Making a Spanish will

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, January, 21. 2024

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 21 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain. You can review here our client’s testimonials.

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21st of January 2024

 Why should you make a Spanish Will?

  • To avoid time-consuming and expensive legal problems for your beneficiaries.
  • If a non-Spanish resident dies in Spain without having made a Will, Spanish law will be applied to any assets in Spain.
  • Inheritance law in Spain is much more restrictive than in the UK.
  • However, Spanish Authorities will not oblige non-Spanish citizens to follow such Spanish inheritance laws provided that the correct Will is prepared.

What happens if I die without making a Spanish Will?

  • Any assets in Spain will be subject to Spanish inheritance laws and will be distributed to the immediate family in pre-determined proportions.
  • As in the UK, the absence of a Spanish Will means that you have no control over who benefits from your estate and there will be a delay while officials determine, in accordance with the law, which family members are entitled to which assets.

Making a Spanish Will

  • A legal adult (i.e. 18 years and over) can make a Spanish will.
  • The Will is made out in two columns, one in Spanish and one in English (or in whatever language is preferred).
  • The Will is then checked by the Notary and signed in his or her presence.
  • A valid passport should be taken along to the Notary. Some Notaries do not accept any other form of identity.
  • The Notary keeps the original Will but will prepare an authorised copy for you.
  • Notification of the Will is sent to the Central Registry of Wills in Madrid.
  • It is only possible to make separate (not joint) Wills under Spanish law.
  • It is not possible to make a Spanish Will by means of a Power of Attorney. You should personally sign the Wills in front of a Notary.
  • There is no direct equivalent of a UK Executor who can carry out the testator´s wishes. There is a comparable function but it is highly complex and expensive, and specialist advice should be sought.

Obtain proper legal or tax advice

  • Larran Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) can offer you solid legal advice when making your Will. If your assets are complicated or high in value, we can also arrange specialist tax advice.

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