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Spanish Inheritance Tax advice & probate services

We understand that Spanish property law and Spanish Inheritance Tax for non residents and residents is often a daunting and confusing area for individuals and couples with property in Spain. Worryingly, Spanish Inheritance Tax Planning and Wills aren’t usually the first things that purchasers in Spain are informed about or address when buying their Spanish property, however, it’s an area that anyone owning Spanish property should seek professional advice on as soon as possible.

Legal Property Eye has helped many British citizens who have unfortunately only become aware of the Spanish Inheritance Tax liabilities following the death of a loved one and are struggling to know how to deal with this unexpected cost on top of their loss.

Whilst no-one likes to dwell upon the prospect of their own or their partner’s demise, it is a sad fact that every year many British citizens with property in Spain are faced with the additional, traumatic reality of what is sometimes a more sizeable Spanish Inheritance Tax bill than expected, at what is already a very upsetting time. Very often many surviving partners have underestimated or not made any plans in advance for the Spanish Inheritance Tax bill that they have to pay within 6 months. In particular British citizens make the mistake of assuming that Spanish Inheritance Tax Law is the same as British Inheritance Tax Law, which is far from the case. This can result in serious financial consequences for those left behind and their future life plans.

Frequently, steps could have been taken BEFORE a partner or loved one has passed away that would have ensured that the Spanish Inheritance Tax liability left to those inheriting the Spanish property was manageable and planned for.

Our panel of Spanish Inheritance Tax lawyers can help you in two ways to:

Manage an existing Spanish Probate and Spanish Inheritance Tax case - handling all of the paperwork, executing the Will and dealing with the Spanish Authorities for you.

Plan and prepare in advance to ensure that those you care about avoid added stress and financial worry BEFORE it happens, ensuring that liability for Spanish Inheritance Tax is planned for and limited to the lowest possible levels.

Spanish & UK dual Wills services

If so, then you and your loved ones may be facing a big problem as Spanish Inheritance Tax must be paid within 6 months of the deceased’s passing. Failure to do so incurs additional financial penalties and many people rely upon being able to access cash etc held in the deceased’s estate in order to pay this Tax.

When you own a property and other associated goods and chattels in Spain as well as the UK (or other country of your origin), it’s not sufficient to simply detail what is going to happen with your worldwide estate when you pass away in a UK Will alone. An accompanying Spanish Will is also vital. The loved ones of those with only a UK Will face a complicated and drawn out process to handle the Spanish Inheritance Tax and Spanish Inheritance Law system if there is no Spanish Will.

By arranging Dual Wills, covering your wishes in both UK and Spanish version Wills, your loved ones are afforded peace of mind that when the time comes they will not face the added stress of dealing with additional Spanish bureaucracy and costs. Without a Spanish Will your loved ones will have to instruct Official Translators, liaise with The Foreign Office, High Court of Justice and Spanish Lawyers to obtain the Grant Of Probate before the Will can be executed. This all coming at a time of immeasurable stress and sometimes with the inheritors being unable to speak Spanish fluently.

Five fast Spanish Inheritance Tax facts

- Unlike in Britain, in Spain there is no exemption from Spanish Inheritance Tax between husband and wife. A tax form must be completed and the taxes paid within 6 months of death.

-  The inherited property cannot be sold or used as collateral to secure a loan/mortgage in order to pay the Spanish Inheritance Tax bill. Both of these two actions would require a change of ownership from the deceased’s name into the inheritor’s name(s) to be made to the escritura (Property Deeds) by the Land Registry. This cannot be carried out whilst there is an outstanding Spanish Inheritance Tax bill associated with the property.

- Common law partners or spouses and very distant relations/associates come off the worst. Common law partners or spouses are not recognised in Spanish law and so are classed as non-relatives. This means that they are not allowed any allowances so are taxed at the highest rate of Spanish Inheritance Tax (double that of married partners).

- In Spain it is the heir who is taxed and not the estate.

- Spanish Inheritance Tax will be calculated on the relationship of the heir to the deceased, which will affect the amount of the inheritance he/she receives.

These are just some of the important exemptions to take into account when planning for Spanish Inheritance Tax, which applies to each inheritor not to the total estate.

Many British owners of Spanish property are totally unaware of the above facts resulting in added stress, financial problems and bureaucratic difficulties for loved ones. By taking our expert Spanish Inheritance Tax advice and acting in advance now, you can be assured that you and those you care for can rest easy knowing everything is in place when the time comes.

Free, no-obligation advice:

01709 877 924 / 0845 2410073

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