no will died spain

Spanish Intestacy Laws

If someone dies without a valid Spanish will in place or other will to validly provide for what will happen to their assets in Spain, then the deceased will have died ‘intestate’.

This means that the Spanish estate of the deceased will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the relevant country.

What to do if you inherit Spanish assets but there is no will

If you have a family member or friend who has recently passed away, with assets in Spain, but without a valid will that applies to their Spanish estate. You will need to determine whether the Spanish intestacy laws apply or whether another countries laws apply (i.e. the laws of their deceased’s country of residence if this was not Spain).

If you need to administer the assets of someone who has passed away, and the assets are subject to Spanish intestacy law, then you will likely need the help of a lawyer in Spain.

At Worldwide Lawyers, we can put you into contact with one of our recommended English-speaking Spanish lawyers who will be able to help you with completing the inheritance of the Spanish estate. Call us on 01244 470 339 or email info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk and our friendly team will be happy to discuss how we can help.

Who inherits Spanish property (and other assets) where there is no will

The table below sets out how the Spanish assets of the deceased are distributed in accordance with Spanish intestacy law (i.e. where there is no will to cover the Spanish assets).

Relatives who survive the deceased

How the assets are distributed

Only the spouse (no children or parents of the deceased) Everything to the spouse (husband/ wife)
Only children (no spouse) Entirely to the children in equal shares
Spouse and children (of the deceased) Usufructo / Life interest (only) in one third of the estate to the spouse, the rest to the children in equal shares including the other third when the spouse dies.
No spouse, but there are children and/or grandchildren To the children in equal shares, grandchildren only inherit in the case that their parent had died before the deceased.
Spouse, children and grandchildren Usufructo / Life interest (only) in one third of the estate to the spouse, the rest to the children, in equal shares including the other third when the spouse dies. As previously children are only substituted by their own children (the grandchildren) if they have died before the deceased.
Parents only, no spouse or children Entire estate to the parent or parents in equal shares.
Parents and spouse, no children Usufructo (life interest only) in half the estate for the spouse, the rest to parents and the other 50% to the parents or their own beneficiaries when spouse dies.
Brothers and sisters only, no spouse, parents or children To them in equal shares.
Brothers, sisters and/or nephews/nieces ,no spouse, parents or children To the brothers and sisters in equal shares however if any have died before the deceased then their children (i.e. the nephews and nieces) inherit in their place.
Nephews and nieces only, no spouse, children, parents or siblings. To them in equal shares.

Worldwide Lawyers is experienced in helping people with the Spanish inheritance process particularly where the deceased or family members are located outside of Spain.

We can put you in touch with an experienced and recommended English-speaking Spanish lawyer to assist you with the process. 

Contact us on 01244 470339 (if calling from outside of the UK: 0044 1244 470339) or email at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. 

Author: Sara Janion, overseas legal expert, solicitor and Notary Public