Why the group you are in determines your Spanish Inheritance tax liability

The death of a relative who owned assets in Spain forces people who often have no previous experience dealing with Spanish laws to try to comprehend the rules of inheritance  and indeed  inheritance tax in spain. Given that the rules are completely different from Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions it can be difficult to get an appreciation of how the rules will affect your particular situation.

One thing that is certain is that it will have an impact and needs to be dealt with quickly in order to avoid fines and interest.  The table below is a typical format that the Spanish government uses to show potential inheritance tax liability, and as can be seen, the concept of ‘Groups’ is used to determine available exemptions, and consequently, tax liability:

inheritance tax spain state deductions

The Groups referred to were defined as:

Group I – Children, including adopted children, under the age of 21

Group II – All other children, spouses and parents

Group III – close relatives such as brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles

Group IV – more distant relatives

To give a better idea of how these rules work in practice, if we take the example of a  16 year old child who inherits from her parents, her situation falls into Group I and so she may claim an exemption of €15,956.87 + (€3,990.72 * 5) = €19,953.60 to give a total exemption of €35,910.47.

In addition to the above exemptions, should any beneficiary be disabled, further exemptions ranging between €47,858.59 and €150,253.03

If the deceased took out a life insurance policy in favour of a beneficiary there is an exemption up to the value of €9,159.49 where the beneficiary is a spouse, child or parent.

An exemption also exists for inheritance tax payable on the permanent or habitual residence. This exemption applies equally to spouses, children and parents of the deceased at a rate of 95% of the value of their inherited portion of the property up to a maximum value of €122,606.47 each. An important proviso exists in that the property may not be sold for a period of 10 years after the inheritance.

Other relatives further removed, may also benefit from this exemption but must have been living with the deceased in the property for a period of at least two years prior to the date of death.

The specific deductions available do not only depend on the Group that you are assigned to, but all on regional deductions, depending on your residency status in Spain.

39 Lawyers Offering Inheritance Services in Spain

Testimonials for our Inheritance service
  • Gail Maher
    Gail Maher, Torrenueva

    Alvaro is brilliant.


    He comes across very professional and friendly,nothing too much trouble.


    As I was unable to go to Spain initially all communication was via phone and was put at ease straight away as he understood exactly what was required to deal with my case, and all went exceptionally well. I was able to meet Alvaro in August to pass over documents required and made me very welcome.


    I have been so pleased with everything I have now engaged him on a further instruction on our property in Torrenueva..


    Dec 11, 2019
  • Andrew Hales
    Andrew Hales, Fuengirola

    We dealt with Angela, and had a superb service - she was efficient, clear, timely and exceptionally helpful. We would recommend this respectable Solicitor who has excellent English.


    Trustworthiness is so important, and step by step help was very much appreciated. Thank you Angela of myAdvocate Fuengirola.


    Oct 23, 2019
  • Mr Swildens
    Mr Swildens, Alicante and Belgium

    I'm very happy with the services received: I started with José in Alicante on various subjects whom than handed me over to Miguel for another case because he said Miguel was much more experienced in the field I needed assistance, I can appreciate professionals knowing their business.


    In the beginning when I started emailing with your good selves I experienced difficulties receiving mails from advocate abroad, it was a server issue from advocate abroad, I repeatedly asked Miguel and José about it but they could not find anything wrong. At this moment I no longer experience these problems.


    Sep 20, 2019
  • Isabel Albert
    Isabel Albert, Valencia

    Inmaculada has always responded to all my queries and explained and provided excellent solutions. She is very approachable, diligent and professional.


    Sep 17, 2019
  • Ole Sørensen
    Ole Sørensen

    Fast and good follow up by Erardo.


    Jul 30, 2019
  • Franco Trio
    Franco Trio, United Kingdom

    Rosa always responded promptly to any email I sent.


    She kept me informed and provided alternatives and 3rd party services (translation).


    Thank you Rosa for your assistance, perseverance and honesty in helping my mum and I. We will definitely recommend you.


    Apr 10, 2019
  • Kevin
    Kevin, Algarobba Costa

    Clear information throughout, well explained and always had my confidence.


    Jan 08, 2019
  • Jason Yorke
    Jason Yorke, United Kingdom

    Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.


    Jul 19, 2018
  • Susanna Buckley
    Susanna Buckley, United Kingdom

    Lidia is very approachable and friendly and I never felt that anything was a problem.


    She was also very sympathetic to my situation (my mother had passed away) and supportive. As soon as she was contracted, she acted quickly to sort things out so that I could return home to the UK as soon as possible.


    She always tried her best to answer any questions very quickly and promptly and matters proceeded without too much worry on my part.


    Jun 20, 2018
  • Richard & Maria
    Richard & Maria, United Kingdom

    Rossana was perfect for our needs.


    Always helpful and supportive, particularly when we were becoming anxious about the continuing Spanish property and inheritance taxes, she always explained how these were calculated.


    We have dealt remotely (email/text/phone) and in face to face meetings and would have no hesitation in future instructions or recommending to others.


    Jan 10, 2018
  • Michael Tenerife
    Michael Tenerife, UK

    Rosa excelled in all of the criteria listed for evaluation.


    Extremely responsive, understanding, professional, and offered great value for money. Rosa explained the situation clearly and provided the clearest solution every time.


    I just can't imagine how Rosa could have done more. Truly excellent service.


    Aug 07, 2017
  • Richard Anthony Poole
    Richard Anthony Poole, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Very responsive, very understanding, value for money, has a great ability to explain and provide the appropriate legal solutions, very approachable and very professional in dealing me.


    May 03, 2017
  • LM
    LM, Ibiza

    Cristina was amazing and very helpful and i would highly recommend her services again.


    I am very satisfied and I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Mar 10, 2017
  • Mike B
    Mike B, South of England

    Beatriz responded immediately to my first approach and always quickly thereafter, understood and knew the law/background, carried out local activities in addition on my behalf, good value for money, helped us through an unfamiliar situation very well in a personable and pleasant way.


    People had warned me the key to this was finding a trustworthy lawyer in Spain so I approached a couple of lawyers in Nerja and judged on their first response, Beatriz obviously passed that test.


    Dec 15, 2016
  • AS
    AS, Denmark

    Jose was very helpful, always happy to assist.


    I am very satisfied the service provided by my lawyer.


    Dec 08, 2016
  • Diana Rawstron
    Diana Rawstron, London

    Domingo provided an excellent service on this matter and I was very pleased that I had found him through your website.


    I definitely use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Nov 03, 2016
  • John Fitzpatrick
    John Fitzpatrick, UK

    Outstanding advice and service Jose was polite courteous and responsive and very sensitive in dealing with my fathers complex bereavement case.


    Jun 29, 2015
  • AS
    AS, Brussels

    My lawyer spoke English more or less fluently and was very helpful.


    He responded quickly to my request, understood the issues concerned and provided understandable and useful advice. A clearer pricing structure would have been helpful.


    However, I was satisfied with the service and would definitely use this lawyer again.


    Oct 23, 2014
  • Glynis Stanley
    Glynis Stanley, Dublin

    I appreciated the in-depth information, time and willingness to explore all angles to help what was a difficult situation.


    As I had previously had very unsatisfactory dealings legally in Spain I left my appointment feeling that I had found a Practice that was honourable and trustworthy....very happy to recommend.


    Feb 12, 2014
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