Legacy claim. Court action against the heir for the handing over of the legacy.

Legacy claim in Spain. Claim against the heir. Legal Advice.

In today’s article, we are going to talk in a simple way, about the legacy claim. That is, how can the beneficiary of a legacy, legatee, claim it. Normally, against the heir or the executor of the inheritance.


Through the legacy, the testator leaves a right or a specific asset to one or more people.

Heir is different from the legatee.

The legatee is a specific successor, he only receives one or more specific things.

The heir is a universal successor. That is, inherits the assets of the deceased in general.

Article 858 of the Spanish Civil Code (CC), provides for the possibility of making bequests or legacy.

In addition, when an heir is obliged to make a legacy, the heir will be obliged to fulfil it. And, if the legacy is not imposed to a special heir; all heirs will be bound.

Handing over request.

As stated in Article 885 of the civil code:

– The beneficiary of a legacy or legatee,

– Cannot occupy the item bequeathed by his own authority. Unless authorised.

– Therefore, will have to request the delivery and possession of it, to the heir or the executor.

Therefore, normally, the beneficiary of a legacy, must request the heir to deliver it.

Lack of delivery or hand over. Legacy claim.

If the heir refuses to deliver the legacy, he can claim for it in court.

In the cases of legacies of money, it must be paid in money. Although in inheritance it is not. And not with other assets or items. Although it is possible and convenient, to reach agreements, if possible.

In addition, by accepting the inheritance, the heir agrees to fulfil the legacies.

Consequently, the heir would be obliged to deliver it, even affecting his own assets and money. Thus, before accepting the inheritance, it is convenient to make sure that it will be possible to fulfil the legacies.

The jurisprudence of the Spanish courts.

In relation to the aforementioned, we highlight sentence number 67/2018 of the Provincial Court of Cordoba.

In which it is remembered:

1. The obligation of the heir to the delivery of the legacies.

2. That when the heir is not a forced heir (by law), if they accept the inheritance; will be responsible for the delivery of the legacies, not only with the assets of the inheritance (estate)  but also with his own assets.


Thus, for the above reasons:

First, that it is possible for the heir to accept and get the inheritance. Even if the beneficiary of a legacy of a specific item does not intervene.

Second, that the legatee must normally request the delivery of the item bequeathed.

Third, the heir will sometimes respond with his own assets for said handing over of the legacy.

Therefore, if you are the beneficiary of a legacy, and the heir or executor does not give it to you. Know that you can legally in Spain, initiate the legacy claim action.

Consult our probate and inheritance services and contact us.


The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it merely conveys information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

White & Baos.

Tel: +34 966 426 185

E-mail: info@white-baos.com

White & Baos 2021 – All Rights Reserved.

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