Will Preparation in SpainUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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Under the Inheritance Law, both Spanish and foreign citizens owning assets in this country are allowed to draft wills in order to dispose of their estate as they wish. The Spanish legislation allows any citizen with the age of at least 14 to draft a testament. There are two types of wills one can prepare in Spain:
- - oral or holographic wills which are the least employed,
- - handwritten wills which are the most common.
Handwritten testaments can be open or closed. The differences between the two types of testaments are minor.
For assistance in drafting a will you can request the legal services of our lawyers in Spain.
Preparing a Spanish testament
Before drafting one’s will, there are several aspects to be taken into account. Among these, one of the most important is having witnesses. In the case of closed and open will, the testator is required to have at least two witnesses who are not closely related to the testator. The open will must be drafted in the presence of a Spanish public notary, while the closed one once ready must be sealed in an envelope and handed over to the notary. When handing the closed testament to the notary, the testator must declare that the will was prepared and signed by themselves or by a third person.
No matter the type of testament, it will be registered with the Central Registry of Will in Spain. Each will receives a registration number.
Foreign citizens preparing wills in Spain
Foreign citizens may prepare a will in which they can only provide for their assets in Spain as it will be easier for the heirs to claim the estate. However, foreign citizens owning property in Spain will also have their foreign will recognized in Spain, but only with respect to the assets held in this country. Assets or estate held abroad cannot be governed by the Spanish inheritance legislation. One must also make sure that the two inheritance laws are not in conflict when preparing two separate wills. This is also one of the most important reasons most foreign citizens request the advice of Spanish attorneys when drafting their testaments.
For more information about the inheritance legislation, will preparation and taxation of inheritance, do not hesitate to contact our law firm in Spain.