Last will (testament)
Spanish last will (testament)
We live in a turbulent world that normally gives us little time to reflect on our lives and maybe too often we take our current situation for granted. However, you might wonder what would happen to your loved ones if something unfortunate were to happen to you. Are you convinced that everything is well arranged for them in a financial and legal way? Or do you still need to take action to make sure of it, possibly through signing a Spanish last will or testament?
Appointing heir(s) and inheritance law through last will
Many married couples that are residents in Spain, for example, don´t know that in their future inheritance the Spanish law would apply. This means that if one of them would pass away, under Spanish law their legal assets -like their share of the house, bank account or a car- will not automatically be inherited by the longest living. If you don´t want your belongings to go to your direct family and don´t have a Last Will yet, it´s therefore necessary to sign this important legal document in front of a Spanish notary. In this Last Will you firstly can appoint the inheritance law of your OWN country, which is in most cases much more flexible than the Spanish one.
Secondly, you can determine your exact wishes for the inheritance division following the regulations of your national law. And thirdly, you can choose if you want your Last Will only to apply only to your Spanish assets or to properties in all countries. Your last will is centrally registered so it´s officially known at which notary you signed this testament.
Not married or no partnership inscribed in Spain? High inheritance tax!
This recommendation to sign a Last Will in favor of the longest-living partner is even more important for non-married couples, as to the Spanish law you are not related. To avoid high inheritance tax they also should officially register their partnership in Spain in the Registro de Pareja de Hecho. Foreign contracts or registries are not recognized. This means that -even if there is a Last Will appointing your partner as the legal heir- he or she will pay the highest level of inheritance tax unless you are registered in the Spanish Registro de Pareja de Hecho.
Power of Attorney to a loved one
It´s also possible to combine your last will with a Power of Attorney to your loved one in which you can give him or her the right to decide about your financial or even health matters, for example in case of official mental incapacity due to dementia or another decease. In certain situations, this might save your partner or family a lot of sorrow and practical troubles.
More information Spanish inheritance law, inheritance tax or last wills
Please contact us for more information about Spanish inheritance law procedures, inheritance/donation tax or signing a Spanish will for your Spanish assets.
Also, you can read more about using the relatively new European Certificate of Succession instead of the national Declaration of Law for an international inheritance in our article.
More information about Spanish inheritance law, inheritance process and our law firm C&D Solicitors in Torrox, Malaga (Andalusia) you can watch in this video.