A Will is a written legal document where it is stated to whom and how your assets will be divided upon your death. If you have properties or assets in Spain, it would be highly recommended to write a Spanish Will and a Will in your home country in order to complement such Spanish Will.
Our Law Firm counts with attorneys specialized in Private International Law related to the applicable law in the cases of foreigners who own properties in Spain, thus we can guide you and help drafting and writing your last will. We know that this may be an uncomfortable matter to think about; however, you should think on your relatives and all the inconvenient that may rise from not having a written Will.
Many people believe and fear that in the event that they pass away and there isn’t a written Spanish Will, the Estate may retain the properties and their relatives will end up empty handed. You must know that it is very unlikely that this actually happens for your “personal law” the law of your nationality will be the one applied in such case. However, you do must consider that the differences between the legislation of Spain and your home country can be a problem when executing your Will. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Law states that it is the legislation in the country where the property is located which will determinate the legal heirs. In this case, if you didn’t draft a Spanish Will, your relatives or appointed heirs may find some problems when claiming the goods.
Your Spanish Will is as relevant as your Will drafted in your home country. Both documents must complement each other, contemplate the existence of the other and do not contradict each other in any case.
When drafting your will you may consider the following aspects:
• Decide who will be the beneficiaries of your inheritance and in which proportion.
• In the event that any of your beneficiaries is an underage children, you must consider who will have your children’s custody in case you and your partner die. Also this person may be entitled to administer such inheritance until they turn 18.
• Find a lawyer who can help you complying with all the legal requirements.
• Ask your attorney to issue a bilingual document or copy of the said Will in both Spanish and your home country official language.
• All the Wills in Spain, whether open or closed, must be signed in front of a Notary. Therefore, your attorney should make an appointment with the Notary and on your next visit to Spain, you, your attorney and a certified interpreter appear before this public authority to sing the Will.
• You may request a copy of your Will for the Notary will keep the original in his records and will inform of its existence to the Central Registry of Wills in Spain in Madrid.
• In Spain you may not issue a Joint Will although in many countries it is possible to do so. Therefore, if you hire our services, ask our attorneys what your options are in such case.
Also, you may appoint an Executor in your Will who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes as said in the document. It can be any person but never one of the beneficiaries. We highly recommend you to appoint as executor your lawyer for he/she will be impartial and knows all the stages to be completed for claiming the inheritance.
To be guided on this matter by a Spanish attorney specialist in the area of Will and Inheritance Law can help your relatives avoiding unnecessary expenses and delays in the execution of it. In addition, keep in mind that if there is only a Will drafted in your home country, your family may have to translate it into Spanish as well as any other needed documentation in connection thereto, and perhaps even go to Court in order to satisfy the Spanish authorities on who has the right to claim the inheritance.
Contact our Law Firm today and be confident that your last whishes will be respected and executed they way you have planned.