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Successions (Causa Mortis) (Denunzji)

When a person passes away, his estate devolves onto his heirs in terms of law or one’s last will. We handle this procedure completely, including the transfer causa mortis of immovable property and the withdrawal of funds held at banks / financial institutions or insurance companies. 

After a person’s death, his/her heirs continue his/her personality and inherit any assets/obligations that the deceased may have had. In order to determine who the heirs are, one must verify whether the deceased has left a will. If yes, then the heirs will usually be nominated in the will. If not, then the heirs are established by law according to the degrees of family relations amongst the survivors.

It is also possible to leave legacies in one’s will. A legacy is a disposition made by the testator (the person making the will) which grants a particular object to an identified individual.

The succession of immovable property is taxable (at varying rates depending on the circumstances) and must be made by means of a causa mortis deed which must be published by a notary public and be duly registered.

Failure to conclude the causa mortis deed within one year from the date of death will incur interest on the amount of tax due at the rate of 8% annually.

Our Service & Commitment at James Grech & Associates – Notaries Public:

  • We carry out searches on the deceased to establish whether a will had been drawn up in his/her lifetime.
  • Reading of the will to interested parties.
  • Calculation of succession tax due on immovable property.
  • Drafting and publication of the causa mortis deed
  • Payment of succession tax and registration of causa mortis deed within time-limits stipulated by law.
  • We also handle all the paperwork required for the transfer of any money, shares, bonds and other assets belonging to the deceased held in banks, Malta Stock Exchange, financial institutions, private companies etc.

Contact us for more information or to make an appointment in relation to a succession.

Frequently Asked Questions

My father has just died. Do I need to find and contact the notary who had published my father’s will in order to sort out succession matters?

No, you can contact any notary of your choice. The notary will carry out testamentary searches to establish which will/s regulates the deceased’s inheritance, and will then obtain a copy of such will and guide you accordingly.

Is any tax due on bank deposits?

No tax is due on bank deposits or other movables. Tax is only due on immovable property.

What tax is due on immovable property?

The default rate is 5% of the present value of the immovable property owned by the deceased. However, one may be entitled to certain exemptions and reduced rates depending on a number of circumstances such as when the inherited property was the ordinary residence of the deceased or of the beneficiary.

For instance, there is no tax on the deceased’s ordinary residence when this property is left to the deceased’s surviving spouse.

Also, since January 2013, there is an exemption from tax on the deceased’s ordinary residence when such property is left to his children.

A relative has died and has left me a sum of money by title of legacy? Should I contact the bank in which the dead relative’s money was deposited?

No. The banks will not enter into the merits of legacy as they only recognize the heir who literally steps into the shoes of the deceased. Therefore, all bank deposits will be released to the heir. As legatee, you should first establish who the heir/s is/are and then make a formal demand to heir/s whereby you claim the amount due to you by title of legacy. This demand is to be made within 10 years from the date of death. If the heir/s refuse to fulfill the legacy, then you have to take legal action against him/her/them.

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