Inheritance processing in 4 easy steps


for certificate of positions

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tax settlement

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for processing the inheritance

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of the inheritance

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We will be by your side every step of the way – the important thing is to be supported

Below, you will find the steps you need to follow and the documentation you need at each stage in order to process your inheritance.

Step 1: Request for certificate of positions

The first step in processing an inheritance is to notify the bank of the death and request the position certificate at the date of death.

This document accredits the ownership and balances of the products that the deceased had at Banco Santander and is necessary to settle the Inheritance and Gift Tax.

Before going to the bank, along with the ID of the heirs, you must also gather the following documentation:

  • Death Certificate (Certificado de Defunción)

  • What is it?

    This document certifies the death of a person. It is an official informative document issued by the Civil Registry (Registro Civil).

    How do I request one?

    In person: at the Civil Registry where the deceased is registered, with the ID of the person requesting the certificate.
    By postal mail: by sending an email to the Civil Registry, clearly indicating the name and postal address to which the certificate is to be sent and stating the following information in your request:

    1. Name, surname(s) and ID card number of the person requesting the certificate.
    2. Name and surname(s) of the deceased and place and date of death.

    Online: through the official website of the Ministry of Justice.

  • Certificate of Last Will (Certificado de Últimas Voluntades)

  • What is it?

  • This is a mandatory document issued by the Ministry of Justice, accrediting whether a person has made a will and the notary before whom it was drawn up.

    When does it have to be requested?

  • Once 15 business days have passed from the date of death by completing Form 790, which can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Justice, or obtained at no cost from any Territorial Division of the Ministry of Justice, including also receipt of payment of the corresponding fee (which can be paid at any branch of Banco Santander) and a full death certificate (certificado literal de defunción) issued by the Civil Registry.

    How do I request one?

    In person: at the Central Citizen's Advice Office (Oficina Central de Atención al Ciudadano) (Calle Bolsa,8) if the request is being made within the Autonomous Community of Madrid, or at any Territorial Division of the Ministry of Justice for all other Autonomous Communities.

    By postal mail: by sending your request to the following address: Registro General de Actos de Última Voluntad, Ministerio de Justicia, Plaza Jacinto Benavente 3, 28012 Madrid.

    Online: through the official website of the Ministry of Justice where all the information is available for consultation.

  • Will (Testamento), or Sworn Statement of Heirs (Acta de Notoriedad), or Family Book (Libro de Familia)

  • What is a will?

    It is a document with the last wishes of the deceased, in which they give instructions on what should happen to their estate following their death.

    How do I request a will?

    The certificate of last will and testament states the date and notary with whom the will was signed by the person now deceased. The heirs should go to this notary's office to request an authorised copy of the document. If the notary before whom the will was executed is deceased, or has retired or moved to another location, you can find the new notary who has taken custody of the previous notary's records on the website of the General Council of Notaries. You can also obtain this information by visiting the Notaries' Association of your Autonomous Community or by asking for it at any other notary's office.

    What is the sworn statement of heirs?

    This is a notarial document that certifies who the heirs are in the event that the deceased did not make a will.

    Where can I request the sworn statement of heirs?

    Persons who consider themselves to be rightful heirs should go to a competent notary's office to obtain the sworn statement of heirs. Competent notary means any notary operating in the place where the deceased had his or her primary residence, or the place where the deceased held most of his or her estate, or the place where he or she died, or, alternatively, the notary of a notarial district adjoining any such location. Those who have been declared heirs by means of a sworn statement must prove their entitlement by furnishing the final declaration of heirs issued by the notary.

    Can a certificate of positions be obtained without a will or a sworn statement of heirs?

    If the deceased did not make a will, until the statement of truth is obtained, the spouse and children of the deceased (i.e. the forced heirs) may request the certificate of positions from the Bank by proving that no will exists and submitting the certificate of last wishes along with the family book.

How is it done?

  1. At any Banco Santander branch, providing the necessary documentation. Make an appointment in advance.
  2. And if you are a customer, you can also do this through your online banking service (access with your passwords to the MAILBOX / Wills / Request for position certificate).


  • If you wish, you can also request the movements of the accounts for the year prior to the death at any Banco Santander branch.
  • Unless the heirs and co-owners indicate otherwise, the bank will continue to honour payments and receipts paid directly into the account of the deceased.
  • If the deceased had taken out life insurance policies, the corresponding information notes shall be provided together with the position certificate.

Step 2: Inheritance Tax Settlement

The settlement of the inheritance tax is a prerequisite for the disposal of the deceased's assets. In this settlement, you must include all the deceased's products that appear in the Certificate of Positions previously provided by Banco Santander (except pension plans). As a result of this settlement, the heirs will either pay the inheritance tax or obtain the corresponding declaration of exemption or prescription of the inheritance tax.

How is it done?

The deadline for paying the tax is 6 months from the date of death to the tax authority of the Autonomous Community in which the deceased had their last residence. If the deceased and/or the heir did not have their principal place of residence in Spain, the settlement will be made at the State Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria Estatal).


  • The heirs can pay the amount of inheritance tax out of the deceased's positions at Banco Santander.
  • Banco Santander can deliver this amount by means of a bank cheque made payable to the corresponding Tax Administration or by debiting the account of the letter of payment.

Step 3: Application for processing the inheritance

You have the certificate of positions and have paid inheritance tax. The next step is to make arrangements for execution of the inheritance on a form that will be supplied to you by the bank.

With this form, the person concerned identifies the deceased individual and provides contact details so that Banco Santander can contact them if necessary. You can go here to download the form.

How is it done?

At any Banco Santander branch, providing the necessary documentation.

  • Document (notarised or private) of acceptance and distribution of legacy.
  • Payment of the inheritance and donations tax.


If the deceased had taken out pension plans, life or accident insurance, other forms must be filled in and submitted along with additional documents.

Step 4: Distribution of the inheritance

In order to carry out the distribution, Banco Santander verifies the documents provided by the heir and proceeds to:

  • To distribute or change the ownership of bank deposits on the terms indicated by the heirs in the Document of acceptance and partition of the legacy (notarised or private).
  • Settle the amount of pension plans and benefits provided for in life, savings and accident insurance.

How is it done?

  1. The Bank will contact you personally to inform you about how to manage the deceased's balances and products.
  2. If you need to sign contracts for the transfer/arranging of any product, you can do so at any Banco Santander branch.


  • If the balances of the accounts have changed since the date of death, the heirs must sign new instructions for distribution of the current balances.
  • If the deceased had securities and/or investment funds, the heirs must sign the contracts. In the case of shares, they may be transferred to a securities deposit opened with another financial institution, and to this end the certificate of ownership must be submitted.
  • If the deceased had loans or credits, you can go to a Banco Santander branch where they will provide you with more information.

Do you have doubts?

We put at your disposal our Heir Orientation Service. Call us at


From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday (except holidays)

Or visit our branches.

Probate Service

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