A customer wrote to us today with a query regarding changes to Wills in Spain (we have their authority to relay this story).
They said “Attached is a copy of our daughter’s will. In this Will she leaves the property in Spain to a named person. She no longer wants to do this and wishes to leave it to her brother who is the 2nd beneficiary at the moment.So all that needs to be done is a name change as the rest of the document remains the same.
If, on the original document, she puts her brother’s name in there, signs the alteration and gets it witnessed would that be legal in Spain. How do changes to Wills in Spain work?”
The answer unfortunately is that this would definitely not be valid. Any alterations to Wills in Spain have to be done through a Notary and registered in the Last Wills Registry in Madrid, as this original one would be.
If a client is in Spain soon they can make a new Will at the Notary here and we have a list of clients wishing to do so (due to the State of Alarm). If not,and someone is in another country, then the only option is to see lawyer in that country and get a new Will drawn up there. Which would need to expressly revoke the Spanish Will or the Spanish Will would still stand.
In the event of death Spain would require a grant of probate from the home country with a Hague Apostille as no valid Spanish Will then. Which would be time consuming and maybe expensive, so as soon as it is possible, it would be wise to make a new Spanish Will and change the UK one again. Therefore it is not an easy process. None of this can be done online on the internet it needs a person in Spain at the Notary.
Please contact us if we can help with a new Will in Spain or changes to Wills in Spain.