wills after marriage

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maisie moo
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wills after marriage

Postby maisie moo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:08 am

My partner and I bought our house, in joint names in 2004. We subsequently had wills drawn up in our individual names.

We got married a year later, and because my maiden name was used in the will and the escritura, I was advised that I do not need to change either document as maiden names are recognised in Spain. My then abogodo's assistant advised me that I need not do anything, but recently it has been suggested by a.n. other that the notary that dealt with our wills should be notified. Perhaps David could clarify/confirm the situation for me.


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Re: wills after marriage

Postby diverdan » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:30 pm

I am in the same situation. My partner and i bought in 2007 and subsequently got married this year.

When we bought we made wills which willed the property to each other - depending on who died first - and then left the house to our three kids - one of hers and two of mine - when we both die.

All my wife's documents including escritura, will, NIE number, our Spanish Joint Bank account are in her previous name - a previous married name not her maiden name - so what do we need to do if anything to comply with the law. To compound matters her Passport has recently been changed to reflect her new married name so there is no cross reference available there.

We live in the Uk but have an apartment in Costa Almeria.

Thanks for your help.


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Re: wills after marriage

Postby DavidSearl » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:06 pm


Not to worry about the different last names. Right, in Spain the wife keeps her own last name and does not take her husband's last name. However, as every other country in the European Union follows the usual practice of having a wife take her husband's last name and there are many thousands of foreign couples living here, the Spanish authorities are familiar with the situation.

For Maisie Moo

If you feel lazy, do nothing and let your inheritors sort it out. They will have to show your marriage certificate to justify the change of last name when they go to claim the inheritance.

Nevertheless, your advisor has given you a good suggestion. With your marriage certificate, go back to the Notary where your will is registered, and have them make a note on your will, or even a new copy of the same will, with both your last names noted on it, like "Mrs Jones, that was Miss Smith", so there is no possibility of confusion. You can do the same at the Property Registry.

You will almost certainly be charged a fee for these changes but it should not be over about 50 euros, my experts tell me.

If you were married outside Spain, you will probably need to get your marriage certificate translated officially into Spanish. Check first with your Notary.

For Diverdan

The same goes for you. It might be that the Notary and the Property Registry will accept your wife's new passport as sufficient documention for the change, but I would take the marriage certificate as well.

It is a good idea to have all these loose ends tied up, to avoid any later confusion. Until you do, keep the marriage certificate handy, just in case.

Also, if you have two children, not by your present wife, and she has a child, not by you, unless you each have formally and legally adopted the other's children, they are not legally related to you. This means that they will face Spanish inheritance tax when they inherit Spanish property from the non-related parent. You might want to check into this.

Good luck with it, David Searl
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maisie moo
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Location: Jan 5 2007 - Granada Province

Re: wills after marriage

Postby maisie moo » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:31 pm

Thank you David.

I hadn't considered the children issue. We both have children to previous relationships, none of which have been formally adopted so will have to consider how best to deal with matters based on your advice.


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Re: wills after marriage

Postby chrissiehope » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:08 pm

We have Spanish wills because of our property ownership in Spain.
In them I leave the property to my husband, and my husband leaves it to his daughters from his first marriage.
Because we were originally planning to live there permanently when we drew up the will, in my husband's will it gives me the right to live there for as long as I wish, and the property cannot be sold while I live there. I understand that in Spain property rights are split into the right to live and the right to own ('dudas' ?), so that on my death (following that of my husband) the two rights come together and the property can then be sold.
The end result being that I have no ownership rights to this property after his death (assuming he dies first) which I am quite happy about (I have ownership rights elsewhere :) so my children from my first marriage aren't losing out)

The only bit I am unsure of is if we are racking up inheritance tax liabilities for the step daughters, and if so, how should we minimise it ?

I hope I have explained it clearly - if David thinks this sounds wrong, perhaps he would let me know
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