Case Study – Probate


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A new customer asked us recently how they could take someone´s name off their property deeds in Spain. We asked if they could let us have a bit more background as there can be several reasons for doing this (a divorce or separation, business partners splitting, or simply a rearrangement of family assets). In this case, the lady explained that her husband had recently died and she needs to take his name off her deeds and is looking to sell the property.

The Process

We explained to her that a property in Spain needs transferring to the inheritor/s before it can be sold, through a probate process in Spain, which consists of having a look at the assets held by the deceased in Spain (both joint and sole assets) and their liabilities. Assets could consist of property, cars, motorbikes, life insurance and even valuables such as antiques. Liabilities would be deducted to establish the asset base on which tax would be paid and then we would be able to give an estimate of the provision of funds required to complete the probate. Inheritance tax allowances for spouses and children are quite generous in the Valencia Community.


To proceed with dealing with a probate we need the following documents:-

In order to proceed with the probate in Spain, we would require the following documents:

– a copy of the Last Will (in Spain) or country of origin.
– if no Spanish Will, we will also need Grant of Probate or similar from the country of origin
– if there is no Will at all we will need letters of administration or similar from the country of origin

(I cannot emphasise enough how much simpler and easier it is to have a Spanish Will in place)

We also need:-

– a copy of the deeds of the property or properties in Spain

– the original death certificate

– copy of council tax bill (suma) for 2016

– copy of deceased passport and NIE

– copies of heirs passports

– original heirs NIES (if available, if not, we will help you getting them)

– bank statement as at the date of death

– are there other assets? Cars, motorbikes, antiques? If a car then we need a copy fo the log book, ITV and road tax.

– is there a mortgage on the property? If so, we need a copy of the mortgage deeds and a copy of the last payment.

– is there a life insurance policy? If so, we need a copy of the policy.


We can guide you through the paperwork anyway. It is hard enough dealing with the loss of a loved one, let alone having to think about changing the ownership on a Spanish property. But if there is the inheritance tax, then it needs to be paid within six months from the date of death so these things do need to be dealt with.

It is a definite advantage for many people that when dealing with a probate in Spain that they can speak English with someone and have quick simple communication, good responses etc. We can assure you of that. If you would like some help dealing with a probate in Spain, please contact Amanda


  • Mr. Mark Wright

    Hi , we sadly lost my Father March 2021 here in UK he did not have residency in Spain ,with dealing in matters in UK we have not yet dealt with probate in Spain with my Mother being named jointly on deeds to villa , do we need to action this with in six months, the property is on costa blanca any guidance to inheritance tax, and with no flights available just yet aware time is ticking , would giving a Spanish power of attorney be more helpful to us. many thanks. Mark

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Mark, I am going to send you an email on this, Kind regards Amanda

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