Is the law the same when you buy a property in Spain?

Take advice from a Spanish lawyer.

At Just Law Solicitors, we have been advising our clients since 1992. As you will no doubt appreciate a significant number of them were clients who were buying properties in Spain. We started long before the internet and social media. Lately we have seen some unqualified people giving advice on legal issues in Spain. One such person on TIKTOK who is the business of selling properties stated that the law changes wherever you buy a house in Spain. This categorically is not the case. It is right to say that taxes and inheritance issues vary where you buy a house in Spain. The process, re the purchase remains the same throughout Spain. For a more detailed explanation, see below. Whilst there is no legal requirement to do so, always take legal advice from a registered Spanish lawyer. Other classics include just sign the reservation contract and then seek legal advice. Of course we appreciate that not everyone relies on TIKTOK.

Spain is administratively divided into different historical regions which are subject to common legislation throughout the country, however, precisely because of this historical connotation certain facets are regulated differently in each of the areas. These particularities affect the matrimonial property regime and inheritance law.

We have heard many times from alleged experts, consultants, and advisors that it is convenient to choose a local advisor who knows the laws of the place, however, this can only be said by those “advisors” who have not studied law and therefore cannot be registered in a Spanish Bar Association, of course every lawyer in Spain has to know all the legal differences between the different Spanish territories.

Thus, for example, one of the most important differences that those who marry in Spain should know is that there are and coexist different matrimonial property regimes, that is, how the assets of the spouses are considered the property of each of them or both, even when the other has not participated in the acquisition of the property.

These matrimonial regimes are as follows:

1.      Community of property regime: In this regime, the assets acquired during the marriage are considered the common property of both spouses. Each is entitled to half of the benefits and economic burdens generated during the union. If a divorce or death occurs, the property is divided equally between spouses and heirs. This is the general regime in almost all of Spain.
2.      Separation of property regime: Under this regime, to put it simply, “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.” Each spouse retains exclusive ownership of the property he or she had before the marriage and the property acquired during the marriage. There is no community of property, and each freely manages and disposes of its own assets. This is the usual regime in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
3.      Mixed regime: It combines elements of community of property and separation of property. For example, property acquired before marriage may be considered separate, while property acquired during marriage is shared.

All these regimes are completely legal throughout the Spanish territory, the only difference is that if you get married in a place where the general regime or the separation of property regime applies, that will be your matrimonial property regime automatically, so if you want to change it you will have to grant the appropriate marriage agreements that regulate your economic situation in your marriage.
Spouses need to understand the implications of each regime and, if necessary, to enter into prenuptial agreements to tailor the rules to their specific needs.

To Conclude:

If you would like to move to Spain, or you would like to buy a property in Spain get in touch with us at Just Law Solicitors, Do this before you sign of pay anything.

Remember we have the Move to Spain Facebook group with over 175,000 members and we also have the Move to Spain podcast. We can also assist with Spanish visas, for example the non lucrative visa, NLV the digital nomad visa, DNV and the golden visa. We also have a specialist Spanish tax lawyer.

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