Welex, law and accountant firm in Marbella, will explain in detail information about the private document of acceptance of inheritance in Spain.

An inheritance in Spain can be accepted tacitly, through the performance of acts that imply an unequivocal will to become an heir.

It can also be accepted expressly, through the signing of a public document (Spanish Deed of Distribution and Acceptance of Inheritance) before a notary, or the signing of a private document.

The private document of Acceptance of Inheritance in Spain

Below, one of our professionals at Welex, leading law firm in Spain explains how to accept an inheritance by means of a private document, also known as a private request.

This is a document drafted by a manager, advisor or lawyer, whose content is similar to the deed that would be signed before a notary, without the need for a notary to intervene.

The private document of acceptance of Inheritance in Spain must contain at least:

  1. Details of the deceased and date of death
  2. Details of the will or declaration of heirs.
  3. Details of those interested in the inheritance, as well as their relationship with the deceased.
  4. An inventory must be drawn up of all the assets that the deceased had at the time of death, as well as a valuation of these.
  5. The distribution of the assets among the heirs must be made, following the instructions set out in the will.
  6. It must be signed by all the heirs, thus showing their agreement.

For this document to be valid, effective and legal in Spain, it must be accompanied by the following documents:

– Death certificate.

– Certificate of last will and testament.

– Will or, if applicable, Declaration of heirs.

– To accredit the family relationship, family record book.

– Bank certificates, to accredit the accounts and the amounts held at the time of death.

– To accredit the real estate, deeds of sale or simple notes of the same.

In short, documentation must be provided for all the assets included in the inventory in Spain.

However, if what is desired is the registration in the Land Registry of the assets in the name of the Heir in Spain, the only documents that the Registry accepts are public notarial deeds, so that, for this, the inheritance must be accepted before a notary, not being valid the private request, with only one exception, when it is a single heir.

In the latter case, when there is only one heir, the law allows the private document where the inheritance is accepted to have access to the Land Registry, and the ownership of the assets can be changed, without the need for a deed signed before a notary in Spain.

In order to do this, it will be necessary for a notary to legitimize the signature of the heir, thus attesting that the signature contained in the private document belongs to the heir.


If you have any queries about the private document of acceptance of inheritance in Spain, or about any accounting or tax issues, please do not hesitate to contact our offices, we will be happy to advise you.

In this article, one of our professionals from Welex, leading firm of lawyers and accountants on La Costa del Sol, will explain in detail what documentation is necessary to execute a Deed of Acceptance and Adjudication of Inheritance before a notary in Spain.


What documentation is necessary to execute an Acceptance of Inheritance Deed before a Notary in Spain?

First of all, we would like to warn you that in the event of the death of a person outside Spain, in the case that the various documents required are to be issued by authorities outside Spanish territory, the documents must have the Apostille of the Hague Convention.


Legalisation by apostille consists of adding to the public document issued by the authority of your country an Apostille or annotation that will certify the authenticity of the signature of the public documents issued in a country that is a signatory to the 12th Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. For clarification purposes, we inform you that the documents that are apostilled are judicial documents, administrative documents and notarial documents.  On the other hand, documents issued by a diplomatic or consular official cannot be apostilled.


  1. Death certificate with Apostille


This document, issued by the competent authority of your country, will certify the date and place of death. In the case of death outside Spain, we will need the certificate with Apostille of the Hague Convention.


2. Will in Spain. Will outside Spain with Apostille


In the event that the deceased had granted a Will in Spain, it will be necessary to obtain an authorised copy of the document issued by the Notary before whom it was granted, or by the Notary who currently holds the protocol.


If the person granted a will in the country of residence, it will be necessary to obtain an authentic copy of said will with the Apostille of the Hague Convention.


3. Deed of Declaration of Heirs with Apostille in Spain.


If the inheritance has already been accepted by the heirs in the country of residence of the deceased, we will need to obtain an authentic copy of this deed with Apostille of the Hague Convention.


4. Passport or identity card of the heirs


The heirs must present their passport or identity document for the purpose of identification before the notary in Spain, at the time of the granting by said heirs of the Acceptance of Inheritance Deed.


5. NIE (tax identification number for foreigners) of the heirs


This is a personal, unique and exclusive number assigned to foreigners who, due to their economic, professional or social interests, are related to Spain, for the purpose of identification.



6. Passport and NIE of the deceased person


7. Purchase Title Deed granted when the property in Spain was acquired


In the event that the deceased held ownership of a property in Spain, it would be advisable to provide a copy of the Purchase Deed of said property for its identification and inclusion in the subsequent Acceptance of Inheritance Deed, to be granted by the heirs before a Spanish Public Notary.


8. Copy of any IBI or garbage receipt paid, even if it is and old copy


In this way we will be able to identify the property for Cadastre purposes and find out if there is any outstanding debt for IBI or garbage collection in Spain.


9. Balance of the bank account(s) in Spain at the date of death   


If the deceased had an account at a bank in Spain, it is necessary to obtain a certificate to be issued by the bank certifying the balance of the account at the date of the decease. This certificate will be incorporated into the signature of the Acceptance of Inheritance Deed.


10. Vehicle registration certificate


In the event that the deceased owned a car in Spain, this will form part of the inheritance, and it will therefore be necessary to provide the vehicle’s Technical File and Driving Licence.


If you need advice on the documentation required to execute a Deed of Acceptance and Adjudication of Inheritance before a notary in Spain, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of lawyers and accountants at Welex will provide you with the necessary legal and fiscal advice.


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