International Inheritances: How to inherit in Argentina and what are the characteristics of the Argentine inheritance process.

International inheritances have characteristics that distinguish them from inheritances in which the assets. Heirs or decedents reside in the same country.

In this blog we have talked on several occasions about the particularities of this type of inheritance and the aspects that must be taken into account to successfully pass its processing, and it is always recommended to approach this type of inheritance with the advice and specialized knowledge of lawyers who are experts in international inheritances. Click on this article on the factors to consider when managing international inheritances.

Today, we talk about how inheritance is done in Argentina and what the characteristics of the succession process are. An international inheritance is considered when any part of the estate or the actors involved has nationality or residence in a country other than that of the location of the assets. For example, a Spanish citizen who emigrated to Argentina and acquired a series of assets there until his death in the American country. In this case, if your heirs are in Spain, they must follow a series of guidelines. Since international inheritance has a series of obstacles, procedures and legislations that make it particular and different. Hence the recommendation to have lawyers specialized in international inheritances.


How inheritance is done in Argentina and what types of inheritances exist.

Inheritances in Argentina are managed and supervised by the Supreme Court, by a specific department that is in charge of it. A first step is to identify the heirs. Find out what the inheritance contains, deal with debts and, finally, hand over the assets. In addition, it must be determined whether it is a testate or intestate inheritance, i.e. Whether or not the deceased had a will. There are three types of inheritances: testamentary and legitimate.

1.Testamentary inheritance

Occurs when the deceased leaves a will that sets out how their assets should be distributed among their heirs. That is, the deceased has voluntarily expressed his or her wish regarding the distribution of his or her assets after his or her death.

2. Legitimate inheritance

Occurs when the deceased has not left a will, and the distribution of their assets is made in accordance with the rules set by law. In this case, the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation determines who the heirs are and how the inheritance should be distributed according to an order of priority among the heirs, taking into account their relationship with the deceased.

It is important to note that even if the deceased left a will. The law provides certain limitations and protections for legitimate heirs, who are entitled to receive a share of the estate. Even if they were not included in the will.

International Inheritances: How to inherit in Argentina and what are the characteristics of the Argentine inheritance process.

What types of wills are there in Argentina?

If the decedent has a will, the decedent should know that the inheritance can be passed on to the deceased’s immediate relatives, such as parents, children, spouses or siblings. To an NGO or charity or any natural person who determines the decedent in the will.

The Civil Code of the Argentine Republic establishes different types of wills. Such as the open will, the closed will or the holographic will. In addition, this law states that wills that have been made in Argentine territory must comply with one of the forms established by this law, regardless of whether the testator is Argentine or of another nationality.

  • A holographic will

Is one that is handwritten by the testator, with signature and date, which must contain them in order to be valid. According to Argentine law, it must be written in alphabetic characters and in any language. The testator (or notary) can call witnesses if he wishes. Or put his seal on it, as well as deposit it with a notary to guarantee his last wishes.

  • A will by public act, or open will

Is one that is made before a notary public and requires the presence of three witnesses who reside in the country. Deaf, mute and deaf-mute persons are excluded from making such wills. The person who makes the open will can dictate it to the notary or give it to him in writing. It may be the case that the testator is a foreigner and does not speak Spanish. In this situation, the will must be translated and written in both languages: the testator’s and Spanish. Witnesses must also speak both languages.

  • The sealed will

Must be signed by the testator and is delivered to the notary in a sealed envelope and in the presence of five resident witnesses. This type of will cannot be made by people who cannot read. Those who do not know how to write and the deaf, even if they cannot speak, can do so, although it must be written and signed in their own handwriting.

It is the notary who has a will in his or her registry who must inform the heirs once the deceased dies.

The distribution of inheritance in Argentina.

In Argentina, the inheritance can be passed on to the relatives of the person who has died. To a non-governmental or charitable organization, or to anyone the testator chooses. If there is a valid will, the testator’s provisions must be respected as long as they do not contravene the legal provisions. Otherwise, the partition is carried out in accordance with the order established by law.

It is important to note that, in Argentina, there is the right of legitima. Which is a portion of the inheritance that is reserved for forced heirs, that is. Those who are legally protected to receive a part of the inheritance, such as the descendants and ascendants of the deceased.

The legitimate inheritance is distributed in different proportions to the persons called to succeed according to their proximity in kinship. The children will inherit 4/5 of the inheritance; ascendants, 2/3 of the property. The spouse is entitled to half of the inheritance. Even if the assets are community property, as long as there are no children or ascendants of the deceased.

With the rest of the inheritance. The testator can leave this part of his assets to third parties or improve one of the forced heirs.

  • Descendants:

These are the children of the deceased and, in addition, the law respects the rights of the surviving spouse, i.e. the usufruct. Grandchildren and other descendants inherit in the absence of their respective fathers or mothers.

  • Ascendants:

If there are no children or descendants, it is the parents, in equal shares, who inherit. They must also respect the rights of the spouse. In the absence of parents, the next closest ascendants will inherit.

  • Collateral relatives:

In the absence of ascending and descending relatives or spouse, it will be the collateral relatives of the deceased who will inherit. They will also do so in equal shares if they are relatives of the same degree. In the case of siblings only from the father or only from the mother. They will inherit half of what corresponds to them as siblings. Although in the absence of siblings of father and mother they will inherit all of what corresponds to them as siblings.

  • Spouses:

The spouse inherits half of the deceased’s assets if there are children. And also half of the deceased’s share of the community of property. If there are no children or ascendants, he inherits everything. You also have the right to live in the marriage property for life unless you remarry.


In any case, managing and processing an international inheritance involves deadlines and requires legal knowledge and the procedures for its management. When the inheritance is located outside Europe, as is the case with inheritances in Argentina, the procedure can become complicated. For this reason, it is essential to have the advice of lawyers specialising in international inheritances like us.


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