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Must I make a Will in Spain?

Will, Spanish Testament

Must I make a Will in Spain?

Must I make a Spanish Testament?

This is a question that many of our clients raise, especially after buying a property in Spain.

Well, the answer to the question is this: You MUST not but you SHOULD.

If you are a foreign citizen and you haven’t signed a Will in Spain, your heirs will have to prove that they are entitled to receive your inheritance, via a “Grant of Probate”, or it’s equivalent. Also, In order to be recognized in Spain, any foreign document will need to be stamped with a special seal called “Apostille”, translated officially into Spanish, and sent to Spain. If instead of only one, you appointed several executors (and forgot to mention that any of them could do this work) they all together will have to give a power of attorney to a Spanish solicitor, or they might be obliged to come to Spain, at your heir’s expense, to sign the necessary documents.

As you can imagine, the process is lengthy and can be costly, therefore, though it is not a must, it is highly advisable to make a Spanish Will f mind that your benefactors receive what they are due according to your wishes.

But that’s not the only reason to make a will. The new Succession Regulation (EU) 650/12 of the European Parliament entered into force in Spain on the 17th August 2015, affecting foreign owners of properties in Spain who are (or will be) resident in this country, and in some way it might also affect those who may be considered resident by forced heirs. Under this new Regulation, any EU national who has property in Spain can choose either the law of the country of their habitual residence, or the law of their nationality to rule his inheritance. If no choice is made, then the default position is that the succession of their estate will be governed by the State of their habitual residence. In Spain, this means that both descendants (children or grandchildren) and ascendants (parents or grandparents) will inherit with priority over a surviving spouse, meaning that any previous will that may have been prepared, if unchecked, may be successfully contested by forced heirs under Spanish Succession Laws, unless the will specifically states that it be governed by his own national law.So this is clearly another good reason to make a Will in Spain!

This is where we can help. We have been arranging Wills for our clients for over 25 years, giving us valuable experience in this field. This together with our legal knowledge of the inheritance process helps to make things very easy for you. If you would like us to arrange your Spanish Will, please spend a few moments filling out this form providing us with some personal details and stating to whom you want to leave your assets in Spain. We will then prepare a draft of the Will, and once you have approved it, we will arrange an appointment with the Notary, where you will sign your Will, with us acting as translators.

The Spanish Testament is prepared in a bilingual format (Spanish and English), the original will remains at the Notary and is registered in Madrid and we will provide you with both hard and electronic copies, and if you wish we will keep a copy in our files.

If you have any question about how to do your will, or should you need help filling in the form, please send an email to

Miguel Angel Bravo


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