Tuesday, 22nd September 2020

This Month's Magazine
Dying in Spain

Dying in Spain

Are retired Ex-pats living in Spain being fair to their children?

Although there is a vast number of younger foreigners now living in Spain on a permanent basis, it is still true that the majority of Ex-pats are pensioners.

Whether newly arrived or long term residents, the fact remains that for the most part these people will die in Spain.

It may seem a reasonable enough assumption that if you have a Will made out in your own country then the matter is sorted. But under Spanish law, if you don’t have a Will made out in Spain, then the people or persons mentioned in the “foreign” Will may not automatically inherit.

Another fact of Spanish law is that all assets are frozen from the time of death until probate is granted; this includes any joint bank accounts.


The death must be reported to the local police immediately (do you have a sufficient enough grasp of Spanish to do this?) the police will contact the local “Tanatorio” or mortuary, who handle the disposal of all bodies (Spain doesn’t have funeral directors) from then on expenses start to mount, a basic funeral will cost around €3,000 and unlike British funeral arrangements, it has to be paid for there and then. It is at this point that the children of the deceased may find themselves in the awkward and embarrassing position of being expected to cover the costs.

By not making financial arrangements or having an adequate insurance to cover your funeral expenses you may well be placing your family in an impossible position, not to mention the wives or husbands of your children. A Spanish Tanatorio is unlikely to take credit cards and if you are unable to pay the funeral expenses you really do have a major problem. It may well be the case for some families, that the children will gladly pay all or any expenses for the funeral of a parent, but this is rare and usually the result of being the off spring of a peerless parent (and very, very few of us can boast one of those) so, as with so many things, the important factor is to plan ahead and seek the advice of a good lawyer; but probably most important of all is to keep in mind that even with a resident card , you are still a foreigner in Spain and therefore subject to her laws.

��For more information on “Dying in Spain” visit: www.expatica.com 

For legal advice: SG&G Abogados Tel: 952 893 154 Email: susangracia@msn.com

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