As already mentioned in previous blogs, the term inheritance is defined as a subrogation in the legal position of the deceased, comprising all their assets, rights and obligations as long as they are not extinguished after their death.


In the following, our team of lawyers specialized in inheritance in Spain will explain the different stages in which your inheritance can be found.

Future inheritance in Spain

First of all, we find the future inheritance. This future inheritance in Spain is prohibited by the Spanish Civil Code in its article 991 where it states that “no one can accept or repudiate an inheritance without being certain of the death of the person to whom he/she is to succeed and of his/her right to the inheritance”. However, according to some provincial laws, contractual succession is permitted.


Phases of inheritance in Spain


  1. Open inheritance

The first phase of an inheritance is the open inheritance. This stage takes place once the death of the testator occurs, resulting in the opening of the succession.

Once the succession has been opened, as long as the call to the heirs has not become effective, the inheritance is said to be non-deferred, which may occur in cases in which the deceased has established a suspensive condition and this has not been fulfilled. Once these appeals to the heirs have taken place and those benefited by the will or legal disposition can already acquire their rights, the inheritance becomes a deferred inheritance in Spain.

  1. Inheritance intestate

It is important to remember that an inheritance in Spain can be accepted or repudiated by the heirs, and while this acceptance or repudiation of the inheritance is taking place, the inherited assets do not have a known owner during this period of time, the inheritance is said to be dormant.


  1. Inheritance accepted in Spain

Accepted inheritance, as its name indicates, is that which arises once the heir has accepted the inheritance, thus becoming the holder of the legal relations of the inheritance.

If, on the other hand, the inheritance is not accepted, but repudiated, the inheritance becomes vacant, as there are no heirs to the inheritance. This vacant inheritance can also occur if the heirs do not have the capacity to inherit because they are incapable, or if the individuals whom the deceased named as heirs are no longer alive at the date of death of the deceased.


  1. Undivided inheritance and divided inheritance in Spain

An undivided inheritance arises when the inheritance has already been accepted by all the heirs called to the succession, but has not been divided among them. On the other hand, when this division has already occurred and has been distributed, we find a divided or adjudicated inheritance.

Finally, we can find the case where the inheritance is in administration. This occurs when the testator has so established in his or her will, or when the Civil Code so stipulates.


At Welex, lawyers and accountants in Marbella, we count on a team of experienced lawyers in the management of inheritances in Spain. Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish assistance in the phases of accepting your inheritance in Spain.