In today's article, we are going to explain what you have to do according to the law if you find yourself involved in the situation where one of your parents has died without a will that indicates how to distribute the inheritance.
First, if the deceased did not make a will, the declaration of heirs must be specified, to discover who the heirs are, taking into account the provisions of the Spanish Civil Code.
If the children, parents or spouse inherit, the declaration of heirs is made before a notary public of the town where the deceased lived. To do this, it is necessary to present a series of documents and two witnesses must attend. Said witnesses must not have an express interest in the inheritance. They must explain the personal and family situation of the deceased, as well as confirm the claims made by the applicant.
What documents are needed to obtain the declaration of heirs before the notary?
- Death certificate of the deceased, whose inheritance is involved.
- Certificate from the General Registry of Acts of Last Will, proving that the deceased did not leave a will.
- Birth certificate of the descendants, or of the ascendants of the deceased.
- Marriage certificate of the deceased.
- National Identity Document of the deceased or, failing that, their registration certificate.
In the event that the heirs were others (nephews, siblings or people with a more distant relationship), the declaration of heirs must be made by a judge, once the corresponding procedures established by law have been completed.
As a consequence of all this, the assets of the deceased are not lost nor are they kept by the state (only ultimately). When the deceased does not have a will for whatever reasons, it is the current legislation that specifies the beneficiaries, establishing a kinship order. Said order is established as follows:
1. Descendants come first. The children will be the beneficiaries of the inheritance in equal parts, in addition to the grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Children born out of wedlock are also included.
2. If there are no descendants, it will be the ascendants who receive the inheritance. If both are deceased, the inheritance will pass to the grandparents or, in their absence, to the great-grandparents.
3. If neither descendants nor ascendants are found, the inheritance would go to the spouse (if there is no will).
4. The brothers are in fourth place (or nephews, in the absence of these), whose distribution is made in equal parts.
5. In the last place, the cousins would be found. If there were none, it would be the state that would ultimately keep the assets.