Welex, firm of lawyers and accountants in Marbella, has the pleasure to write a few lines about the reservation of inheritance in Spain.


The reservation of inheritance in Spain is a figure that imposes a certain trajectory of the assets in the succession Mortis Causa in order to ensure the final destination of certain assets, preventing them from passing from one family to another in subsequent successions.

There are several types of reservation of inheritance in Spain:

I. Ordinary or Viudal Reserve.

This is an obligation imposed on the widowed spouse, who contracts a new marriage and has a new child in Spain.

Here he/she is obliged to conserve the assets that he/she inherited from his/her widowed spouse, from the relatives of said spouse, or from the children or descendants of the previous marriage in favor of the children and descendants of the previous marriage.

All property acquired by virtue of will, intestate succession, donation or any type of lucrative title will have the character of reservable.

It will not be possible to reserve the widower’s half of the community property, the assets acquired for valuable consideration or the things that the children leave to their father or mother knowing that they were married for the second time.


How does this affect real estate in Spain?

Well, according to article 974 of the civil code, all those alienations that have been celebrated by the surviving spouse before celebrating second marriages will be valid, with the obligation, since he/she celebrates them, to assure the value of those to the children descendants of the first patrimony.


For those alienations that have been made after the second marriage, article 975 indicates that it will subsist only if at his death there are no children or descendants of the first marriage.


How does the reservation affect personal property in Spain?

According to article 976 of the Civil Code, these alienations will always be valid.

The reservation is consummated when the reservist dies with the existence of children or descendants of the previous marriage, at this moment, the reservants, that is to say, the children or descendants of the previous marriage, will be able to demand the delivery of the reservable goods.


In addition, the reservation will be extinguished when the children of the previous marriage expressly renounce the reservation; when at the death of the reservist, there are no descendants or children of the previous marriage; or because these have been disinherited.


II. Troncal, Extraordinary or Lineal Reserve.

This reserve is imposed on the ascendant who has inherited assets from a descendant, who in turn acquired them for profit from another ascendant or from a sibling in Spain.

Here the ascendant is obliged to reserve it in favor of the relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line from which the assets come from.

If you would like to know more about the reservation of inheritance in Spain, or about any fiscal or legal issue, do not hesitate to contact Welex, law firm on the Costa del Sol.