Mediation of international successions
Mediation of international successions
In today’s world, there are many people in our close circle who live, have businesses, or have properties abroad. Currently, there are 8 million Europeans who reside outside their country of origin, of which they have 2.5 million properties, 16 million international couples. How can it be otherwise, no one is free to die or have a loved one who has passed away, opening a probate or intestate succession process that requires the application of a series of rules and agreements between the heirs. Every year in Europe there are about 450,000 international successions, worth 123,000 million euros each year, which require mediation of international successions.
In this complex of laws, it is necessary to bear in mind, first, that it is a complex situation from the emotional point of view, and that therefore the solution requires speeding up the procedures and being able to solve it as soon as possible. Lawyers specializing in international inheritance can manage an inheritance with fewer problems, solving all the doubts and procedures that arise throughout the complicated process of adjudicating the assets and capital of the deceased. In our law firm we carry out advice on wills, successions, preparation of Declaration of Heirs, Partition of Inheritance, Accountant-Splitter Executor, Acceptance and Adjudication of Inheritance, liquidation of taxes and fees, registration of real estate in the Registry of the Property, etc. This will allow you to know the best way to deal with the different laws.
Main problems in international successions and inheritances
Depending on the international inheritance we can foreseeably find real estate, bank accounts, shares, companies with a multinational presence … These inheritances or international successions are managed like the others, together with the peculiarities of each country and the fit of some testamentary provisions regarding the law Spanish with other legal systems that face issues such as:
The language of the country
It goes without saying that the main problem that we are going to find is the language obstacle in some of them for the mere fact of requesting information on how to proceed at the same time that we have to deal with the legal language that if in itself is complex, more it still is when it is from a third country.
Another problem added is the distance, which requires time and financial resources to move all the heirs. In some cases, they are not even claimed and there are companies specialized only in the task of locating heirs. Administrative deadlines can be a headache for all heirs to
The legislation of each country is different
We must comply as heirs with the regulations of those countries, as well as with the Spanish. This is something obvious, although there are similarities between different legal systems, each state has its own autonomous way of proceeding. Some countries have International Conventions on the matter.
In the European case, since 2015, the criterion of habitual residence has been applied as a criterion for determining the applicable law and this is how it is regulated and collected by European Regulation 650/2012 that indicates that in inheritance matters in Europe the legislation is applied where the deceased has fixed their habitual residence regardless of their citizenship, which generates many problems of application in practice.
The rule came into force in August 2015 (except for Denmark, Great Britain, and Ireland) simultaneously regulating the cases for movable and immovable property. Within this Regulation, we find its masterpiece in the European certificate of succession, which allows citizens to prove their status as heir or legatee throughout the EU and which makes it possible to prove their status as heir or legatee without having to go through any other procedure.
The change in the criterion of nationality for that of habitual residence for the purposes of determining the law applicable to the succession enormously changes the rules of the game to which we were accustomed so that we find the problems of interregional law that are particularly intense in the Spanish or German case for highlighting some, especially if it is taken into account that in the territorial legislation the appeal to the State is replaced by the corresponding Autonomous Community, posing new situations to which the new European regulations do not always give an adequate response and which are to require legal or administrative actions by the lawyers against possible requirements of the administration.
Thus, a foreigner who dies having his last habitual residence in Spain will be succeeded in accordance with Spanish law, unless the person has chosen the application of the law of another state in his will.
Taxation or taxation of inheritance tax
Another issue in relation to the previous point is that we will find ourselves in the position of having to pay taxes in the destination countries, at the same time as paying taxes in Spain for the increase in assets.
In this matter, there are treaties and regulations on tax duplicity so as not to pay taxes in two countries simultaneously outside the European Union, although in general practice there are application problems in some cases with ongoing sanctioning procedures for not meeting requirements in the different countries for the simple problem of not seeing notifications. We must not forget that the Inheritance Tax is paid by the person who receives the inheritance. To which we must add that in Spain, inheritances are regulated as established in the general regime except in the Basque Country and Navarre, which are regulated under a favorable tax regime (where inheritance is cheaper).
Find the goods
Although the normal thing is that there are wills when the testator has planned his death, the truth is that we do not know everything about the other person. In the case of companies, we will find contracts that are still in force and which must be canceled or fulfilled.
Legalization of documents
Finally and although less important in theory, not at an operational or practical level for the average citizen, when documents with a legal nature pass from one country to another they must be translated, legalized, and apostilled. Processes are not always cheap and with certificates with expiration and validity dates that will depend on each specific country.
Expert lawyers in international probate
If you are looking to receive an inheritance from abroad, you need the legal help of an international inheritance expert. Our team is here to guide you on how to inherit from abroad.
How you see is not as simple as it seems at first glance. We must first locate which Law applies to both the deceased and his estate, just as we must consider what legislation applies to the heirs and their nationality. To later carry out the liquidation or distribution corresponding to what we will only be able to do once we know the charges that they have, and we settle the corresponding taxes and relevant royalties.
Finally, when we think that we have managed to do all the steps, we will have to communicate our increase in assets to the Spanish Tax Agency.
And all this is based on the fact that all the heirs agree with the distribution and there are no objections.
Inheritances are never simple due to the plurality of parties, sometimes there are vulnerable people such as minors or the elderly with rights to inherit that require judicial supervision. As well as others, it is necessary to proceed with the alienation of assets or administrators for simple reasons such as geographical distance.
We have been helping people transfer property and inheritance for more than a decade.
We understand the laws and the complications of international law.
Our team is here to help you with all your legal questions.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
In the portfolio of our law firm, we can advise you on the following matters:
- Obtaining documents from the deceased.
- Tax settlement
- Completion of the declaration of heirs.
- Formation of inventories and distributions.
- Receipt of the inheritance and procedures with administrations and banks.
- Supervision of sales operations.
- Double-paid tax refund request.
Contact us if you need advice on the matter. Our lawyers specializing in tourist accidents abroad will be able to assist you remotely and in person, so that you are not in a situation of helplessness even at your destination.