Spanish Wills

TESTAMENTOYou should make a Spanish Will disposing of your Spanish property in order to avoid time-consuming and expensive legal problems for your heirs. Make a separate Will disposing of assest located outside Spain. The Will is made out in two columns, one in Spanish and one in English, or in whatever language the testator prefers. The Will is then checked by the Notary (Notario) and signed in his presence. This is called “Testamento abierto”, an open will, wich is the usual form. The Notary keeps the original in his files, gives you an authorised copy and sends a notification to the Central Registry in Madrid, called “Registro Central de Ultimas Voluntades”, Central Registry of Wills. Having a Spanish Will certainly speeds up the legal process of inheritance. Our Law Firm will be happy to assist you drafting the content of the Will and signing before the Notary.

Spanish Inheritance

Our Law Firm will provide you legal advice and assitance avoinding incurring additional taxes. In this area, our legal services typically covers the following:

– Obtain the original “Death Certificate”.

– Apply for the “Certificate of Last Wills” (this is to check if a Spanish Will exists) and “Certificate of Life Insurance” (to check if the deceased had any life insurance policies in place). In the case where there is no Spanish Will, then we will apply for probate in the country of origin, to determine the legitamate heirs.

– Research into all the assets in Spain of the deceased: it is important to include all assets such as bank accounts, vehicles, real property, etc, to ensure that at the end of the process, title is correctly changed for all assets to the name of the legitimate heirs.

– Obtaining a “Foreigners Identification Number” (NIE), which is a requirement to obtain the inheritance. This number will required when signing the Deed of Inheritance, which can be either done in person in Spain, or by a pre-arranged Power of Attorney. The latter would be sufficient to complete the entire inheritance process, and can be prepared in Spain or in your own country of origin, if required. We can arrange with a local Notary most convenient to where you live.

– Calculation of Inheritance Taxes. The applicable taxes depend not only on the relationship of the heirs to the deceased, but whether he was a resident or not in Spain, the value of the assets, and also the region in which the taxes are applied. The tax is not a flat percentage, but based on a scale depending on the pre-mentioned conditions, this can be calculated specifically for the case in hand.

Be warned, however, that Spanish Law requires that an inheritance be declared within six months of the death. And,  if you are found out, you can be subject to a surchange on the tax due, or even higher penalties if the Spanish authorities rule that deliberate fraud is involved.

– Preparation of the documentation required for the signing of the “Deed of Inheritance”.

– Signing of the corresponding “Deed of Inheritance” at the Notary, either accompanying and translating for the client, or signing by Power of Attorney. – Change of title for all the assets of the deceased into the names of the legitimate heirs.

– Payment of the Inheritance Taxes.