7 benefits of making a Spanish will

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash
Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash
12 November 2020, Larraín Nesbitt Abogados

Although it is perfectly legal to include your Spanish assets in a will made in your home country, we strongly advise against it.

For all those non-residents who own assets in Spain, i.e. property, it is highly advisable you make two wills; one in your home country, and a second Spanish will exclusive to your Spanish estate. This advice rings truer than ever in the midst of a terrible pandemic that has gripped the world with fear.

  1. A Spanish will only affects your Spanish estate. It does not affect assets or preclude any prior will witnessed in your home country.

  2. Drawing up a Spanish helps your heirs avoid penalties and delay interests. There’s a deadline of only 6 months to file and pay Spanish Inheritance Tax (IHT). Late payment of IHT attracts surcharges, penalties and delay interests. A Spanish will cuts through the red tape streamlining the succession procedure so tax is paid on time within the deadline without attracting penalties and interests on top.

  3. Drawing up a Spanish will saves both money and hassle. If you only make a will in your home country, your beneficiaries will have to follow a legal procedure in your home country that normally exceeds the 6-month deadline to file the Spanish Inheritance Tax. They will also need to translate into Spanish by a sworn translator all legal documents, notarise them and affix to each of them the Apostille seal of The Hague Convention. All this greatly increases the expenses for your beneficiaries, as well as significantly delaying the whole procedure of transferring your Spanish estate which will attract surcharges, penalties and delay interests (point two above). However, if you make a Spanish will, all these extra expenses and delays can be avoided saving your beneficiaries much time and aggravation.

  4. Spanish wills are stored safely at no extra charge. On making a Spanish will, the original is stored by the Notary in his files for record. Should you lose your copy, don’t panic. All Spanish wills' details are safely stored at Madrid’s Central Registry of Last Wills. One can always request a copy should it get lost or destroyed.

  5. Spanish wills drawn up before a Notary public add security. Making a will is a personal act. A Spanish Notary is a highly qualified law professional who witnesses the signing of a will. He will highlight any incorrection or illegality.

  6. The content of a Spanish will is governed by your own national laws. This means that you are not constrained by Spain’s forced heirship rules, and are free to leave your Spanish estate following the laws of your own country.

  7. A Spanish will can be worded in English, or in any other language. Spanish wills can be drafted in double barrel, your native language and Spanish, so you know at all times what you are signing at a Notary public.

At LNA we can draft a Spanish will for a very competitive fee. Contact us.

At LNA we can assist you buying, selling or renting out your property in Spain. We have 17 years’ experience in conveyance & tax. We are also specialized in Immigration & Residency permits. 

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, big on service.

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