What happens if you don’t have a will in Spain?


Posted and filed under Case Study, Legal Issues in Spain, Wills, Probate, Donation and Inheritance.

don't have a will in Spain?

All clients – please read this if you do not have a Spanish Will, and are British or Irish with assets in Spain.

We are seeing many cases whereby someone has passed away and it is assumed that the situation is the same as in Ireland and in Britain, that there is the principle of survivorship.

In these countries, property held jointly is not included in the deceased’s estate as the principle of survivorship applies to such property. On the death of one joint owner, usually it would be husband and wife, his interest automatically passes to the survivors.

Once the death certificate is obtained the property passes to the survivor(s). This means that the property does not form part of the testator’s assets for the purposes of any Will in Britain or Ireland. Such property is outside the Will and is not considered when administering the estate. Very simple and easy.

However, please do not assume that if you own a property in Spain, thus you do not need a Will.

Situation in Spain

The situation here is DIFFERENT, and if there is no Will it will be much more costly than if there had been, because the next of kin or executors are going to have to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration. The Grant issues to the person or persons who were their nearest next of kin at the date of death.

Then this grant will be needed in Spain for the Notary to transfer the property, bank account, car or other assets into the names of the inheritor or inheritors.

If I tell you that a Spanish Will made with us costs 181€.50€ per person or 338.80€ for a couple, and Letters of Administration in the UK cost upwards of 1,200 pounds sterling, you can see the sense in getting Spanish Wills in place next time you are out here in Spain.  It will save your next of kin not only a lot of money but also a lot of hassle involving solicitors and the Foreign Office and translations.

Just email enquiries@spanishsolutions.net and we will send you a simple form to complete.

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