Q. My aunt bought a property in Spain with her partner 5 years ago; he died 3 years ago. In the partner’s Will, he left the property share to her, but we have done nothing to change the joint ownership? Can my aunt sell the property now?
A. Your aunt cannot sell what is not hers. She has to organise a probate for her partner and change the ownership to fully hers at the land registry prior to (or simultaneously with) selling the property. Your aunt would have to hire a Spanish legal firm and once the property is fully in her name she is free to do with it as she pleases. If we can help anyone with our legal service for probates, please contact us.
Q. I own a property in Spain with my wife and we have recently divorced (decree absolute) in England. As part of the divorce, it was agreed that the Spanish property would be transferred to me? How is this done and how much does it cost?
A. This is very common as many couples owning property in joint names in Spain and when the relationship comes to an end they decide that one of them will assume full ownership. The transaction has to take place at the Notary as a Division of Joint Ownership and the expenses involved are Stamp Duty on the value of the outgoing share, and notary, land registry and lawyer’s fees.
The party with the outgoing share is liable for a tax on the increase in the value of the property (whether they are non-resident or resident for taxes in Spain). The tax is only applicable if there has been an increase in value.
Please contact us if we can help with any advice regarding changes of ownership.