We are pleased to report a new successful result challenging a Spanish will. Spanish Law could apply when a foreigner is domiciled in Spain, or has all his real estate assets Spain, etc. This could be your case!. If you are interested in Challenging disputing or contesting a Spanish Will, this is important for you.
As we have mentioned in previous articles, it may be possible for children, spouses or ascendants to contest a Spanish Will. Depending on the individual circumstances, when they have not been appointed beneficiaries in the Spanish Will. If the national law of the deceased understands that Spanish Law should be the applicable law to the succession and therefore must govern the inheritance.
In a new case, similar to another won in court last year by our firm, we have been able to come into an agreement with the spouse appointed on the Will as the sole beneficiary.
So part of the estate should be awarded to the deceased’s children, as we understood that the applicable law to the succession was the Spanish Inheritance Law. Therefore, the children were entitled to 2/3 of the assets of the Estate by law. All this independent to the wording of the Spanish Will and the wish of the deceased.
As explained in previous articles, in Spain it is understood that the applicable law to an inheritance is the national law of the deceased.
In this case, the deceased was English.
The law in England & Wales states that in relation to moveable assets, the law of the country of domicile of the deceased should apply . In this case that was Spain. And in relation to immoveable assets (Land or buildings), the law of the country where the property is located should apply. In this case that was also Spain.
Universality and unity of the inheritance
As the deceased was domiciled in Spain, and all his real estate assets were situated in Spain. The English Law “understood” the Spanish Law to be the applicable one for the succession.
This legal renvoi is only normally accepted by Spanish Courts if the principles of universality and unity of the inheritance are respected. Which in this case they were, with Spanish law being the only law to govern all the assets of the deceased.
Fortunately, knowledge of the international law and court precedents by the parties involved in the case allowed us to reach an agreement without the need of going to court.
In any legal dispute regarding a Will or an inheritance of a non Spanish National ( British, Irish, German, French, Belgian, etc.) , it is essential to check if the national law of the deceased and or testator / testatrix understands that Spanish Law applies.
*NOTE: the European Regulation 650/2012 was not applicable to this case.
If you want to contest, challenge or dispute a Spanish Will, or you want to make sure that your Will could not be contested or challenged, we can assist you, contact us.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.
Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta
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