Monday, 25th May 2020
LEGAL Article

This Month's Magazine
The benefits of having a Spanish Will

The benefits of having a Spanish Will

This is the second part on how to go about making a Spanish Will.

Making a Spanish Will - is a personal and individual document whereby the testator states his/her wishes with regards to his/her assets upon death.

A Joint Will would be null and void under Spanish rules. It also cannot be made by Power of Attorney and can only be revoked by the same testator in another Will at any time. Our Civil Code states that when the testator makes a will in a language which is not known by the
notary, an interpreter will be required, the lawyer can do this and the document will be presented in a double column written in both languages.

Under Spanish legislation several types of Wills can be made: an open or nuncupative Will, a Living Will, a Seal Will, a holographic Will and a Maritime or Military Will.

BLANCO ABOGADOS recommends “Testamento Abierto” - an open Will, which is carried out before a Spanish Notary. The formalities include identifying the testator and the beneficiaries, date of the will and wishes of the testator. The original will is kept in the Notary’s Official Books and a copy is sent to the “Last Wills Registry” in Madrid.


 It is advisable to appoint a lawyer as executor to insure everything is handled in a straightforward manner.

In the event of a death, if you have a Spanish Will, all you need are the Birth, Marriage & Death Certificate which will be translated and the Power of Attorney from the heirs to the lawyer for the execution of the Will in their name. Th e lawyer will prepare the Inheritance Deed where all the assets are described and valued. Th e proportion inherited by each benefi ciary will also be stated in accordance to the wishes of the deceased in the Will.

Taxes due on an estate are calculated very differently in Spain from the way they are calculated in England. The amount to be paid is calculated by reference to each beneficiary rather than on the basis of the estate as a whole. Each may have his or her own tax free allowance and will pay tax at a rate which will vary according to their relationship to the deceased.

A return has to be made to the Spanish taxoffice and the necessary taxes paid. This should be done within six months of the date of the death as otherwise a surcharge and interest may become payable.

Dealing with inheritances is never an easy task; therefore, due to their nature the unexpected often occurs. Perhaps the family cannot agree to what should happen to the assets. Maybe the deceased’s title to his/her home was defective and needs rectification before it can be conveyed to the heirs. Possibly he/she has not paid all the taxes expected. Sometimes unexpected claimants or assets may turn up; these problems need to be dealt with as they occur.

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