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National Law and Spanish wills

It’s easy to forget or not even realise that a country’s habits, laws and customs might not be the same as your own. You can quite easily expect things to work the same as they do in your own country. An example of this is the Spanish will and Spanish inheritance. Residents and non-residents in Spain can assume that the same laws apply in both countries. However, Spanish inheritance law is very different from  inheritance law in many other countries  with tighter controls about who you can leave your inheritance to. The fact that a British person bequeathing property in Spain can revert to British national law when making their will in Spain can be a great advantage.

Spanish national inheritance law requires that property is left shared out between children as well as the remaining spouse. You cannot just leave your home to your partner or spouse in the same way as you would expect to in Britain.  In Britain, once you make your will, according to British national law it is up to you who you bequethe your property to. If you should die without making a will then your property goes to your next of kin. This does not happen in Spain. Fortunately as a British national living or owning property in Spain you can choose to apply your own national law when it comes to Spanish inheritance and making your Spanish will.

It’s not a task that anyone looks forward to doing, but it does make sense to make a Spanish will. That way, the process is much simpler and quicker for your inheritors and you will feel confident that you understand what the implications of your decision will be on them. Spanish inheritance tax is still thriving in Spain. Making a will can help ensure that you have taken the right measures to keep it as low as possible for those you care about.

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