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At MAM Solicitors we have over 30 years experience in helping our clients with all their legal procedures in Spain, especially those related to their property. 

One of the things we are always told, and we couldn’t agree more, is the complexity of the Spanish administrative system.  Not only because of the difficulty of the language, but also because of the complexity of many procedures that, together with the language barrier, become very complicated processes if you do not have the help of a professional. 

Of all of them, unfortunately, since the logical sadness of the family is often added to a long and complex process, inheritance is really complicated, even more so when properties in Spain are included depending on whether the family members are residents or not. 

Below, we explain everything you need to know if you are going to receive an inheritance in Spain.

What does Spanish law say about inheritance in Spain?

The first thing you should know is that both nationals and foreigners are subject to a series of taxes in the case of inheritance and/or succession. In the case of foreigners, according to the law regulated by the European Regulation 650/2012 and since 2015, the payment of these taxes is contemplated for both residents and non-residents. 

In these cases, the applicable law is that of the deceased’s residence, unless he/she has made a will and expressed his/her will to be governed by his/her nationality.

What happens if a non-resident foreigner receives an inheritance in Spain?

In the case of non-resident foreigners, Spanish law indicates the obligation to also pay Inheritance Tax. 

Therefore, in order to inherit the assets described in the will that a person is going to receive in inheritance, and even if they are not resident in our country, they must pay the aforementioned Inheritance Tax as well as the municipal capital gains tax, in the case of inheriting real estate.

In this case, only the assets that the deceased had in Spain are taxed, not the foreign ones.

What happens if a foreigner resident in Spain receives an inheritance?

It may also be the case, and in fact it is relatively common, that a resident foreigner receives an inheritance in Spain, both from assets abroad and in Spain. 

In this case, according to current Spanish legislation, he or she must pay tax on the inheritance in Spain, as established in the Inheritance Tax Law.

It should be noted that, for residents of the European Union, the applicable legislation will be that of the Autonomous Community in which the deceased had the assets. This means that, although inheritance and inheritance taxes depend on the Spanish Tax Agency, the current and applicable regulations of the Autonomous Community in which the deceased is registered are applied.

It is important to know that, on the other hand, for residents in other countries that do not belong to the European Union, the applicable regulations will be those of the State, with some allowances for kinship and other existing ones that are much lower than those applied by the Autonomous Communities, so the tax will be considerably higher.


If you have any questions or feel we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact MAM Solicitors. We have over 30 years experience behind us.