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UK: +44 (0)207 936 9072SPAIN: +34 952 862 227 

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Inheritance in Spain with a Will

Spanish Will

Where there is a Will an estate can be distributed in accordance with the terms of that Will.
When Spanish Wills are executed a copy is registered at the Spanish Wills Registry in Madrid and an application must be made to request a certificate showing the latest valid Will before any administration of the estate can begin. To make the application a copy of the Death Certificate must be provided. If the Death Certificate is in English then a translation into Spanish is required.
Basically, once heirs and beneficiaries have been established, administration of the estate can begin. A valuation of the estate of the deceased is obtained, including property, Bank accounts, cash, vehicles etc.
The distribution of the estate´s assets to heirs/beneficiaries takes place in a public document known as Deed of Adjudication of Inheritance which is executed before the Spanish notary public and registered before the relevant Public Registries to register the change of ownership. In certain circumstances an affidavit of the decease´s succession law is required to demonstrate that the distribution of the estate has not contravened the decease´s applicable succession law.
Heirs and beneficiaries who are foreigners are required to apply for an NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). This acts as a tax and identification number and is used for all transactions that involved the Spanish Tax Office and Public Registries. The NIE number is mandatory for all foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain regardless of whether they are resident or non-resident in Spain.
The NIE number can be applied for at the outset and, should the heirs/beneficiaries be unable to travel to Spain, all matters relating to the process can be dealt with by the lawyer or appointed person by way a Power of Attorney.

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UK Will

The deceased’s Spanish estate can also be distributed in accordance of the terms of a Will made in the UK. The process is more involved and requires the following documentation to be translated, notarised and legalised with the Hague Apostille to be valid in Spain.
● UK Death Certificate● UK Will● UK Grant of Representation
Once the above documents have been obtained then all the Spanish legal formalities regarding the estate and its distribution to heir/beneficiaries can be completed in a public document known as Deed of Adjudication of Inheritance which is executed before the Spanish notary public and registered before the relevant Public Registries to register the change of ownership.
The Notary Public is responsible for essential checks prior to distribution, such as ensuring that the heirs/beneficiaries are entitled to receive the assets of the deceased.
Heirs and beneficiaries who are foreigners are required to apply for an NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). This acts as a tax and identification number and is used for all transactions that involved the Spanish Tax Office and Public Registries. The NIE number is mandatory for all foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain regardless of whether they are resident or non-resident in Spain.
The NIE number can be applied for at the outset and, should the heirs/beneficiaries be unable to travel to Spain, all matters relating to the process can be dealt with by the lawyer or appointed person by way a Power of Attorney.

FAQs

  • Do you need both a UK and Spanish Will if you own property in Spain?

    It is recommended that you have a Spanish Will to deal with your assets in Spain to ensure that matters can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. An estate can be dealt with under a UK Will, however the process is much more complex and can take much longer to administer. Spanish Probate Solicitors can help in drafting a suitable Spanish Will and assist you with its execution either in the UK or Spain.

  • Do I need to travel to Spain to deal with Probate?

    No. Probate can be dealt with by way of a suitable Power of Attorney on behalf of the beneficiaries or heirs. Spanish Probate Solicitors can arrange a Power of Attorney, which is executed in the UK, in order that your appointed representative can deal with all associated matters in Spain.

  • What does Power of Attorney mean?

    A Power of Attorney is a document that grants an appointed representative the authority to deal with matters on behalf of the person appointing them. In the case of dealing with Spanish Probate, the Power of Attorney enables the representative to communicate, correspond and undertake all the necessary actions in Spain in order that an estate can be distributed as quickly as possible to beneficiaries or heirs. Spanish Probate Solicitors can assist you in drafting a suitable power of attorney for Probate purposes.

  • What happens if there is no Will?

    If there is no Will, the deceased is deemed to have died ‘intestate’. The process of dealing with an intestate estate is complex and the right of any beneficiary or heir must first be proved. Spanish Probate Solicitors can assist you with all of the legal formalities in this regard.

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Spanish Probate Solicitors provide a complete service covering all areas of Spanish Probate, Inheritance Tax Planning and Wills.  

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