To make a Spanish Will involves a lot of doubts, but not many owners non-resident in Spain know the advantages of doing so. In this article we are going to explain the most important ones.
THE ADVANTAGES OF MAKING A SPANISH WILL
Many owners of properties in Spain and who are not residents in the country don’t know how useful it is to make a will in Spain.
Although the law does not enforce to make a will in Spain, we think that its importance is such that it should nearly be compulsory or, if not, very advisable. People are not aware that, in making a Spanish Will, they will save time, problems and money to their relatives when they die.
Therefore, in this article we are going to explain some of the main reasons to make a Spanish Will.
The content of the Spanish will will be done according to your personal laws.
First, in Spain our law or the different regional laws set a series of provisions by which they limítate the free disposition of the testator assets, being necessary to comply with the “legitimas” (a legal figure not existing in the United Kingdom. It is a part of the inheritance of which the heirs cannot freely dispose of after the death of the testato and has to be distributed among the compulsory heirs) and other inheritance rights.
Maybe, due to your personal law, you don’t foresee any kind of limitation when making a will, for which reason using your personal law in a Spanish Will shall enable you to use the law of your country and avoid inheritance dispositions that the Spanish legal system has regarding inheritances.
The Spanish Will includes only your assets in Spain.
Second, this means that the Spanish Will will not overlap or conflicto with the Will you have made in your own country. The purpose of the Spanish Will is to complement it with the one you have made in your country and to enable the execution in Spain.
Cost reductions and problems for the heirs.
Third, you have to bear in mind that the term to declare the inheritance tax is 6 months from the date of the death of the testator. You may ask for a delay of 6 months if it is done within the first five months after the death of the testator.
This is a very important quejstion, as if the testator does not have a Spanish Will, they will have to use the one he had in his own country to be executed here in Spain, which means that it will have to add a note (Apostilla de la Haya) to the will of the country of origin and translate it by a sworn Translator. This legalization process of the foreign Will and its sworn translation implies a series of expenses for the heirs and a delay in the time, which can imply paying a fine if the lapse to declare the tax has ended.
The advantage of the Spanish Will is that we can execute it nearly immediately and at the same time to the inheritance procedure in the country of origin. For this reason, we save delaying risks.
The Spanish Will has a recording procedure which means more security to the same.
Four, Wills in Spain are recorded at the “Registro General de Actos de Ultima Voluntad”(El Registro de Actos de Última Voluntad is the register where the Last Wills are recorded, so as to guarantee that its existence is known, once the person who has granted it has died or also if it is granted while the testator is still alive (grant of a living Will). This means that if the testator decides to make a new Will, the Notary would leave the new one recorded at the mentioned Register, thus avoiding any risk to this respect.
Therefore, if the heirs did not find a copy of the last Will made by the testator, they could request a copy to the Notary in which it was made and they would know the Notary office where it was made, thanks to the Registro General de Actos de Última Voluntad.
For all these reasons, the best thing would be that the non-resident owner has a Will in his own country and a Spanish Will, so that both Wills shall complement and make it easier for the execution when the person dies.
Other information on the procedure of inheritance.