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The importance of making a will in Spain - protect your assets for inheritors

The process of making a will in Spain

We are often asked if it is necessary to make a will in Spain. Although it isn't an essential requirement it is beneficial to do so and it can help your heirs when the time comes.

Your inheritors will need to prove their right to your property after you have died. This is so much easier if there is already a Spanish will that outlines how you want your estate to be distributed.

It is our recommendation that all our clients at some point make a will in Spain even though they may have already made one in their home country. A will made in another country must be translated by an official translator before it will be accepted in Spain. Additional legal arrangements have to be made that can make the procedure more complicated at a time when your family could least do with it.

In order for a will to be valid in Spain and registered at the Last Will Registry, it must be signed before the Public Notary. Leaving  no indications for the  distribution of  your Estate until after your death creates more complications for those who you have identified as inheritors.

To simplify things it is well worth talking through with Ábaco staff, what your intentions are. They can then provide you with advice as well as preparing the will both in your own language and in Spanish. This will ensure that you are absolutely clear that your wishes are correctly outlined. From here, we forward the will to the Notary office, in order  to  have it in place for granting.

The appointment with the Notary is organised by Ábaco and a member of our multi-lingual staff will accompany you there. There is no need to worry about your wishes being lost in translation as they will ensure that everything is clearly translated and accessible to you.

Our will-making service includes legal  and fiscal advice, preparation, translation, Notary fee and inscription in Registry. You needn't worry about anything. However, we will need you to provide us with the relevant documentation including your passport, residency information or NIE number.

Just in case you are still unsure about whether you should make a Spanish will or not we identify the advantages below.

Advantages of making a Spanish will

  • it simplifies the handling of your affairs
  • it ensures that your wishes comply with both, Spanish formalities and law of your nationality, and can be fulfilled
  • forward planning can help to reduce the inheritance tax bill
  • it will be easier for your inheritors to arrange inheritance tax payments
  • it deals more effectively with your Spanish assets but will not interfere with assets in another country
  • Spanish wills are stored safely at the Notary's office where signed and registered at the 'Registro General de Actos de Última Voluntad'
  • you can be sure that everything is legal and above board

If you don't make a Spanish will:

  • all document must be translated by a sworn translator and sealed with the Apostille seal of the Hague Convention
  • the process will be more expensive
  • it increases the likelihood of family disputes
  • there is a risk that delays might lead to tax penalties being implemented

It isn't compulsory to have a Spanish will in place but it will make the process a whole lot smoother for those you care about most.

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