Alleviate Future Headaches for Your Relatives and Heirs
Article supplied by Welex Lawyers & Accountants
If you are a resident of a country within the European Union and have properties in Spain, it may be in your best interest to grant a will signed by a notary in Spain. Although it is not compulsory, it is advisable. Below we present some advantages and benefits to having a will granted in Spain.
1. With the enforcement of European Regulation No. 650/2012 of 4 July, which regulates the competences, applicable legislation and execution of resolution and public documents in matters of succession, and the creation of a succession certificate at the European level, it is advisable to leave expressly designated by testamentary disposition which legislation you wish to be applicable to your succession, either the law of your nationality or the law of your last residence. A will in Spain would allow you to make these decisions clear prior to your death.
2. Even if you have a will granted in your country of residence or nationality, sometimes their interpretation and application in other countries can be misconstrued. In addition, your heirs must legalise your foreign will to prove that it is indeed your last one, which means that it must be translated into Spanish. Your heirs will also need to obtain the Apostille of the Convention of Le Hague. This process can be very cumbersome, we assure you.
3. Even if you have a will granted in your country of residence or nationality prior to 17 August 2015, it may not be accepted according to the European regulation because it might not clearly determine which law is applicable to your succession, specifically in regards to the law that governs in the location of your most recent residence or the law of your nationality. Do not hesitate to visit our offices so that we can clarify this issue for you by reviewing your existing will.
4. When you are granting a will in Spain, you clearly designate who your heirs are, which clarifies the limitation to assets which are located in Spain and ensures compliance with the regulations of the country of your nationality or residence, depending on which law you have chosen to apply to your succession.
5. The monetary savings of obtaining a will in Spain is another advantage. Not having a will can require your heirs to initiate legal proceedings to determine the line of succession. On the one hand, it must be decided who is entitled to the assets of their inheritance, and, on the other, it must be determined in what percentage according to the law applicable to your succession. The cost of having a will drafted in Spain is insignificant in comparison to the difficulties and costs that your heirs may face if they do not have one.
6. Keep in mind that a will in Spain can dramatically reduce the paperwork and waiting time that your heirs will have to endure after your death. As a side note, we feel compelled to remind you that if you have assets in Spain your heirs must pay the inheritance tax within six months from the date of your death.
7. At our multilingual law firm in Marbella, we can advise you so that your will meets all of the requirements in Spain. You only need to provide us with the name of your heirs, the law that you want your succession to be governed by, and the way in which you wish to distribute your assets as long as you comply with the regulations of your nationality. We do advise you to limit the contents covered by your Spanish will to those that are found in Spain. Your will elsewhere can cover your other possessions. Our office will provide you with a draft of your Spanish will written in a double column format, which includes both the Spanish version and the version translated into the language of your nationality.
8. Finally, when you have reviewed your will completely, we will accompany you to a notary to get the will signed. Do not forget to bring your passport to this meeting as it is required.
Welex Lawyers & Accountants
C/ Ramón Gómez de la Serna 23, Local 7, Marbella
Tel. (+34) 952 775 521