Sunday, March 7

The pandemic increases the processing of inheritances and wills in notaries


Several posters advertising homes for sale in Alicante.

Several posters advertising homes for sale in Alicante.
HÉCTOR FUENTES

The increase in mortality caused by the covid, more than 2,400 deaths in the province Since the beginning of the pandemic, counting only the officials, it has also begun to be noticed in the notaries. Once the trauma of death is over, family members must face the always uncomfortable process of formalizing the inheritance and pay the corresponding taxes, which has led to an increase in this type of process in offices.

In the months of July and August a first rebound was already noted, especially due to the procedures that were pending in the months of confinement, when the activity in the notaries was limited to the most urgent. But as of September the figures began to increase much more significantly. Specifically, in the last four months of the year up to 4,950 inheritances were formalized in Alicante, which represents an increase of 13%, although the truth is that the rise was accelerating and in December it was already touching 25%, according to with the figures provided by the Notarial College of the Valencian Community.

«It was something that could be expected, if you consider that Family members have six months to pay Inheritance Tax if they do not want to suffer a surcharge, and, in the case of Alicante, if you pay the municipal capital gain within that period and it is the habitual residence, there is a 50% reduction “, explains the vice-dean of the College, Alicante Delfín Martínez.

In the case of Inheritance Tax, Martínez recalls that children do not have to pay practically anything for the first 100,000 euros, so it is especially recommended not to exceed the deadlines to avoid unnecessary payments. What is not worth it, in any case, is to let time pass in the hope that the taxes will expire, as many heirs did previously to save money. New technologies have facilitated communication between administrations to be much more agile, so that deaths are transferred quickly by the Civil Registry to the Treasury or the Cadastre, with which it is most likely that the corresponding letter will be received demanding payment before that the deadlines prescribe.

Regarding the destination of the inherited assets, if one of the spouses survives, the usual thing is that the procedure is limited to notarize the transmission of 50% that corresponds to the childrenBut, when both parents have died, the most common is that the house ends up on the market. “If everyone already has their own home, an inherited home is still a new expense. You have to pay the electricity, the contribution … people prefer to sell and keep the money, “explains the spokesman for Alicante notaries.

Resignations

The statistics also reflect that waivers of inheritance have grown almost in parallel with acceptances. Between September and December, 655 people from Alicante made official their refusal to receive the assets of their relatives, 19% more than in the same period of 2019. A decision that is usually related to the existence of debts that make it not worth it to stay with the house or with any other property that can be received. A situation that, in addition, tends to be more frequent in times of economic crisis, when many families are forced to resort to credit to survive and real estate becomes the best guarantee to guarantee loans.

Along with this increase in inheritances, Delfín Martínez points out that there has also been an increase in wills, “since the fear that the pandemic has generated has led many people to want to make things clear and resolved to avoid later problems” . On many occasions, it is the heirs themselves who are going to formalize the receipt of the assets of a deceased relative who end up requesting to draw up their last wishes, explains the representative of the notaries.

Thus, the statistics reflect a curve very similar to the previous one, with an increase of 10.7% in the last four months, when 12,006 wills were registered in the province; an increase that exceeded 22% in the last month of the year.

The health crisis also increases living donations

Combining psychological factors caused by the pandemic, With the greater difficulties that many families go through, they have also caused an increase in donations while living. In total, during the past year 6,369 were registered in the province’s notaries, 3.6% more, although the increase was noticeable especially in the last four months of the year, when they shot up about 25%, according to data of the Notarial College.

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