The main item that any inheritor is likely to inherit is property. Spanish property is probably the biggest factor in the majority of Spanish inheritance cases. However, there might be other items to be received by heirs too.
Other significant assets might exist such as cars and boats and money might have been left in bank accounts and in stocks and shares. There is likely to be a significant amount of furniture and perhaps valuables in the property itself – all of which form part of the inherited estate.
Inheritors in Spain are expected to voluntarily declare the value of their inheritance. Before you do this, it is wise to take advice as extra tax will be charged if the tax authorities do not agree with the declaration value.
The contents of a property – furniture, clothing and personal effects are called the ajuar. They are usually valued approximately by calculating 3% of the value of the property or portion inherited. If there are valuable works of art or antique furniture these might be valued separately.
Vehicles and boats are valued either by an official valuation or approximately, according to the model, age and mileage. There is an official list which assigns values to these assets depending upon the purchase price and year of production. This is published by the ‘Boletín Oficial Del Estado’ (BOE) every year. Stocks and shares in companies or mutual funds or other investments are usually valued at their price on the day of the person’s death.
Inheritance tax must be paid on all these others assets. Everything is considered as part of the estate. If you miss the ‘window’ you can be required to pay a penalty fee. This requirement doesn’t go away and it just gets bigger the longer you leave it. Failure to pay inheritance tax means that you can’t leave the property to your own inheritors or claim life insurance.