Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths


Inheritance Procedure in Malta

Created on Sunday, 20 April 2014 19:41

Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time. Unfortunately there are usually a number of legal arrangements to be made following bereavement. This article is meant to provide a step by step procedure that one should follow in such situations. 

Step 1: A couple of days after the death, register the death at the Public Registry (Evans Building, Merchants Street, Valletta VLT 2000) by taking the deceased’s Identity Card and proof of death (usually a death certificate issued by hospital or by the parish church). The death certificate will then be issued in around 4 weeks’ time from the date of notification.

Step 2:  At the same time, notify those banks where the deceased may have had investments with deceased’s death.

Step 3:  Speak to a notary of your choice who will carry out testamentary searches to establish whether the deceased left a will or not. Once the death certificate is issued, you are to present a copy of such certificate to the notary. It is not a requisite that you seek the services of the same notary who had drawn up the deceased’s will.

Step 4: At your request, the notary may also inquire with local banks and institutions as to whether the deceased had any investments therein.
Step 5: The notary will obtain a copy of the deceased’s last will and explain the contents to the interested parties. The deceased may have left various dispositions including nomination of heirs, and possibly dispositions leaving particular objects / property to particular persons. There is no need for all such persons to approach the same notary. If the deceased left no will, the heirs are the next of kin in terms of law.

Step 6: The notary will submit all documentation (i.e. searches, wills etc.) to the banks / institutions in which the deceased had any investments. The banks / institutions will then proceed to inspect such documentation. You will then be able to make an appointment with the banks concerned for the transfer of the investments in your name. In the case of investments held with the Malta Stock Exchange, the notary submits all necessary documentation and upon vetting by the Malta Stock Exchange, the investments are then transferred in the heirs’ names.

Step 7: Where the deceased left any immovable property, one refers once again to the will to determine who inherits this property. The heirs are to then prepare a valuation and a Land Registry site-plan of any such immovable property (an architect has to be appointed for this purpose).

Step 8: Such valuations and plans are then given to the notary who prepares the causa mortis  deed (denunzja) – this is a deed by virtue of which the property devolves on the heirs. On this deed, stamp duty tax (inheritance tax) is paid by the heirs. One should note that no tax is paid on the immovable property where the deceased resided at the time of his death when such property is left to his descendants.

Step 9: The notary then enrols this deed at the Public Registry and you will receive a receipt from the Inland Revenue Department of any tax paid.

Step 10: If the deceased owned any vehicles, boats and/or firearms, the notary will also prepare the necessary documentation for the transfer thereof to the relative heirs (established in terms of the will or in terms of law where there is no will).

Of course, some cases may require other additional steps depending on the particular circumstances of the case.

For other detailed information, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +356 27331527 / +356 99229334.

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