Inheritance Laws in Portugal and Succession Rules

Portugal is a popular place to own property. Buying a property and living in this country is absolutely advantageous. But everybody should know their rights after any death situation. In this blog, we described Portugal’s inheritance laws and succession rules.

What Are the Inheritance Laws in Portugal?

Inheritance laws in Portugal are not very confusing. They can be easily understood. But, it is strongly advised to get legal consultancy. Preparing your properties in Portugal for any accident or death situation will be helpful for preserving your and your loved ones’ rights.

In Portugal, civil-law notaries, registry offices, and land registries are competent if the inheritance is not contested. In this situation, territorial jurisdiction is not authorized. So, the related parties can contact any institutions mentioned above without concern about territorial restrictions.

Therefore, the owner’s estates may be divided and inherited before any lawyer or solicitor in Portugal. The lawyer or solicitor must be empowered by a registrar or a notary. To prepare the inheritance document appropriately, it is advised to get inheritance and succession consultancy.

What Are the Types of Inheritance in Portugal?

Inheritance can be formed in two forms in Portugal. An inheritance can be formed as a will or a contract.

Will is a simple declaration of intent by one person alone. The will is not needed to be addressed. Also, it is not necessary to bring to the notice of the heir. The will is freely revocable. The assets can only be transferred after the decease of the testator.

Inheritance in Portugal with Will

Will is a personal deed for inheritance. It can not be prepared by a representative. The will also divides into two. These are standard wills and special wills.

Standard will also divide into two. They are public wills (testamentos públicos) and closed wills (testamentos cerrados).

Public wills are prepared by a notary. Closed wills are prepared and signed by the testator or by any other person determined by the testator. Closed wills must be approved by the notary. After the preparation, the closed will may be kept by the testator, third person, or the notary.

Closed will’s possessed person must present the will within three days after they become aware of the testator’s death.

Types of Succession in Portugal

There are two types of succession in Portugal. One is voluntary succession determined by will or contract. The other one is legal or compulsory succession.

If the heirs are determined by a will or a contract, the heirs are considered voluntary successors.

In Portugal, legal succession is accepted by law. It is also known as compulsory succession (sucessão legitimária). This type of succession is the direct result of the law. It can not be overridden by the wishes of the testator.

In case when deceased has not made a valid will, the legitimate heirs (herdeiros legítimos) will be successors. This process is known as legitimate succession. In some cases, such as partial or ineffective will, this process overrides the testator’s will.

The order of the legitimate heirs are;

  1. Spouse and descendants
  2. Spoused and relatives in the ascending line
  3. Siblings and their descendants
  4. Other relatives, including and up to fourth degree
  5. The state

Testators must know that they are not allowed to leave all inheritance to someone who is not a legitimate heir. Making a will also can’t change this situation.

Also, the spouse is not considered an heir if they are divorced or legally separated by a judgment or final judgment before the testator’s death.

How Much Inheritance Tax Do You Pay in Portugal?

New inheritance laws in Portugal abolished the inheritance tax. There is only %10 stamp duty on the value of the assets located in Portugal.

The stamp duty as an inheritance tax on property in Portugal is called Imposto de Selo. The assets can be real estate, cars, bikes, copyrights, shares, or artworks.

But there is also good news. The legitimate heirs are exempted from the Portugal inheritance tax. But, if the heirs are not Portuguese citizens, they may need to pay administrative fees.

It must be noted that inheritance does not always mean properties or movables. The debts and taxes can also be inherited. Inheritance tax laws in Portugal have one of the ideal processes in the world.

How to Get an Easier Process for Inheritance Tax & Laws in Portugal?

The Portugal inheritance law for non-residents is based on the testator’s residency status. If the testator is living in Portugal, but they are a legal resident of another country, the process changes.

It can be really confusing the learn the full process. It is strongly recommended to get a legal consultancy. While working with a reliable and professional company, you preserve the rights of yourself and your loved ones.

Portugal is one of the most researched countries for this topic, after the inheritance laws in Spain. These two countries have many foreign investors and property owners. They offer great investment opportunities and ideal rights to inherit their assets.

You may contact the professionals of Tekce Visa now to get consultancy on inheritance and succession laws in Portugal.

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