Probate without testament

Intestate succession in Spanish law refers to the way in which the assets of a deceased person are distributed when they did not leave a will.

In these situations, it is essential to know the legal rules that govern this succession, as well as the Rights and obligations of the legal heirs. At A&O Abogados, your Law Firm in Marbella, we explain it to you. Today we will explore in detail the concept of intestate succession in Spanish Law and how it is carried out.

Intestate succession, also known as intestate succession, is one that occurs when the deceased has not left a valid will ( .pdf). Also when the will does not have all of his assets. In these cases, it is the law that determines how the assets of the deceased will be distributed among his legal heirs.

In Spain, the Civil Code establishes an order of intestate succession that determines who will be the heirs of the deceased in the absence of a will. This order of succession is based on the proximity of kinship and is made up of four groups of heirs: descendants, ascendants, spouse and collaterals. At A&O Abogados, your inheritance law firm, we explain it to you.

  • Descendants: If the deceased has children, these will be the main heirs and exclude any other group of heirs. Children in turn exclude grandchildren and other descendants. They will only inherit if their parents have already passed away.
  • Ascendants: If there are no descendants, the parents and grandparents of the deceased will be the heirs. Closer-grade ancestors exclude farther-grade ancestors.
  • Spouse: If the deceased has no descendants or ascendants, the spouse will be the heir. In the case of marriages without children, the spouse will inherit all the assets. If there are children, the spouse will inherit a part in usufruct and the children in bare ownership.
  • Collaterals: If there are no descendants, ascendants or spouse, siblings and other collateral relatives could inherit. In this case, an order of kinship and degree of kinship is followed to determine the distribution of assets.

When the intestate succession occurs, it is necessary to start making a declaration of heirs prior to the succession itself. At times, a court proceeding may be necessary to determine who the heirs are and how the assets will be distributed. This process is carried out by a judge and may require the participation of potential heirs and other interested parties.

During the procedure, the necessary documentation will be compiled to prove the relationship and the pertinent inquiries will be made to determine if there are other heirs. Once the heirs have been established, the assets will be liquidated and divided in accordance with the established rules.

Intestate succession can generate some uncertainty and does not always reflect the wishes of the deceased. Therefore, it is essential to make a living will to be able to dispose of the assets clearly and avoid possible conflicts between the heirs.

The will allows the testator to designate heirs, establish legacies, designate an executor to administer the estate, among other provisions. In addition, it can also be used as an instrument to plan and optimize the distribution of assets, minimizing the tax burden for the heirs.

When a person dies without leaving a will, the management of his inheritance becomes more complex and the intervention of a lawyer specialized in inheritance is ideal. At A&O Abogados, your law firm specializing in intestate inheritance, we will guide you.

One of the first steps in the management of an intestate inheritance is to determine who are the legal heirs according to the order established by law.
In this task, the lawyer plays a crucial role by advising potential heirs and compiling the necessary documentation to prove the relationship, such as death certificates, family books, birth certificates, among others.

The attorney must be thoroughly familiar with the legal rules and procedures related to intestate succession, and apply them appropriately to ensure a fair and legal distribution of the deceased’s assets. That is why A&O Abogados is the ideal Firm to defend your interests.

Once the heirs have been determined, the lawyer acts as their legal representative and defends their interests at all stages of the intestate inheritance management process. This implies carrying out all the necessary steps before the competent authorities, such as property registries, banks or other institutions, to identify and insure the assets belonging to the deceased.

Additionally, our lawyer is responsible for protecting the rights of the heirs against third parties who may question their status or claim a portion of the estate. This includes legally defending the heirs in case of disputes or conflicts that may arise during the process.

Another important task of the lawyer in managing the intestate estate is to carry out the settlement and division of the deceased’s assets in accordance with applicable legal rules. This involves evaluating and appraising the assets and liabilities of the estate and determining the equitable distribution among the heirs. A&O Abogados, your specialized law firm in Civil Law, will become a fundamental pillar.

Our lawyer takes care of preparing the necessary legal documents, such as the partitioning notebook, which details the description of the assets and their allocation to each heir. Additionally, they also handle the corresponding tax procedures, such as the payment of inheritance taxes.

In some cases, managing an intestate estate can lead to conflicts and disputes among the heirs. In these situations, the lawyer plays a crucial role as a mediator, seeking amicable solutions and avoiding the judicialization of the process.

Our attorneys specialized in conflict management will assist you. They will use their negotiation and conflict resolution skills to reach agreements among the involved parties, always with the aim of protecting the interests of the heirs and preserving the family relationship.

Has a close family member passed away? Do you not know how to protect your interests in these difficult times? At A&O Abogados, your trusted law firm, we will help you. Call us now.

In the meantime, feel free to read our blog post about international child support claims in Spain (

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