MANY British clients living in Spain are faced with various doubts when making a Will. Should I make one Will in each country? What language should it be written in? Which law will apply in each case? In today’s article, we address these doubts and answer the most frequently asked questions about the best way to grant a Will in Spain.
Why is it advisable to grant a Will in Spain?
There are several reasons why we, at White-Baos, always recommend our clients to grant a Will in Spain. On one hand, because by planning the inheritance correctly, the amount of taxes to be paid will be lower. On the other hand, because it makes the inheritance much easier for the heirs. It also allows the testator to choose the most beneficial applicable law, etc.
Can you make a Will in Spain for assets from all over the world?
Yes, you can grant a single Will for the world-wide assets. But it is also possible to make a Will that is limited to the assets and rights located in Spain. However, it is always advisable to study the nature of the assets to be inherited, and what you wish to do with them. Please note that some legal figures only exist in foreign law, and not in Spain. An example of this could be the ‘Trust’ which is applicable in the UK, France, Italy, but not in Spain. In this case, it would not be advisable to grant a Spanish Will with a Trust as beneficiary.
Can you grant it in several languages: English, Spanish, French, etc?
Yes, in addition to Spanish, it can be done in any other language. In fact, it is possible to prepare the Will in double columns, in the languages chosen by the testator.
Can a Will granted in Spain be used in another country?
Yes. Indeed, when there are assets in different countries, it is highly recommended to prepare the Will in the languages of both countries. Furthermore, granting a Will in this way, you would avoid having to request a sworn translation of it afterwards, with the cost that this entails.
What happens if I lose my Will? Should I make another one?
No. You do not have to worry about this. After a person passes away, the first step is always to request a Certificate from the Register of Last Wills. This can be done by any notary. This certificate will indicate the notary’s office where the Will was made. Then, a copy can be requested. Even if the Will is lost, and the heirs do not have a copy, the original will always remain in the protocol (archive) of the notary’s office.
Can I make a Will in the United Kingdom, USA, Ireland, etc. after having granted one in Spain?
Yes, as long as you do not revoke the previous Will. You can make a Will in Spain that applies only the assets in Spain, and then another one in the United Kingdom, to regulate the succession of the assets located there. However, it is very important to be precise when drafting the Will, to avoid an unintended revocation.
What do you mean by ‘an unintended revocation’?
To answer this question, we will give a real example that we have come across in our office. A client makes a Will in Spain, leaving his Spanish assets to his daughter. Subsequently, he decides to make another Will in the UK, with the intention of passing the assets in the UK to his son. However, the English Will does not specify that it does not apply to the Spanish assets. This lack of specificity led to the English Will to revoke the Spanish Will. As a result of this, that son ended up inheriting all the deceased’s assets in all countries, and the daughter did not receive any assets.
At White Baos Abogados, we are experts in legal advice on inheritance, inheritance tax and Wills in Spain. If you would like more information on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and help you plan your inheritance in the most beneficial way for you and your loved ones.
The information provided in this article is not intended as legal advice, but simply conveys information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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