Successions in Peru: A Clear Overview of the Peruvian Regulatory Framework

06 Jul 2019

06 Jul 2019

Successions in Peru: A Clear Overview of the Peruvian Regulatory Framework

Successions in Peru


We are an international law firm, but successions in Peru, as well as inheritance, and last wills are our main field of expertise. Our estate lawyers have an extensive proven record of success in last wills, estate planning, and successions in Peru.

Successions in Peru
Sucessions in Peru

The varying magnitude and level of complexity from each specific case do not determine our commitment towards our clients. Indeed, our goal is to deliver results as promptly and cost-effectively as possible.

Are you a foreigner in Peru in need of legal assistance?

Foreigners who reside in Peru can be in for an unpleasant surprise when attempting to draft or execute a will within Peruvian territory. It is not uncommon for a judge to declare a will as null and void, for failing to comply with Peruvian law. Likewise, a notary might refuse to legalize a will due to a lack of compliance with the legal formalities in force in the country. Faced with this pessimistic scenario, is there a way to successfully execute a will? Below you can find some helpful facts for understanding inheritance in Peru:

First, you need to establish whether Peruvian law is applicable when drafting a will. According to international inheritance law, a person’s inheritance shall be subject to the laws of his or her last place of legal residence. Therefore, a lack of compliance with the inheritance law in Peru may render a will null and void.

    In the specific case of Peruvian inheritance law, the spouse and children of the deceased person are mandatory heirs, and consequently, they cannot be disinherited -except under very rare and specific circumstances. According to these provisions, half of the inheritance must go to the spouse, and the remaining half must be equally divided between the spouse and children.

    Successions in Peru

    Notwithstanding the aforementioned, Peruvian inheritance law allows to freely dispose of up to one-third of the personal property, in the case of married people with children, and up to one-half of said property for single people living parents and ascendants.

    Another key point is the notarization of a will by a duly-certified notary public, who will be in charge of forwarding the will to the Peruvian Superintendence of Public Registries in order to have it officially recorded.

    A succession implies a process for settling a deceased person’s estate and distributing the property to the heirs after the debts are paid. First of all, it is very important to establish the difference between community property and separate property.

    In the first case, community property is the property acquired by either of the spouses during the marriage. On the other hand, separate property includes property owned before marriage, and property given or inherited by one spouse during marriage.

    Then it is vital to fully understand the difference between real estate and movable property. Movable property is a property that can be easily moved from one place to another. These are a few examples: decoration, furniture, vehicles, electronic devices, etc. Real estate is a property anchored to the ground, which includes houses, plots, or industrial buildings. This type of asset is highly important because it acts as collateral in order to obtain mortgage loans, for example.

    Personal Property

    Within the concept of personal property, there are two main subgroups: chattels and intangibles. Chattels refer to all kinds of personal property, specifically to tangible personal property. These are some very evident examples of household chattels: furniture, curtains, drapes, carpets, linen, china, glassware, ornaments, electric appliances and utensils, garden appliances, among others. Items such as a motor vehicle, boat, aircraft, original painting, or other original work of art, trophy, clothing, or jewelry are excluded from this list of household chattels.

    Among the above-mentioned exceptions, below you can see a more thorough description of three specific items in particular: aircrafts, jewelry, and collections.


    After submitting the required paperwork before the probate court administrator, an aircraft can be sold, registered or transferred under the name of the appointed heir. The new title of ownership should be registered at Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), Peru.  


    The distribution of jewelry is often more difficult if the siblings want specific pieces for sentimental reasons. Nonetheless, the executor is in charge of having the jewelry appraised, as each beneficiary is entitled to an equal share. In case of discrepancy, the administrator will have the final decision as regards who gets what if the siblings can’t agree among them.


    Collections may vary from paintings, classic cars to antiques. Consequently, they need protection from loss, irreversible damage, claims from creditors, and unnecessary taxation. In order to better handle the valuable assets, our team of consultants can design a suitable plan. This team may consist of appraisers, investment advisors, financial planners, and insurance specialists. 


    Intangible Property

    Now, as regards intangibles, it is a very particular case since it refers to the ownership of legal rights, instead of things that can be easily seen or touched. The most common intangibles consist of bank accounts, insurance policies, intellectual property (patents, copyrights, and trademarks), stocks, bonds, promissory notes, just to name a few. In the particular case of life insurance policies, an appointed beneficiary may avoid going through the probate process in order to inherit it. Said proceeds are not subject to income tax in Peru, although depending on the size of the decedent’s estate, estate taxes may apply. In order to receive the funds, beneficiaries should contact the life insurance company and provide any requested documentation.

    Successions in Peru

    We are always a step ahead of other law firms. Indeed, we specialize in a field of real estate our competitors usually overlook: Farm Succession Planning.

    Our team of top-notch professionals are capable of providing cost-effective solutions that include the following: minimizing death taxes, setting up a trust for children’s inheritance, obtaining accurate estimates on the current farm equity, setting up a farm management plan to have control of daily decisions and the equal division of profits among all the heirs, and implementing a customized farm succession plan that meets the specific needs of each farm family.

    Our Services

    The following are just some examples of the procedures we have handled for our overseas clients:

    abatement / ademption of legacies, administration expenses, administrator with the will annexed, ancestor, apparent heir,

    appoint / constitute an executor, appraisals, attestation of witnesses, capacity, causa mortis, claimant of the estate,

    clause of accrue, closed testament, co-executor, co-heir, commingle funds, commingling of property, commorients,

    construction proceeding, contingent devise, database analysis, death taxes, devisee, devisor, die intestate, disinherit, disinheriting children,

    domestic / foreign / public administrator, donatio intervivos, donation, elective share of an estate, escheat, escheated property,

    estate planning, foreign deed location, fraudulent alienation, genealogists, general devise, hereditaments, homestead, hotchpot,

    implied revocation, in contemplation of death, inchoate dower, inheritance search / locator, international archives access,

    invalidity / extinguishment of legacies / devises, joint heir, lapsing of gifts, lineal descendant, mediation, military testament, modify,

    revoke, or replace a will, mutual testament, next devisee, notarize the execution, oppose the probate, payment of claims, presumptive heir,

    pretermitted heir, probate proceedings, real estate litigation, register of wills, repatriation of real estate, secret testament,

    spouse’s right to wave their share, subscribing witnesses, succession, successor in interest, tax return,

    testamentary guardian, transfer of ownership, unborn beneficiaries, unclaimed bank accounts, universal successor, widow / widower, will contest

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Does Peru abide by the Hague Convention Rules?

    That is correct. Peru approved the Hague Convention on November 20, 2009. Consequently, this abolished the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents.

    2. What are the rights of a surviving spouse in Peru?

    Under the Peruvian Probate Code, a surviving spouse has a right over one-half of the total net assets. Even in the case the will does not specifically appoints the surviving spouse, he/she shall receive the forced share.

    3. Can children be disinherited under any circumstance?

    Even in the absence of a valid last will, children have rights over a share of the estate under the intestacy rules in Peru. As in the previous case regarding a surviving spouse, children shall receive the forced share by law.

    4. What is the legal scenario if more than one heir claim the inheritance?

    In this case, the estate becomes the joint property of the multiple heirs. They can manage the estate by acting jointly. However, some exceptions may apply.

    5. What data does a Peruvian certificate of inheritance include?

    First of all, an official certificate of inheritance states the identity of the heir. It also states the respective share in the estate and any limitations to the heir’s power to dispose of the estate. Often, it is necessary to prove the heir’s right to inheritance. Especially when immovable property is part of the estate. A Certificate of Inheritance is an official document. It shows that the appointed person has the right to administer the estate.

    Local Presence

    These are the provinces, capital cities, towns, and municipalities where we have provided legal assistance in Peru:

    Abancay, Acobamba, ​Acomayo, Aguaytía, Aija, Alto Amazonas, Ambo, Andahuaylas, Angaraes, Anta, Antabamba, Antonio Raimondi, Aplao, Arequipa, Ascope, Asunción, Atalaya, ​Ayabaca,

    Ayacucho, Ayaviri, Aymaraes, Azángaro, Bagua, Bagua Grande, Bambamarca, Barranca, ​Bellavista, Bolívar, Bolognesi, Bongará, Caballococha, Cabana, Cajabamba, Cajamarca, Cajatambo, Calca,

    Callao, Camaná, ​Canas, Canchis, Candarave, Cangallo, Canta, Cañete, ​Carabaya, Caravelí, ​Caraz, Carhuaz,

    Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald, Cascas, Casma, Castilla, Castrovirreyna, Caylloma, Celendín, Cerro de Pasco, Chacas,

    Local Network of Attorneys

    Chachapoyas, Chalhuanca, Chanchamayo, Chavinillo, Chepén, Chepén, Chiclayo, ​Chimbote, Chincha, Chincha Alta, Chincheros, Chiquián, Chivay, Chota, Chucuito, Chulucanas, Chumbivilcas,

    Chupaca, Chuquibamba, Chuquibambilla, Churcampa, Concepción, Condesuyos, Condorcanqui, Contamana, Contralmirante Villar, Contumazá, ​Coracora, Coronel Portillo, Corongo, Cotabambas,

    Cotahuasi, Cusco, Cutervo, Daniel Alcides Carrión, Datem del Marañón, Dos de Mayo, El Collao, El Dorado, Espinar, Ferreñafe, ​

    General Sánchez Cerro, Gran Chimú, Grau, Huacaybamba, Huacho, Huacrachuco, Hualgayoc, Huallaga, Huamachuco, Huamalíes, Huamanga, Huancabamba, Huancané, Huancapi, Huancasancos,

    Huancavelica, Huancayo, Huanta, Huánuco, Huaral, Huaraz, Huari, Huarmey, Huarochirí, Huaura, Huaylas, Huaytará, Ica, Ilave, Ilo,

    Successions in Peru​

    Iñapari, Iquitos, Islay, Jaén, Jauja, Jesús, Jorge Basadre, Juanjuí, Julcán, ​Juli, Juliaca, Jumbilla, Junín, La Convención,

    La Mar, La Merced, La Oroya, La Unión, Lamas, Lambayeque, Lampa, Lámud,

    Lauricocha, Leoncio Prado, Lima, Lircay, Llamellín, Llata, Locumba, Loreto, Lucanas, Luya, Macusani, Manu, Marañón,

    Mariscal Cáceres, Mariscal Luzuriaga, Mariscal Nieto, Mariscal Ramón Castilla, Matucana, Maynas, Melgar, Mendoza, Moho,

    Mollendo, Moquegua, Morropón, Moyobamba, Nauta, Nazca, Nazca, Ocros, Omate, Otuzco, Oxapampa, Oyón, Pacasmayo,

    Personal Attention in Peru

    Pachitea, Padre Abad, Paita, Pallasca, Palpa, Pampas, Panao, Parinacochas, Paruro, Pasco, Pataz, Páucar del Sara Sara,

    Paucartambo, Pauza, Picota, Pisco, Piscobamba, Piura, Pomabamba, Pucallpa, Puerto Esperanza, Puerto Inca,

    Puerto Maldonado, Puno, Puquio, Purús, Putina, Putumayo, Querobamba, Quillabamba, Quispicanchi, Recuay, Requena, Rioja,

    Rodríguez de Mendoza, Salvación, San Antonio de Putina, San Antonio del Estrecho, San Ignacio, San José de Sisa, San Lorenzo,

    San Luis, San Marcos (Pedro Gálvez), San Marcos​, San Martín, San Miguel de Pallaques, San Miguel, San Pablo, San Pedro de Lloc,

    Licensed Attorneys for Successions in Peru

    San Román, San Vicente de Cañete, Sánchez Carrión, Sandia, Santa, Santa Cruz de Succhabamba, Santa Cruz, Santa María de Nieva,

    Santiago de Chuco, Santo Tomás, Saposoa, Satipo, Sechura, Sicuani, Sihuas, Sucre, Sullana, Tacna, Tahuamanu, Talara, Tambobamba,

    Tambopata, Tarapoto, Tarata, Tarma, Tayabamba, Tayacaja, Tingo María, Tocache, Trujillo, Tumbes, Ucayali, Urcos, Urubamba,

    Utcubamba, Víctor Fajardo, Vilcashuamán, Virú, Yanahuanca, Yanaoca, Yarowilca, Yauli, Yauri (Espinar), Yauyos, Yungay, Yunguyo, Yurimaguas, Zarumilla, Zorritos

    In conclusion, the best way to save time and money is to resort to expert assistance. Get in touch with us and let us offer you our service of excellence!

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