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Abogados MB Martin Bruckhaus

Why you should make a spanish will.

When you make the decision to buy a property in Spain you are far more likely to be concerned about your future enjoyment of the property than what is likely to occur upon your death.

However, as with any other substantial asset the prudent investor should consider the issue and make the necessary provisions to ensure that family and other loved ones will eventually benefit.

If you own a property in Spain it is advisable but not essential that you make a Spanish Will. If you do not and instead rely on your English Will or the laws of intestacy (if there is no Will) then you will find there will be increased bureaucracy and administration costs in dealing with the Estate as the relevant documents will need to be translated and notarised.

Making a Spanish Will is a reasonably straight-forward matter. The most popular way is for the Will to be executed before a Spanish Notary. It may however be advisable to employ the services of a lawyer beforehand in order for him to prepare a draft of the Will in accordance with your instructions.

The Will in most cases is a reasonably simple document reciting those members of your family and friends who you wish to see benefit from your estate. It is not normal procedure as in an English Will to appoint Executors as the Spanish authorities consider it to be the responsibility of the beneficiaries of the Will to deal with the Estates administration.

As a foreign national the Spanish civil code allows you to leave your Spanish assets in accordance with the national law of your country of origin. An English person would not therefore be obliged to leave a proportion of his estate to members of his family as is required of a Spaniard.

Once a Will has been executed you should ask for a copy of it known as a "Copia Simple" from the Notary who will ensure the original is filed in his record, whilst a further copy will be sent to the Central Wills Registry in Madrid as an official record.

Those property owners who take the time to consider the future devolution of their Spanish assets will find they have made a sensible decision.