Inheritance Law in Argentina

Information on inheritance rights and duties, inheritance law and the legitimate portion in an inheritance...

In Argentina, primary heirs in order of priority are: children, parents, grandchildren and grandparents, as well as surviving spouses, siblings and nieces/nephews. These people have a legal right to their inheritance, regardless of what the will dictates. This portion of an estate is untouchable and means that forced heirs are considered Universal Heirs. Their portion of the inheritance is called the “legitimate portion,” and consists of four-fifths of the estate. The testator can delegate the rest of his or her estate, which is called the “disposable portion,” as he or she pleases.

Widows or widowers without children are entitled to half of the inheritance of written wills. If the deceased had children but no spouse, four-fifths of the deceased’s estate goes to the children. While the forced inheritors may not actually receive all four-firths of the estate, the testator cannot guarantee that anything but that one-fifth to go to another person. If a testator leaves more than one-fifth of his or her estate to someone else, the forced inheritors have a legal right to assert a claim over said assets.

The shared possessions are those assets that form part of the conjugal partnership, or the assets that were acquired during the marriage of the deceased. The surviving spouse owns 50% of the assets that were acquired during the marriage. In the case that there are no surviving descendants or ascendants (no children or parents of the deceased), the surviving spouse will inherit 50% of the deceased spouse’s assets. If there are descendants, the other half is divided between the surviving children in equal parts. If there are no children, but there are surviving parents, they will each receive 50% of the inheritance, or if there is only one surviving parent, he or she will receive the total inheritance of the deceased.

If there are surviving spouses and ascendants, 50% of the inheritance will be divided in equal parts between the ascendants and spouse. The personal assets are those that each spouse possessed before marriage, or those received as an inheritance or donation after the marriage. If there are both children and ascendants, they will divide the inheritance equally. If there are surviving spouses and parents, they will inherit 50% of the inheritance each. If there is no surviving spouse but there are children and ascendants, the children receive the total inheritance. When there are no ascendants, descendants or spouse, siblings of the deceased will inherit the entire inheritance, and if there are no surviving siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews will divide the inheritance equally. If there are no aunts, uncles, nephews or nieces, the deceased cousins receive the entire inheritance. If there is no will, and the inheritance is unclaimed, then the inheritance is given to the treasury. Heirs can also transfer parts or whole inheritances to another heir in the same lineage in a simple legal process that re-assigns the rights to the assets.

Foreigners' Inheritance Rights and Duties

Non-residents of Argentina, foreigners, or heirs living abroad, will find regulations different to those of Argentine or Mercosur residents when conducting a succession or probate estate case. A foreigner is taxed at a higher rate for the assets being held – 17.5 percent for residents, 35 percent for non-residents, although certain laws permit the reduction of the tax to the lower rate. In addition, all documents in languages other than Spanish must be translated and accompanied by a Hague Convention Seal or “Apostille”.

Information supplied by Elias Kier Joffe, Esq. Kier Joffe - Attorneys at Law Bouchard Plaza Building Bouchard 557/599 - 20th floor C1106ABG - Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Republica Argentina Tel: (011) 5218-3100 (Argentina)/ +1 (212) 300-6377 (USA) email Website