Inheritance rules and Spanish inheritance tax
The first phase of the process is navigating Spanish inheritance laws and taxes. These can be fiendish as they vary depending on residency, nationality and the will.
- In Spain the tax burden falls on the inheritors and not the estate
- Spain does not allow its citizens, or those who die intestate, to distribute their estate as they choose… there are rules about children and spouses that have to be followed
- There is a time limit to accept the inheritance and pay any due taxes before fees and fines kick in
- There are different inheritance tax rates in each Autonomous Community of Spain
- Spain has double taxation treaties with many countries that affect the tax burden
You can handle declaring an inheritance yourself by filling in a self-assessment form (Form 650).However, my advice is to use a professional expert ,especially if you are non-resident or don’t speak fluent Spanish.
To obtain a Nota Simple, a document detailing the current status and ownership of a property, apply for it at the Spanish Property Registry.
Registering an inherited property in Las Palmas
Once you accept an inheritance in Gran Canaria, and pay any due taxes, you then register the property in your name.
You need to submit a number of forms to the appropriate property registry (there are several in Las Palmas city). In the case of an ownership change due to inheritance, they are…
- Original copy of the death certificate
- The original Certificado de Actos de Última Voluntad (which states whether there is a Spanish will)
- An original copy of the will
- A certificate showing that you have paid any due inheritance and capital gains taxes
- A certificate showing that you have paid any due Plusvalia tax at the Town Hall
You can do this yourself or, as most people do, ask a local gestoria to handle it for you. My advice is to use a local gestoría because otherwise you waste a lot of time. All documents that are not in Spanish must be translated by an official translator, and then Apostilled.
Selling an inherited property in Las Palmas
Once a property is registered in your name, you are free to rent it out, apply for a holiday let license if possible, or sell it.
By law you have to register a property before selling or renting it out. In practice, many people put a property onto the market before the inheritance process is completed. This is fine as long as potential buyers know the situation. An ongoing inheritance process should not therefore be a reason for a buyer to try and negotiate a lower price.
If you do choose to sell your inherited property in Las Palmas it is vital to get an accurate professional valuation before you list it. Too many properties in Gran Canaria are listed at the wrong price and this inevitably leads to a poor outcome for the seller. If you list under the market value, you lose money fast when a buyer swoops in and takes advantage. If you list at too high a price the property sits on the market and only attracts low offers. In my experience (over ten years in the Las Palmas market) property that sits on the market for a long time almost always sell for below its true value.
A good Gran Canaria estate agent saves you time and money
Estate agencies in Gran Canaria charge around 5% of the sale price as standard to handle all listing, marketing, vetting, visits, paperwork and other procedures associated with a sale. The added value you get from having your property listed properly and marketed well will almost always earn you more than the agency commission.
I’m Laura Leyshon and I’ve been one of Las Palmas city’s best-selling estate agents for almost ten years. I specialise in helping foreign buyers and sellers in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city, and in the luxury Gran Canaria market.
If you have any further questions about inheriting a Gran Canaria property, or about selling a Las Palmas property in general, please get in touch, or just fill in this form and I’ll get back to you right away.
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