In case of intestate succession, the following heirs are called:
a) Consort and descendants (the inheritance is divided in equal parts, but the consort receives at least ¼);
b) Consort and ascendants (the inheritance is divided in equal parts, but the consort receives at least 2/3);
c) Brothers and sisters and their descendants;
d) Other collaterals until the fourth degree;
e) The State
(article 2133 and following of the Portuguese Civil Code of 1966)
The testator cannot dispose of a part of the inheritance (called “legítima”), which is reserved for the consort, the descendants and the ascendants.
The “legítima” of the consort is ½ of the inheritance, if there are neither descendants nor ascendants.
The “legítima” of the consort and children is 2/3.
If there is no consort, the “legítima” of the children is 1/2, if there is only one child, or 2/3, if there are 2 or more children.
The “legítima” of the consort and ascendants is 2/3.
If there is neither consort nor descendants, the “legítima” of the ascendants is 1/2 for the parents or 1/3 for grandparents and following.
(article 2156 and following of the Portuguese Civil Code of 1966)
A public will must be written by a public notary in his books; a closed will may be written and signed by the testator and be approved by a public notary, but be kept by the testator. There is a public register of all wills.
The inheritance and gift tax as such (“imposto sobre sucessões e doações”) has been abolished, but there is a stamp duty (“imposto de selo”) on successions and gifts.
The consort, descendants and ascendants are exempt of stamp duty (Law No. 150/99, of 11.9, article 6 e)); other heirs (e. g. by will) should pay 10% on the value of the assets acquired, calculated according to quite complex rules (articles 13 and following of the same law).
This information was compiled by Luis Brito Correia.