of wills). It may be added that a Swedish mutual will also apply in Spain if it certifies that its shape conforms to Swedish law.
  • Testament will be witnessed by a Spanish certified notary (or a Spanish consul abroad).
  • A notary public keeps minutes Testament and the original is archived and preserved
  • Testament is recorded in a central register of wills available in Madrid.
  • Testament to be conducted in Spanish and Swedish.

Obs! It is the testator’s own responsibility to make sure that what is in the will is not contrary to Swedish law. One of Spain by Swedish citizens drawn will can be contrary to Swedish law and therefore invalid, even though it witnessed and protokolliserats of Spanish notary.

Are Swedish wills valid in Spain?
Swedish wills valid in Spain provided they, in form and content, in conformity with Swedish law.

Inheritance taxation IN SPAIN
Taxation Authority:
Competent authority in Spain for inheritance tax varies depending on whether the deceased was domiciled in Spain or not.

Had the deceased domiciled in Spain, such as Andalusia, is the regional tax office competent authority for the calculation and collection of inheritance tax. Decision-making power is thus the transferred from the State to the region.

Had the deceased’s assets in Spain but resident abroad are instead AEAT in Madrid (federal tax), the competent authority for the calculation and collection of inheritance tax.

General rules::
Inheritance tax must be paid before the heirs get access to the estate.
Payment period: 6 months from date of death
Limitation period: Inheritance barred 4 years and 6 months after the death.
Inheritance Tax in Spain is progressive.

Near the heirs are entitled to special tax-free deduction (currently around 16,000 Euro for the surviving spouse and children).

For more distant relatives, those who are not at all related to the deceased and for wealthy heirs, multiplying the tax from 1.05 up to 2.4 times, depending on the size of the inheritance lottery ticket.

You should hire a lawyer to get the inheritance tax calculated, as there may be many aspects to take into consideration.