In many cases, in order to process an inheritance, purchase or sale or court proceeding in a country where a foreign law is to be applied, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of law. This document must meet certain requirements and formalities, depending on the country in which it is to be used. We analyse it in today’s article.
Certificate of law requested by the Spanish authorities.
In order to verify the existence, validity, and application of the law of another country, the Spanish authorities can request a certificate of law. In Spain, it is understood that public notaries, consuls or diplomats, competent officials in that country have the necessary faculties to issue it. It is worth highlighting the figure of the Notary Public. In a system such as the Spanish one, the notary is a public official with the authority to attest/authenticate. It is understood that what a Notary declares is in accordance and complies with the law (until proven otherwise).
Although the role of the notary is very different in countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom, in Spain, in most cases, the certificate of law is requested from a foreign notary. Our firm can help you to obtain a certificate of law from foreign countries, that must be used in Spain, through foreign Notaries with whom we collaborate.
Cases in which a certificate of law can be applied for.
The scenarios in which a certificate of law can be requested are very diverse.
One of them would be, for instance, the legal capacity of a person (which is determined by the law of his/her nationality). Imagine a sale where one of the owners is a foreigner minor. In order to carry out the sale, the Spanish notary (or even the Land Registrar) could request an affidavit confirming: whether the minor can sell or not, if a judicial authorisation is necessary or if the authorisation of his/her parents is enough, etc.
Another very common case are inheritances with an international component. When an inheritance is processed in Spain, with the application of foreign law, it may be necessary to prove who the forced heirs are, the validity of the will, etc. For instance, in the Anglo-Saxon system, the figure of the “executor” or testamentary administrator is very common. The “executor” has the power to inherit and even transfer the assets of the estate and then distribute them among the heirs. As Spain does not operate in this way, in order to enforce foreign law, a certificate of law may be required to confirm that this is possible under Common Law.
Certificate of law requested to be used outside Spain.
It may also be necessary to prove in a foreign country, the validity or application of a Spanish law, by means of a certificate of law. What are the formalities of a Spanish Will. Who are the forced heirs in Spain. What is the applicable law in cases of family law. In cases of divorce, etc.
Depending on the country that is requesting the certificate, our office can assist you and prepare the Spanish law certificate you need. In many countries (e.g. the UK) Spanish lawyers have the power and authority to prepare such certificates. In the event that it is necessary for a Spanish Notary Public to prepare it, we can also assist you and coordinate the preparation of the certificate.
If you need a certificate of foreign law for its application in Spain, our firm can help you. Likewise, if what you need is a certificate of Spanish law, for its application abroad, do not hesitate to contact us and we will help you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys information relating to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185