Property - Wills & Probates

Why make a Spanish Will?

There are many misconceptions amongst the UK population about what happens to your possessions when you die, especially in a foreign country. Many people assume that their spouses or partners will be automatically entitled to possessions. In most instances this is what happens however this should not be taken for granted.

Spain is no different. Making a Spanish Will may never have occurred to you, perhaps you have always felt your English Will be enough and ensure your assets go where you want them to.

This may not be the case if you die in Spain and could lead to many unexpected problems for your children, spouses, family and friends.

Planning for your family’s future

Making a Spanish Will can help in many ways to ensure all your possessions are distributed the way in which you want them to be. A Spanish Will can ensure your loved ones do not undergo the stress and strains of an unfamiliar legal system, language and incur costs that can easily be avoided if the right steps are taken now.
A correctly drawn Spanish Will, will help to deal with the following cross border issues that may occur, these include;

  • Provide clarity when handling existing Spanish assets and the steps to be completed in order to change ownership and reduce paperwork

  • Avoid unnecessary complexity and additional formalities arising from the application of intestacy rules

  • Ensure that the maximum value of assets are made available for the benefit  of members of your family, and distributed in the way you would like

Spanish Inheritance tax

Spanish inheritance tax law in Spain looks kindly on the closest family (i.e. children or spouse would get tax allowances) and those that earn or have assets valued at the lower end of the spectrum. If there is not a Will and therefore the distribution of the Spanish assets is subject to intestacy law then in terms of taxation the cost may be higher, It may be difficult without the correct legal documentation in place to make it an easy process as possible for your loved ones. Your beneficiaries may also be taxed heavily unnecessarily if you haven’t addressed ways to avoid excessive taxation.

Spanish Inheritance tax procedures also require the beneficiary to calculate the payable tax and file the tax return at Madrid Tax office within six months from the date of the death. This term can be extended under certain circumstances however if it is not observed there will be further penalty interests and surcharge.
This is just one of many pitfalls that can be avoid if careful planning is taken beforehand. It is advisable to seek help from a solicitor to make the most of your assets.