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Inheritance, Estate Planning and Granting a Will in Spain

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Of course, buying a property will mean at some point in the future that either the property will be sold or that it will be transferred to other family members.

It is very useful to prepare your estate planning regarding your Spanish assets:

When you have purchased a property in Spain, or you are the holder of any other assets in Spain, such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, shares or any other type of financial products, granting a last will and testament in Spain over your Spanish assets is highly recommended. A Spanish will ensure a smooth distribution of your assets in Spain and that you avoid future formalities, complications, delays, and additional costs derived from the process of succession and inheritance over those properties or assets located in Spain, as otherwise the assets will not be transferred quickly and smoothly to your wife/husband or relatives.

In the last will and testament, the testator may choose the law of his/her nationality as the law that governs his/her succession. This choice of the applicable law allows the testator to freely dispose of his properties and assets in Spain always according to the limitations established by the legislation of his country of nationality, but in any case, avoiding forced inheritance rules applicable under Spanish law. In that regard, the testator shall appoint his inheritors and legatees and will determine the percentages allocated to each of the heirs and the specific assets to be transferred to the legatees.

Otherwise, i.e., not having a Spanish will means expanding time and incurring costs associated with the process of giving validity in Spain to a foreign last will and testament. Not having any will and testament at all means that for the distribution of the Spanish assets, it will be necessary to strictly follow what it is stated in the intestacy laws of the country of the last habitual residence of the deceased.

Additionally, in the last will and testament, the testator can establish specific rules to be followed in the distribution of the assets, and appoint an executor who will ensure the fulfilment of his/her last wishes as detailed in the will, and it is also an opportunity to appoint tutors for the children, when these are minor.

It is not always the case but some lawyers even make sure that the different utilities contracts changed to your name. Before that of course, you need to have your Spanish bank account open, but normally it is already the case if you paid the property price with it.

At the same time, the community fees should be billed directly on your name and you will have to pay the local taxes. (see the earlier article on taxes to be paid by the owner).

Of course, don’t forget to insure your property.

Credits: howtobuyinspain.com

Inheritance, Estate Planning and Granting a Will in Spain
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