One of the questions we get asked on numerous occasions here at Just Law Solicitors is do I need to have a Spanish will? The short answer is you don’t legally need to have a Spanish will just like for example a will in the United Kingdom. However, as lawyers here in Spain we recommended it.
The next question we get asked is do I need to have a lawyer draft the will? Again you don’t legally need to have a lawyer draft your will but it’s recommended.
So what is a will? The will is a document signed on behalf of a Notary in which you will state the rules that will be applied in the event of the death of the person who makes that will. That rules will refer, mainly, to who the heirs will be, the law that will be applicable to the inheritance process, particularly important for citizens of another country, and rules that we will discuss in this article.
Why is it recommended to make a will in Spain? If you don’t the heirs will not be able to directly sign their acceptance or rejection of the inheritance. They will have to sign what is called a “declaration of heirs” first instead.
Anyone can make a will in Spain, and you can make as many wills as necessary. It is important to say in each will whether or not we want that will to annul or cancel the previous one.
It is important to state in detail who will be the heirs, and the relationship with the person who makes the will.
Likewise, it is important to state which law you want to apply to your inheritance, which is, Spanish law or the personal law of the person making the will. For example, a citizen of the United Kingdom may choose to apply UK or Spanish law to his future inheritance. In each case, we will advise the client on which law is most beneficial. One of the reasons that it’s recommended to have a lawyer advise you.
It must be taken into account that, if the person does not make a will, not only will the inheritance process be more complicated and expensive, in addition, the heirs can only be the so-called “forced heirs”, that is, those people who by law have the right to receive a part of the inheritance.
For all these reasons, it is essential, if you have any assets in Spain for example a property or money you should make a will. You should consult a lawyer beforehand to advise you on the clauses that you must introduce according to your specific case and your circumstances.
At Just Law Solicitors we can of course help with other legal issue that you may have if you want to live in Spain. For example a Spanish work visa. Also any other visa such as the non lucrative visa, the golden visa and registering as self employed known as autonomo here in Spain. We can also assist with the new digital nomad visa ‘DNV’ which came into force in 2023 here in Spain, so you can work from home in Spain.
If you plan on buying a property here in Spain, we can help you with the whole process but it’s important not to sign or pay anything until you’ve had advice from us. We can assist the non lucrative visa ‘NLV’ and opening a Spanish bank account.
If you are thinking about moving to Spain, contact us so we can give you the proper advice according to your circumstances. We are Spanish qualified and registered lawyers at the Bar Association.
We are also proud to have a tax department with a Spanish qualified tax advisor and accountant formerly of Price Waterhouse and KPMG.
We also have a family law department. Sometimes it’s more beneficial for one party to get divorced here in Spain as opposed to for example the United Kingdom. We can also advise on custody and child maintenance here in Spain.
Malaga – Fuengirola – Marbella and online.