You live in the United Kingdom and have a 2nd home in Spain? The new Dutch inheritance law entered into on 1 January 2013 changed the positions of the elderly and the children.

In the old situation, the children could claim their inheritance immediately (unless a long-standing testament was made). According to the new Dutch inheritance right, even if there is no will, the survivor is assigned all the assets and liabilities, with the children receiving only an irrevocable claim on the surviving size of their inheritance.

The position of the elderly is thus clearly improved. This statute seems to make it unnecessary to make a testament, but it’s not always the case. It’s conceivable that you want to deal differently with matters governed by the new law in your will. As long as it only involves Dutch possessions in the estate, there is usually nothing to do.

As soon as Spanish possessions are at stake, one can encounter practical problems because the law in Spain that governs inheritance is very different from Dutch law.

If Spanish property is neglected to Dutch heirs, then the Spanish notary is usually given a Dutch testament, in which the elderly receive all the assets and liabilities and the children only claim a claim to the longest. A Spanish notary who faces this will will look strange. He is not used to this way of inheritance. As a result, the implementation of the Dutch will in Spain will take years to delay. And as long as the legacy is not officially distributed by a Spanish notary, the heirs can not sell the Spanish property. To prevent this delay, you could adjust your Dutch will by CasaLasDunas in such a way that Dutch and Spanish inheritance laws are aligned.

You live in Spain or want to live in Spain?
If you have not made a Dutch testament, your legacy, inherited in Spain for 5 years, inherits Spanish inheritance. In other words, if you have been expelled from the Netherlands for more than 5 years and live in Spain, Spanish inheritance will apply to your legacy and you will be charged with inheritance fees. If you want to avoid the above situation, you are advised, among other things, to make a right choice and to include this right-wing clause in your will. When you make a testimony to Dutch law, that applies to all possessions in both the Netherlands and abroad.

Your home on Spanish territory
Even if you have a Dutch testament, you are Dutch and Dutch citizens, you may still be affected by Spanish inheritance. The Spanish law states that property in Spain is subject to Spanish inheritance law. Spain acknowledges Dutch wills as a deed in which one’s last will is laid down, but it is difficult for a Dutch will to find things that are impossible in Spain. The Spanish inheritance right differs from the Dutch to a large number of points. This applies, inter alia, to the parental divorce and the position of the survivors.

The position of the elderly is not as strong in Spain as in the Netherlands
If you want your legacy in Spain to be honored and settled in accordance with the rules of Dutch inheritance law, you must, among other things, make a choice of law and include it in your will. CasaLasDunas advises and helps you in doing so. This may be of great importance, because Spanish inheritance protects the survivor far less well than Dutch inheritance law. Thus, according to Spanish inheritance, the longest living must be settled directly with the children, while in Dutch inheritance the children only receive a non-claimable claim on the survivors. If you want to arrange for your Spanish possessions to reach the longest survivors as best as possible, then you need to make a testimony that provides them.

Succession declaration in Spain
Imagine: You have chosen a Spanish will or a Dutch testament without (necessary) adjustments and your partner will die. You will have to report to you in Spain (no declaration is punishable!). According to the Spanish succession law, Spain must indicate the market value (free-of-sale) of the property minus the (any) mortgage that rests on the property in question. An average of 24% success is paid on this. In practice, however, the value of the property is calculated and indicated differently. Many municipalities assume the cadastral value of the house. This cadastral value is multiplied by the factor 1.9 and then 80% of this value is taken for the value given for the succession declaration.


  • Cadastral value of the house € 150,000
  • Factor 1.9 x cadastral value € 285,000
  • Succession € 285,000 x 0.8 = € 228,000
  • The succession fees to be paid will then amount to approximately € 55,000.
  • At a cadastral value of € 250,000 this will soon be about € 91,000 !!

Also note that the municipalities’ cadastral values have been significantly increased in recent years!

The tax authority seizes the property until the succession is paid. You can not sell a property that has been seized by the Spanish taxpayer or sell an (additional) mortgage on the property. You will therefore have to pay the inheritance fees through other means.

How can this financial loss be prevented?
Due to (multiple) adjustments in your Dutch will, this financial loss can be circumvented. CasaLasDunas informs you, advises you and can help you with this. We study your current will and then indicate in writing what changes and adjustments in your will are desirable. Your Dutch notary will process these adjustments in your Dutch will. We then provide the legal translation, provided with an apostille from the court.

If you want to get it all well and reliably, please contact us. We will also inform you in writing of any changes in Spanish inheritance law.

In case of sudden death you are late! Therefore, do not opt out, we will give you this information in your own interest!

*This text has been translated temporarily by google translate