Banking procedures in the event of inheritance or death

Guide for heirs to know the steps and banking procedures to be carried out in the event of inheritance or death

At BBVA we know how difficult it can be to deal with an inheritance. To help you, we have drawn up a guide with practical and detailed information on the procedures necessary to complete the process.

Moreover, we put a team of will specialists at your disposal to assist you and to answer any questions you may have. You can contact them through the following channels and timetables:

  • By sending the document to provide the contact details you will find on page 10 of this document to the email address: atencionherederos@bbva.com.
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

We hope you find this guide useful.

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Steps I must follow

1. Application for the certificate of balances, statement of current balances and account movements.

2. Accreditation. Delivery by the applicant/heir of the documentation necessary for the identification of heirs:

  • Death certificate.
  • Certificate of last will and testament.
  • Will and deed of declaration.

3. Issue of the certificate of balances, statement of current balances and account movements.

4. Application for processing. The interested party may initiate the process by signing the request note.

5. Awarding of inheritance. Delivery by the applicant/heir of the documentation necessary for the awarding of the inheritance:

  • Public document of acceptance and awarding of inheritance or a private treaty of partition.
  • Payment of the inheritance tax and the letter of payment, exemption or prescription of the tax.
  • Additional indications of heirs.
  • Instructions of joint holders, where applicable.

6. Execution and distribution. BBVA proceeds to assign and distribute the assets according to the documentation provided in the previous point.

Documents I may need

Request note

  • What it is: a document through which the interested party declares their interest in initiating the processing of the will.
  • How to obtain it: at any BBVA branch, and it may be signed by the interested party at the same time as it is requested.

Literal certificate of death

  • What it is: official document to prove the death to BBVA. The certificate issued must be the one called the "literal" certificate.
  • How to obtain it:
    • Going to the Civil Register of the place where the death occurred, providing the ID of the person requesting the certificate and providing the full name of the deceased, as well as the date and place of death.
    • Sending a letter to the Civil Register, indicating the name and postal address to which the certificate is going to be sent, stating on the application the full name and ID number of the person requesting the certificate and their contact details, as well as the full name of the deceased and the place and date of death.
    • On the website of the Ministry of Justice, if involving a digital Civil Register.

Certificate of last will and testament

  • What it is: document that proves whether a person has left a will and before which notary. This way, the heirs can contact this notary and obtain an authorized copy of the will.
  • How to obtain it: after at least 15 business days have passed from the date of death, by submitting Tax Form 790. Form 790 can be obtained:
    • In the Territorial Management offices of the Ministry of Justice, and/or from Civil Registers throughout Spain.
    • On the website of the Ministry of Justice
    • In the Head Office of Citizen Support (Atención al Ciudadano) in Madrid.

The charge for the Form 790 can be paid at any BBVA branch and it may be presented:

  • In the Territorial Management offices of the Ministry of Justice or at the Head Office of Citizen Support (Atención al Ciudadano) in Madrid.
  • Sending the application to the General Register of Acts of Last Will and Testament at the following address: Registro General de Actos de Última Voluntad, Ministerio de Justicia, Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, 3, 28012 Madrid. The certificate will be sent to the address provided in the corresponding boxes of Form 790.
  • Using a user's electronic certificate on the website of the Ministry of Justice.

This Form 790 can also be used to request the certificate of any funeral or life insurance contracts in force at the time of death and the insurance company.

Will and Deed of Declaration of Heirs

  • What it is: the will is the official document that sets out the will of the deceased regarding the distribution of their assets, designating heirs and/or legatees and pointing out the proportion of the inheritance that corresponds to each of them. In the event that the deceased did not leave a will, the deed of declaration that sets out who the heirs are will be required all the same.
  • How to obtain it: if the deceased left a will, their heirs will request an authorized copy of the last will and testament in the notary's office where it was issued. In the event that the deceased did not leave a will, it will be substituted by the deed of declaration issued by a notary of the deceased's last place of residence in Spain.

Certificates of balances, statement of current balances and account movements

  • What they are:
    • Certificate of balances. Sets out all the products that the deceased held in BBVA, with balances on the date of death.
    • Statement of current balances. Sets out the same products, with balances on the date of the heirs' application.
    • Account movements. Includes the movements of the last year of the accounts set out in the certificate of balances.
  • How to obtain it: you can request them through your will specialist, whose contact details are included in this guide, or at any BBVA branch, filling in the application document which you will also find in the guide. In any case, in order for BBVA to deliver these documents, the applicant must identify themselves and provide the death certificate, certificate of last will and testament and the will or deed of declaration. In the case of children or widowed spouse, the death certificate together with the booklet containing family details ("libro de familia") will be sufficient.
  • The certificate of balances: allows Inheritance Tax to be settled with the tax collecting organism of the corresponding autonomous community region.
  • The statement of current balances document: allows all of the assets deposited in BBVA to be distributed in the manner set out in section 6.
  • The account movements document: allows instructions to be given on the maintenance of direct debit payments, periodical transfers and other orders. Unless instructions are given to the contrary, such transactions will no longer be carried out once the death has been proven.
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Considerations to take into account

If the deceased was a holder of loans or credits, their substitution must be approved by BBVA and processed as a subrogation of debtor (change of debtor). The pertinent party must attend a BBVA Branch for further information.

Full title (full ownership) can be divided into beneficial and bare ownership. The usufructuary has the right to receive the yields and incomes of the balances subject to the usufruct (interest, dividends, etc.). The bare owner retains ownership of the balances, but does not receive its yields and incomes. To avoid problems of an operational nature, we recommend that you convert bare property and usufruct into cash.

The tax regulations currently in force sets out the following rule for the valuation of usufruct, for tax purposes:

  • Valuation of usufruct = 89 – age of the usufructuary on the date of the deceased's death = % in full ownership to be applied to the usufructed balance, with a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 70%.
  • Valuation of the bare ownership = 100 – valuation of the usufruct. The executors may use this valuation criteria to calculate the amount in cash that each person is awarded, or alternatively they may indicate other different amounts.

If the interested parties have been awarded, in the awarding and distribution of the estate, products deposited in the bank in joint ownership in a joint way (even if the award includes specific percentages), the new products will be opened in the name of all co-owners. With regard to the arrangements for gaining access to or drawing down on the products, this will be whichever arrangements are determined by the corresponding contracts. If the interested parties prefer individual (rather than joint) allocation, they must request it in writing, dated and signed by all of them.

If the goods are jointly owned with other parties who are not heirs, the non-inventoried part by inheritance will correspond to them. This is why, prior to the deposit being made to the heirs, the joint title holders who are not heirs must sign a written document in which they indicate that they agree with the percentage attributed to the inheritance and provide instructions for the deposit of the assets which correspond to them as joint title holder.

In certain cases it may be necessary to request additional instructions from those included in the documents stated in this guidance (due to differences in balances, distribution of outstanding balances, etc).

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