When we advise on estate planning issues, it is essential that the exposure to taxation be considered, both in Spain and in the home country. Here are just a few examples of the many situations our team has worked with to date, indicating how important it is to consider taxation at every stage of the inheritance process.
Complex family circumstances
The number of families with second and subsequent marriages is increasing. Particular care needs to be taken with these cases, as inheriting children from non-adopting parents can suffer higher tax rates than natural descendants. This can sometimes be avoided with complete fairness between beneficiaries, by reconsidering the succession route.
Non-married couples and de-facto relationships
There are particular pitfalls and risks of very high rates of tax exposure for non-married couples (whether or not same-sex). Our team can address this both from the Spanish and non-Spanish perspective, to ensure fair and just treatment for all parties concerned.
Adjusting the Succession route
Our team has advised many families on reducing tax exposure. There are options- with careful planning of the succession route within Spanish Wills, it is often possible to maximise the benefit of the inheritance.
Terminally ill clients
We are often approached by clients who are terminally ill (or by their families), concerned about how beneficiaries will cope with tax liability. Our team is quickly able to advise on any lawful steps that could be taken to mitigate the tax exposure. We provide a clear time estimate for the work involved; and we have the resources available to have all documentation- and even complete estate restructuring- promptly completed.
Surviving spouses and tax credits
Unilateral Relief treaties (if applicable) only provide a credit in respect of tax which would otherwise be payable twice. For example, in the case of one spouse inheriting Spanish assets from another, Spanish Succession Tax might be payable, but if there is no inheritance tax payable in the country of nationality, then there would be no credit given. Intelligent tax planning in relation to Spanish assets is therefore crucial to avoid unwelcome (and very expensive) surprises.
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