Spanish WillUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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In case you have assets in Spain, regardless of their size, you should make a will ("testamento"), a process through which it is recommended to have legal assistance. Our Spanish lawyers can help you prepare your will, whether it is a standard or a more complex one.
Reasons for making a Spanish will
There are a few benefits with making a will in Spain and here are a few of them:
- - it is a way of avoiding expensive legal matters that the heirs will have to resolve otherwise; you can as well make a separate will in order to dispose of the other assets you have outside of this country;
- - if you are a foreigner you are not obliged to divide your assets equally among your heirs, but instead you can leave your properties to whoever you prefer; the estate you own will however be subject to the inheritance tax in Spain;
- - you can get a reduction of 95% for your estate concerning inheritance tax; this is not applicable to non-residents though.
For further details on the benefits of making a will you can ask our attorneys in Spain and they can also assist you in any wills-related legal issues you may encounter.
Types of wills in Spain
There are several types of wills one can make in Spain and the rules applying to witnesses are quite strict, thus, if you fail in following the procedures exactly, the will can become void or null.
- The open will ("testamento abierto") is the most highly recommended type of will for the majority of people. The document has to be prepared by a notary who has to ensure that the will is legal. Also, its content must be known by three witnesses and the notary who then have to sign the will. A copy of it must be sent to the General Registry of Wills ("Registro General de Actos de Ultima Voluntad").
- The closed will ("testamento cerrado") must be drawn by a lawyer in Spain who has to make sure that it complies with the Spanish law. The will has to be seen by a notary who has to sign it and seal the envelope (along with two witnesses), ultimately having to be recorded as the open will. Our law firm in Spain can ensure that all the legal steps have been completed and that the will complies with the law.
- The holographic will ("testamento ológrafo") is made orally or with your own handwriting. In the second case it has to be signed and no other formalities or witnesses are needed. It can also be registered with the Registry of Wills. This type of will is generally the better solution for someone with a smaller estate in Spain.
You can contact our lawyers in Spain if you need assistance with making a will or other legal issues related to it.