What happens when a person dies in Spain without having made a will?

Welex, your lawyer in Marbella, has the pleasure to write a few lines concerning intestate succession in Spain.

In these cases, in Spain the so-called «Intestate Succession» or «ab intestato» is initiated, this can be found in the article 658 Cc «in the absence of a will the Succession is deferred by Law», that is to say, it will be the Spanish law who regulates the way of succession in case there is no will or in the case that it is ineffective.

According to Article 913 Cc «In the absence of testamentary heirs, Spanish Law defers the inheritance to the relatives of the deceased, to the widow or widower and to the State».


Intestate succession in Spain


This type of succession can be requested:

Children and descendants
In the absence of children, descendants and ascendants, the widowed spouse may request it.
In the absence of any of the above, siblings and relatives (and nephews and nieces in the event of the latter’s death).
Collateral relatives up to the fourth degree
Finally, and in the absence of all of the above, the Spanish State.


The title of the intestate succession in Spain is the so-called «Declaration of heirs ab intestados», so that the person who claims his or her right as heir after the death of the deceased without a will in Spain, will be obliged to make a declaration of heirs in Spain before a notary.

Read on to find out more about the process!

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