WILLS IN SPAIN
At Spania Legal, we are specialists in Inheritances and Wills. Our Lawyers belong to the Association of Lawyers of Madrid and Alicante and have extensive professional experience in succession law and inheritance.
A will is the act by which a person disposes of all ones assets or part of them after ones death.
Any person who is not expressly prohibited by law may make a will. It is prohibited to write a will for children under fourteen years or for individuals who are not in their right state of mind. Two or more persons may not make a will in the same document, instead a will must be granted per person.
There are several considerations for citizens who are not resident in Spain but own a property there, when deciding whether to write a will in Spain or, if, in their country of residence for it.
Although it is not mandatory to have a Spanish will, we strongly recommend that foreign clients make one, as the procedure for heirs in Spain will be very long and expensive in the absence of a Spanish will.
At Spania Legal, we prepare the will in two languages, in Spanish and in your own language. We assist you with the presence of an interpreter at the Notary Office at the time of signing the document. You will need to bring your passport or identity card to the notary's office for identification by the notary.
In relation to the inheritance adjudication process, the following is a summary of the steps to follow in case of death of a relative with property in Spain:
1) First, you must go to the corresponding Civil Registry to request the Death Certificate.
2) With this certificate, we can request from the “Registry of wills” ( Registro de Actos de Ultima Voluntad) a certificate of Last Will and Testament, which will prove if a person has written a will, before which Notary, and if the deceased had taken out life insurance.
A. If a Spanish will has been made: With the certificate of Last Will and Testament, once the notary is located, the heirs may request an authorized copy of the will.
B. If a will has been made in another country: A competent Notary of the country of origin will issue a Declaration of Manifestations and Certificate of Law, which will state who are the heirs according to the testament granted by the deceased.
C. If there is no will: By means of a process called the "Declaration of Heirs", it will determine who are the intestate heirs
3) The next step, once the the heirs are determined, is the signing of the Deed of Adjudication of Inheritance, the adjudication by the heirs to their share of the estate.
4) Once the inheritance has been awarded, the heirs must pay the corresponding Inheritance Tax. In Spain, although this is a state tax, the autonomous communities do have power to modify it, hence the characteristics of the tax may vary from region to region.
In addition, since January 1st, 2015, the amendment to the State Law on Inheritance Tax applies in Spain, matching non-resident citizens with residents, so that the regulations of the Autonomous Communities apply to both.
With reference to new legislation, in relation to community citizens, when the deceased has been non-resident in Spain, heirs who are not resident in Spain may apply the regulations of the Autonomous Community, in which the highest value of the assets of the deceased in Spain is found. In the case that the heirs are resident in Spain, the regulations of the Autonomous Community where they reside will apply.
The tax is paid within a period of six months in any of the tax payment offices of the Spanish Tax authorities, presenting a document called “model 650” in the case of residents. In the case of non-resident, this is done by presenting a document “model 652” at the Delegation of Public Finance of Madrid (tax authorities).
5) Finally, after paying the Inheritance Tax, the Deed of Adjudication of Inheritance must be presented in the corresponding Register where the property is registered.
Our lawyers specializing in inheritance law, with extensive experience in inheritance and testament, will advise you at all times, from the first to the last step.