Contesting a Will in SpainUpdated on Friday 26th August 2016
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A will is written by a testator who is interested to distribute his or her assets in a certain way to various persons or legal entities, in the terms established by the Spanish legislation. The document will become effective after the testator (the person drafting the testament) passes away and his or her life possessions will be distributed as mentioned in the document. Persons who have received a part of the inheritance and who consider they did not obtain the rightful share of the testator’s assets can contest the will, but the procedure is applicable only in several conditions. Our team of Spanish lawyers can offer legal representation to those who want to contest a will.
The legal grounds on which a will can be contested in Spain
When drafting a will in Spain, the testator will sign the document in front of a public notary, which will testify that the document was signed following the applicable procedures. In this case, the persons wishing to contest a will should have a grounded reason to proceed to this action.
The main reasons to contest a Spanish will are the following:
• the inheritor considers that the document is invalid, as a consequence of the way it was drafted;
• the testator did not have the testamentary capacity, which means that the document was never intended to be a will;
• the testator did not offered his approval on the respective document;
• fraud matters;
• undue influence – the testator was influenced or forced to specify a certain provision he or she did not wish to include in the document.
Persons who want to contest a will can only act in this sense if they have sufficient evidence that can be included in one of the above mentioned conditions; our team of Spanish attorneys can offer an in-depth presentation on this matter.
Will legislation in Spain
Following the European Union’s Regulation 650/2012, the will legislation in Spain changed, in the sense that the applicable legislation for this document would be the national legislation where the persons’ habitual residence is. The legislation became effective in Spain since 2015. Before the enactment of the regulation, the applicable rule was the national law where the person deceased (as prescribed by the Article 9.8 of the Spanish Civil Code).
Persons interested in contesting a will in Spain can address to our law firm for legal representation.