Rules of intestacy in Spain(II)


As mentioned before, Spain’s succession law operates a system of forced heirship, which means that certain percentage of the deceased’s assets in Spain must be transferred to people closely related to the deceased. Only through disinheritance the testator can deprive a forced heir of the property that would otherwise receive under the Spanish law of succession.

According to the Spanish Civil Code, it is possible to disinherit a child, and it is regulated by article 848 and following of the code.

Nevertheless, in order to disinherit, exclude someone to the inheritance, some legal requirements are met and it is mandatory that the testator performs the disinheritance through a will, which must also include a valid legal ground on which it is founded.

Bellow are the grounds to disinherit in the Civil Code:


  1. Specific reasons to disinherit descendants:

1. Children and descendants that have refused, without a legitimate reason, to support the parent or ascendant who disinherits him, and

2. Those who have mistreated the deceased in deed or seriously insulted him in speech.

3. The descendant who is sentenced in court for an attempt to take the life of the testator, his spouse, descendants or ascendants.

4. The descendant who has accused the deceased of a crime for which the law provides a sentence of long-term jail, where the accusation is declared to be a calumny.

5. The descendant who, by threats, fraud or violence, should force the testator to make a will or to change it.

6. The descendant who, with the same means, should prevent another from making a will, or from revoking a will previously made, or who replaces, hided or alters another subsequent will.


  1. Specific reasons to disinherit ascendants:

1. Parents and ascendants who have forfeited parental authority.

2. Parents and descendants who have refused maintenance to the deceased without legitimate reason.

3. When, in attempt by one of the parents against the other’s life, no reconciliation between them has take place.

4. Parents who have abandoned, prostituted or corrupt their children.

5. Also, numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the earlier mentioned reasons to disinherit descendants.


  1. Specific reasons to disinherit the spouse:

1. When the spouse has seriously or repeatedly breached marital duties.

2. When the spouse has forfeited parental authority.

3. The spouse who has refused to support his children or the deceased spouse.

4. When he or she has attempted to take the life of the deceased’s life and no reconciliation between them has taken place.

5. Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the mentioned reasons to disinherit descendants.


If reconciliation between the testator and the heir who has incurred in cause of disinheritance occurs, the disinheritance will not have any effect.





Spanish Civil Code





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