Introduction- Spanish Inheritance

Following the loss of a loved one, addressing the inheritance process is never an easy experience. Handling all the legal and administrative aspects can be quite daunting. When there are Spanish assets to deal with, to be faced with an unfamiliar language, as well as processes and legal principles which differ from those in your own country, this can be quite bewildering.

In our experience, at the outset many clients feel this way when they come to us for assistance with inheritance in Spain. In many cases, they are frustrated by the inconsistent information encountered when searching online; and they are often even more confused and overwhelmed than they were when they first started looking into it!

In reality, with proper analysis and understanding, the position in the vast majority of Spanish inheritance cases should be clear from the very start. The documentation that is required should be readily identified. And quite quickly, it should be possible for a reasonably accurate time and cost estimate to be provided, so that matters can quickly proceed- with clarity and certainty.

For this to be the case, it is essential to have a full understanding both of the legal and administrative processes in Spain and also in the country of the family/ beneficiaries of the deceased. It is impossible to conduct the Spanish succession process for non- Spanish nationals with blinkers on, only considering the Spanish legal aspects.

Also, clarity of communication is essential between the appointed legal representative and the executors/ beneficiaries. This is vital, as there is a lot of information quickly and accurately to impart and to receive, in order for matters to be progressed and completed efficiently and correctly.

Legal Representation

In summary, when faced with responsibility for the Spanish inheritance process, it is very important that you have a legal representative:

  • Who is appropriately professionally qualified and expert both in the applicable Spanish law and succession procedures; and how the Spanish law and procedures interact with the law and procedures in the country of the estate /beneficiaries;
  • Who can quickly tell you exactly what is involved in the Spanish inheritance process, and who can provide a clear and accurate summary of the costs and timescale involved; and
  • With whom you can communicate with complete clarity, in your preferred language.


Non-Spanish owners of properties in Spain need specialist advice to avoid the many pitfalls and risk of unnecessary and high costs in Spanish probate. With the right professional representation – the mystery and anxiety can be taken out of the Spanish legal inheritance process; and matters can be concluded swiftly and efficiently.

This general commentary is not intended to be exhaustive; and case-specific legal advice should always be sought.

The Legal 4 Spain team provides a full Wills, Estate Planning, Inheritance and property transaction legal service; covering properties and other assets anywhere in Spain.