Although German citizens residing in Germany are subject to the German inheritance legislation, the inheritance of a real property situated in Spain is subject to the Spanish inheritance tax. At the present time, no convention exists between Germany and Spain regulating the double taxation of inheritances.
The German inheritance legislation does not require the express acceptance of the inheritance. At the death of the owner, his heirs automatically acquire the legal condition of the principal. To the contrary, Spanish inheritance legislation requires the express acceptance of the inheritance on the part of the heir as a condition precedent to the hereditary succession.
In Germany, the person who has a declaration of heir in his favour may request the relevant modification of the title of ownership in the property register. In Spain, however, a declaration of heir does not constitute sufficient legitimation to modify the title of ownership in the property register. It will be necessary to present the acceptance of the inheritance by notary deed, including an inventory and, where appropriate, a deed of distribution of inheritance. To this end, an international certificate of heirs must be submitted. In addition, the Notary must request a certificate from the central authorities in Madrid stating that there is no evidence of a testament having been granted in Spain.