There is no legal obligation to make a Spanish will, but it can help to make the inheritance process easier and less expensive. The main reason to make a Spanish will is that this is the only way to ensure that your property and possessions will go where you want them to after your decease.
Whether you have only a national one or you have not a will your beneficiaries will have to translate all documents (death certificate, will) into Spanish by a sworn translator, notarise them and affix to each of them the Apostille seal. They will also have to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration which must also be translated into Spanish and apostilled. Furthermore, an Affidavit of Law may be necessary to explain the inheritance procedure in a foreign country. Spanish will can be immediately executed, making unnecessary to deal with documents in your country other than the death certificate.
Please note that there is a deadline of 6 months from the date of the testator’s passing to file and pay Spanish Inheritance Tax, and it is also possible to apply for an extension of another 6 months. After the six months deadline, if an extension was not applied for, your beneficiaries will incur in penalties for late payment ranging from 5% to 20%.
Moreover, Spanish will makes sure that your succession is governed by your own national law, unless you opt for the law of the country where you live permanently. This means that the Spanish forced heirship rules do not apply to you. Furthermore, if you are British or Irish you have free testamentary disposition in Spain, which means that you can make a will exactly the same as you would make in the UK or in Ireland.
Making a will is a very personal act. Therefore, it cannot be granted by means of a proxy and you must attend the Notary Office Spanish will shall be drafted in double column (Spanish and your native language) by our solicitors and shall be signed by you before a Notary Public, who will ensure that the document complies with all legal requirements.
If you eventually decide to sign a Spanish will, here at Aniorte & Laakso we offer an expert will-writing service specifically tailored to the client’s individual circumstances and requirements.
Browse through the below topics to find more information about probate process.
For more information, or if you would like to prepare your Spanish will, please contact us.