Challenge and contest Wills and acceptance and adjudication of inheritance Deeds in Spain. Forced heirs. Inheritances of foreigners in Spain .

Challenge and contest Spanish Wills

OUR practice has been able to help numerous clients to successfully challenge and contest Spanish Wills , by establishing the invalidity of inheritance deeds signed here before a Spanish notary.

For a lawyer to determine whether it is legally possible to help a client to contest a Will or inheritance, the following is essential:

1 – Determine the law applicable to the succession or inheritance.

Although it is intended to challenge or try to annul a Will or inheritance in Spain, it will not always be achieved based on Spanish law.

Therefore, it is necessary to determine first, which is the law applicable to the succession, according to the European Regulation 650/2012.

Depending on the applicable law, the grounds for challenge may be different.

Thus, for example, Spanish, French, Belgian law, provide for a series of compulsory and forced rights or hereditary reservation, in favour of children, spouses, etc. If these are not respected, the will and inheritance could be challenged and annulled.

Other laws such as English, Scottish, provide certain rights for people who are dependents of the deceased.

German law provides for a right of credit in favour of certain relatives, who can in some cases, claim against the heirs.

In the case of Spaniards, it is simpler, but for the inheritances of foreigners in Spain, it is essential to determine if their national law or the law of their habitual residence will apply.

2 – Spanish law. Preterition of forced heirs.

Spanish law states that the descendants of the deceased are entitled to 2/3rds of the assets of the inheritance. According to article 808 of the Civil Code (CC).

If the will has not left sufficient provision in their favour, this omission, known as PRETERITION, may result in the total or partial nullity of the will.

3- Possibility to Rescind and Cancel the inheritance deeds

In addition, in the event that an inheritance deed is signed, omitting the forced heirs, this notarial deed could even be terminated or declared null and void, according to article 1080 of the CC, if it could be shown that it had been signed in bad faith.


If you wish to Challenge and contest Spanish Wills , contest or annul a Will or an inheritance related to Spanish assets, and especially if the deceased was a foreigner (i.e. not Spanish), it is essential to determine the law applicable to the succession and the possible reasons for challenge it.

Even if the inheritance deed had been signed before a Spanish notary, the nullity or resolution of the same could be requested, in some cases, such as the preterition of forced heirs or nullity of the Will due to lack of correct procedures.

If you want expert advice on this matter, contact our law firm and we will help you.

You can also get information about Spanish Legar matters in our FACEBOOK page.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it merely conveys information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos

White & Baos.

Tel: +34 966 426 185


White & Baos 2020 – All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Challenge and contest Wills and acceptance and adjudication of inheritance Deeds in Spain. Forced heirs. Inheritances of foreigners in Spain .

  1. Good Afternoon,

    Re: Contest Will Underwritten in Spain

    My name is Paul Harris-Stelfox. I am a UK resident.

    My mother (Expat) had permanent residency in Spain from the year 2000. She died in August 2018. I learned yesterday (3 November) that my sister withheld this information from me intentionally. My suspicion is that my mother and step father made a joint will when they married in or around 2010. This potential joint will supersedes an English Will my mother had prepared in 2007, making me the executor and administrator of her estate in the event of death. The estate would have been proportioned 1/4 each for myself, my sister and my younger brother, with the surplus proportioned between grandchildren.

    My mother was particular and insistent about guaranteeing all the grandchildren benefitting from her estate. Subsequently my sister has inherited a large sum of money and two homes in Spain. She currently resides in one of the homes namely my late mother’s home just outside Torrevieja. At this stage I do not know the details of the Will. It might be that my mother did not provide for her grandchildren but this is unlikely from my experience. my apologies for the lengthy narrative.

    I would be grateful if you would confirm the statutory limitation period for a beneficiary to issue a claim against the Will, if one so exists?

    1. Good Evening,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The statutory limitation period for contesting a Will depends on the causes, and also there are different position depending on the court, some say 4 years, some 15 years, etc.

      In your case, we could assist you to get, if needed, the confirmation from the central registry of Wills, about what is the last registered Will in Spain.

      If you need more information, please send us an email to:

      Best regards,

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