In this article we talk about inheritance in Spain and the figures of “executor” and “accountant partidor”, highlighting the functions entrusted to them in the Spanish Civil Code after a person’s death. The executor is the person appointed by the deceased in their will to carry out its provisions and therefore execute their last will. It is important not to confuse this figure with the administrator of the estate. The position is voluntary and the executor can accept or decline their ap pointment. They are not permitted to delegate the position to another per son, it is temporary, and it cannot be exercised by minors. It is not a paid position, but the testator can establish remuneration if they so wish. A testator in Spain may establish in their will all the powers they deem ap propriate for its fulfilment.

These are listed in article 902 of the Civil Code: · To arrange and pay for suffrages and the funeral in accordance with the provisions of the will or, failing that, according to local custom. · To satisfy legacies consisting of cash, with the knowledge and approval of the heir. · To watch over the execution of everything else ordered in the will, and to uphold its fairness and validity in and out of court. · To take the necessary precautions for conservation and custody of the as sets, with the direct intervention of the heirs. · Sale of movable and immovable property is allowed when there are not sufficient funds in the inheritance for the payment of the funeral and lega cies. This requires the consent of the heirs (if denied, the judicial authority will decide).



The executor has a duty to comply with testamentary dispositions, to draw up an inventory of the inheritance assets, and to render accounts, and they must give an account of their duties to the heirs. In the absence of the testa tor themselves setting a time limit, the term of the executor will be one year from the date of acceptance, although the heirs and legatees may by mutu al agreement extend the term for as long as they deem necessary. In addition to fulfilment of the mandate, the executorship would be termi nated by the death of the executor, the impossibility of their performing their duties, resignation (which can generate liability for damages), or removal from noce due to wilful misconduct, negligence, abusive management of the assets, or conflict of interest between the executor and the heirs. As for the accountant partidor, or partitioning accountant, they carry out the divisional operations of the inheritance, which is why one of their powers is to interpret the will. It is a voluntary position, undertaken on their own, and approval by the heirs of the “partition” is not necessary (although they may challenge it judicial ly). It is a temporary position (the rules of the executor apply), and unpaid, although (as with the executor) the testator may establish a remuneration amount in the will. Also, if the testator hired the professional services of an accountant partidor, it will also be a paid position.

Welex Lawyers & Accountants C/ Ramón Gómez de la Serna 23, Local 7, Marbella Tel. (+34) 952 775 521

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