Inheritance processing in 4 easy steps

Request

for certificate of positions

Icon / Plus Created with Sketch.

Inheritance

tax settlement

Icon / Plus Created with Sketch.

Application

for processing the inheritance

Icon / Plus Created with Sketch.

Distribution

of the inheritance

Icon / Plus Created with Sketch.

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).

Remember…

  • 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).

Remember…

  • 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.

Remember…

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.

Remember…

  • 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

900.10.49.28

Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays).
For more information, you can also go to our offices.


FAQs from users

STEP 1: REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATE OF POSITIONS

  • When should I report the death of the account holder?

  • There is no specific deadline, but we recommend that you notify us as soon as possible so that we can start the probate process and start disposing of the assets.
  • ¿What is the last will certificate (certificado de últimas voluntades)?

  • This is a mandatory document issued by the Ministry of Justice, accrediting whether a person has made a will and the notary public that drew it up.

  • What is the notarised declaration of heirs (acta de notoriedad)?

  • For a person who has not made a will, the “acta de notoriedad” is a notarised document naming the heirs.

  • How can I formalise acceptance and distribution of the estate?

  • This can be done via a public document (drawn up by a notary public) or in a private document signed by all the heirs. Their signatures must be acknowledged by the bank or authenticated before a notary public.

  • What happens to the accounts or products once the death of the account holder has been reported?

  • Once the death has been reported, the following measures are applied to the accounts and products held by the account holder:
    • Cancellation of authorisations and proxies granted by the deceased.
    • If there are surviving joint account holders on file, the corresponding authorisations and proxies will remain in place.
    • Cancellation of the deceased person's cards.
    • Cancellation of the multichannel contract and other remote channels in the name of the deceased.
    • Blocking of share deposits and investment fund shares.
  • What will happen to bills and direct debits?

  • Bills, payments and direct debit transfers will continue to be honoured unless otherwise instructed by all the heirs.
  • What happens to the debts of the deceased?

  • From the month after the death, the pension payment will no longer be applicable, so Banco Santander, at the request of Social Security, will return the requested amount.

STEP 2: PAYMENT OF INHERITANCE TAX

  • What is the deadline for payment of inheritance and gift tax?

  • It must be paid within six months of the death.
  • Can I pay for inheritance and gift tax using the positions held by the deceased?

  • Yes, it is possible to use the assets held by the deceased at the bank to pay the taxes. In order to do so, death and inheritance rights must be proved and all the heirs must issue instructions to this effect.

STEP 3: APPLICATION FOR PROCESSING THE ESTATE

  • Who can apply for probate?

  • This procedure may be carried out by anyone with a legitimate interest in the estate, who must prove this status by providing a death certificate, certificate of last will and testament or declaration of heirs signed before a notary public.

STEP 4: DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE

  • What should I do when the assets have been jointly allocated among the heirs but they wish to receive their share individually?

  • Appendix 5 must be signed by all the heirs: Document terminating joint heirship.

  • What is a usufructuary and a bare owner?

  • The usufructuary has the right to receive the profits and income of the products subject to the usufruct (interest, dividends, etc.). The bare owner retains ownership of the products but does not receive their profits and income.
  • ¿What happens when the balances in current/savings/fixed-term accounts have been allocated under the usufruct and bare ownership regime?

  • A new document signed by all the heirs must be provided, where said balances are allocated with full ownership, since it would be operationally impossible to allocate said balances under the usufruct and bare ownership regime. Appendix 7: Document for allocating current cash deposits with full ownership (current, savings and fixed-term accounts).
  • How are usufruct and bare ownership valued?

  • According to applicable tax law, usufruct is valued using the following formula: 

    89 – age of the usufructuary 

    The result obtained will be the percentage of the usufruct value. 

    Meanwhile, bare ownership is assessed with the following formula: 

    100 – usufruct value 

    The result obtained will be the percentage of the value of bare ownership.  

    Example: if the usufructuary is 60 years old, the usufruct value is 89-60 = 29. The usufruct value is 29% of the balance under full ownership. And the value of bare ownership will be 100-29 = 71. In other words, the party with bare ownership will be awarded 71% of the balance under full ownership. 

  • How is the estate divided if the deceased held securities and investment funds or shares?

  • The heirs receiving these products must go into a bank branch in order to sign the corresponding contracts. Shares may be transferred to a securities depository opened at another bank. In the latter case, a certificate of ownership must be provided.
  • What happens if the deceased held loans or credits?

  • If the deceased had loans or credits, you can go to a Banco Santander branch where they will provide you with more information.

Probate Service

You might be interested in

×
${loading}
×