Inheritance with a Will – Acceptance of Inheritance

We manage the acceptance of your inheritance in a rapid and safe manner

Our specialist inheritance lawyers will be entrusted with carrying out all the necessary procedures, helping you to compile the documentation (death certificate, certificate of last will and testament, deeds, etc…) and coordinating the different parties involved for acceptance.

Once the heirs have been determined, either through the will or the declaration of heirs, the inheritance will be accepted, thereby transferring the ownership of the assets to the heir and enabling us to conduct the applicable registry office entries.

Seek guidance before accepting an inheritance with regard to your tax obligations and the consequences involved.


The acceptance of an inheritance with the benefit of inventory is a form of protection granted to the heirs involved, so that in the event that the debts of the inheritance exceed the assets, the heir will not be required to use his/her own assets to pay said debts.

In this regard, once the inheritance has been accepted, an inventory of the assets and debts will be carried out as established in articles 461-14, 461-15 et seq. of the Civil Code of Catalonia. It is important to know when to accept the inheritance with the benefit of inventory and to follow the legally established steps, otherwise the inheritance would be accepted on a pure and simple basis and the heirs would have to use their own assets to settle the debts of the inheritance.

What to do when an heir is delaying accepting the inheritance. INTERROGATIO IN IURE

It may happen that one of the heirs neither accepts the inheritance nor repudiates it, meaning a part of the inheritance remains unavailable and cannot be assigned to anyone, which can create a problem in the case of assets belonging to several heirs on a joint basis. By not speaking out in such a case, you are preventing the other heirs from gaining access to the assets to be able to sell them, lease them, etc…

A legal process exists for such situations known as as Interrogatio in Iure, article 461-12 of the Civil Code of Catalonia, which forces heirs to speak out with regard to the inheritance. The inheritance lawyers at ABH Abogados Herencias Barcelona will advise you on how to carry out the appropriate procedures when you find yourself in a situation in which you need the heir to speak out about the inheritance.

Article 461-12. Term and demand for payment from legitimate heirs.

1. The right of legitimate heirs to accept or repudiate the inheritance is not subject to a deadline.

2. The interested parties in a succession process, including creditors of the inheritance or of the legitimate heirs, may ask the notary public, once one month has elapsed from the denunciation, to personally request the legitimate heirs, within a period of two months, to state whether he/she accepts or repudiates the inheritance, with the specific warning that, if he/she does not accept it, it will be regarded as having been repudiated.


A will is a document containing a person’s wishes regarding how his/her assets and obligations should be distributed after his/her death. It is important because it serves to regulate inheritance and determines who the heirs are.

The main wills are the Open Will, the Closed Will and the Holographic Will. A verbal Will exists in some cases. The most common and most recommended is the open will, as it is issued by a notary public.

A will must contain the institution of heir; a will without said institution may be rendered null and void. Furthermore, it must contain another series of requirements, the most important of which are the date and place of execution. Finally, it must be issued in a valid manner with no defects of consent for it to be effective.

Everyone is free to draw up their own will, although we recommend seeking the guidance of a specialist due to the complexity of Catalan Civil Law on matters of succession (Inheritance Agreements, Legitime, Legacies, Trust Funds, Inheritance Administrations, Appointment of Executors, Cuarta Falcidia, Cuarta Trebeliánica, the Widowed Spouse´s Fourth Part, etc…) in order to ensure you enjoy the maximum legal benefits and distribute your inheritance pursuant to your best interests. Moreover, you will often be able to obtain better tax conditions for the heirs through succession planning.

A will may contain provisions that are contradictory or ambiguous; in such a case, the heirs are required to interpret them and agree upon the implementation of those that may be valid or, failing that, go to court to settle the interpretation of the will.

When a person dies, you first need to obtain an authentic copy of the last will and testament. Once we have it, we can analyse the provisions established by the testator and the heirs will be able to distribute the inheritance in accordance with the testator´s wishes and, in particular, they will be able to comply with the obligations established both for the heirs and for other persons specified in the will; Legatees, Trustees, Executors, Administrators, etc…

The executor in Catalonia is regulated pursuant to article 429-1 et seq. of the Civil Code of Catalonia, this being the person freely designated by the testator to carry out the tasks assigned to him/her in the inheritance, which usually includes the task of carrying out and distributing the inheritance in accordance with your wishes or assets.

Yes, it is possible to challenge a will, and there are multiple options to do so. The most common grounds for filing a challenge usually consist of challenging the validity of the legitime, non-compliance with legal provisions and the division of the estate.

There is no specific time, as each inheritance is different. However, there are some common deadlines that should be kept in mind. First of all, you will need to wait 15 business days before being able to request a certificate of last will and testament, which is essential in order to obtain the will. Once we have the will, we will need to prepare the inventory in order to process the inheritance, which will vary in each case in accordance with the situation and the documentation required.
Secondly, you should bear in mind that the usual period in which to settle taxes is 6 months, extendable for an additional 6 months, so the majority of inheritances will be accepted before the end of the year in which the death occurs.

When processing an inheritance you will need to take the following taxes and costs into account:

  • – Inheritance and donations tax
  • – Municipal capital gains tax
  • – Personal income tax
  • – Final illness and funeral costs
  • – Notarial costs
  • – Property registry costs
  • – Processing costs and commissions (bank probate fees, cost of the professionals involved in the inheritance process, etc…)
  • – Debts, charges and obligations of the testator that affect the inheritance (mortgage loan, supply costs, debts and any obligations the deceased may have).


Due to the fact that each inheritance is different, these costs can vary significantly in each case and different types, reason for which it is advisable to obtain guidance prior to accepting the inheritance to ensure you are familiar with the deceased´s financial situation, as well as the costs to be incurred in the processing of the inheritance.

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