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Inheritances in Spain

The law of succession on Mallorca and the differences to other countries

As soon as the inheritance takes place in Spain, the heirs are often overwhelmed by the bureaucracy and the necessary procedures to be expected here. This is more than plausible, since they have only just lost a loved one and (in most cases) are neither able to speak the language nor do they know the requirements so that the testator's goods can now be transferred to the heirs.

Here in Spain, an official acceptance of the inheritance is required before a Spanish notary public, where a large number of documents from the state of residence of the testator must be presented. There is no quasi automatic transfer of the inheritance as many people in other countries know it. Bank accounts are also not simply closed and transferred to the heirs. Rather, the banks are required to block the testator's accounts as soon as they become aware of the inheritance. I would like to point out that even with powers of attorney, no dispositions can be made of the account(s). The legal institution of a power of attorney beyond death does not exist in Spain.

It is also important that the heirs here in Spain require a Spanish tax number for the transfer of the property in their name. If all the necessary documents are available, the official acceptance of inheritance prepared with the notary can be signed. Then the taxes still have to be paid and the transfer can be applied for at the authorities.

Calculate Spanish inheritance tax

Übersicht über die Kosten für Verwandschaftsgruppen I & II

Spain and most other countries have no double taxation agreement with regard to inheritance tax. Spain will always take the standpoint that the inheritance taxes for the property valid here is also paid here in Spain. 
This of course according to Spanish regulations and tables, which are very different from the German tables. So, the tax-free amount is also very limited for spouses or children at just under 16,000.00 euros. For the values up to 700,000.00 euros that are part of the estate, however, only 1% tax is due after the reform (currently 2019).

Balearic Inheritance Tax Table

from 1 January 2016 for the kinship groups I + II


after deduction of
tax allowances (EUR)
Best taxation
Tax rate
0 0 700.000 1,00
700.000 7.000 300.000 8,00
1.000.000 31.000 1.000.000 11,00
2.000.000 141.000 1.000.000 15,00

However, the heir has some influence on the taxes to be paid, as he can declare the value of the inheritance himself. But be careful: If the values are too low, the tax authorities may demand interest on arrears and penalties in addition to back payments.

Whether the municipal land value increment tax (Plusvalia) is then payable to the municipality in the specific case must be assessed on a case-by-case basis

Obligations after the inheritance

Income tax for non-residents must be paid!

If you are then the owner of a property, please make sure that you fulfil your obligations as owner. In Spain, in addition to the payment of utilities, this also includes overheads and property tax, a (fictitious) income tax for non-residents with property in Spain (modelo 210). These are usually small amounts that the tax authorities however actually pursue. It is therefore advisable to pay these taxes on time (by 12/31 of the following year). I will be happy to assist you from the application for the NIE to the change of ownership at the authorities and the land registry.