surinenglish

Inheritance could be costly.
Inheritance could be costly. / SUR

More people giving up inheritance due to outstanding debts and taxes

  • Some 15 per cent of people in Malaga province who were left assets in 2015 did not claim them, a figure five times higher than before the last financial crisis

Receiving an inheritance can really help out in a tight financial situation for many people, however for some it can easily turn into a poisoned chalice instead. The double-edged sword of many legacies is born out in figures that show that more and more people in Spain are turning down their inheritance.

In the case of Malaga province, of the 10,466 inheritances that were processed last year, 1,610 ended up being disclaimed by their rightful beneficiaries. This figure has shot up from the 358 recorded rejections in 2009 in the province, at the start of the last financial crisis.

Across Andalucía, four times more people are giving up their inheritance compared to 2009, reaching over 14 per cent in 2015.

Nationally, an average of one person in ten now doesn’t take up the property or assets left to them.

The reason behind the number of rejections is that often the deceased person has debts higher than the value of the assets. Many homes have fallen in value below their purchase price and mortgages are often more than what a property is now worth.

On top of this, some regions of Spain, including Andalucía, charge a higher-than-average property inheritance tax and all town halls can charge their ‘plusvalía’ (added-value tax) on a property. Both taxes are now the subject of national campaigns to have them reformed.

It seems that the beneficiaries of wills are increasingly doing their sums and realising that an inheritance is not as attractive as it seems.