Wills Between Countries – Case Study 2019

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Last week, we had this enquiry from a client: (Wills Between Countries)

Good Morning, my mother passed away and has a property and assets in Bendidorm and I believe there is a will ( although I have not seen it ) and a property and assets in the UK where NO WILL has been found.

Is it possible that her English assets could be included in her Spanish will, or her English will is stored with the Spanish one?

If there is no English Will but a Spanish one, under UK law will her wishes in Spain be used as her wishes in the UK or will it go to probate please?

I would so appreciate your advice. Many thanks.

Spanish Solutions response

 

Firstly, I am sorry about your mother.

Regarding your queries, in Spain there is a central Wills registry and the first thing we always have to do is to send an original apostilled death certificate to Madrid to find out if there was a Last Will in Spain and if so, what Notary it was made at. A Spanish Will just covers all assets in Spain. We cannot search online.

For the UK, there is a website, just go on here and press the button https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

Then you put in her name and year of death and it will show if there was a UK Will.

For the UK, even if there was a UK Will, UK probate is needed for Estates over a certain amount (and with a property and assets you will need to arrange this) but you need to use a UK solicitor for advice on this. By the way, quotes for UK probate and Administration vary, get a couple of quotes at least.

If there is a Spanish Will, it covers Spanish assets only. Although you could speak to a UK solicitor to see if it could be used in an for UK probate application, I do not think it can, and it would depend on the wording. That is UK jurisdiction for this advice.

If no Spanish Will and a UK Will then Grant of Probate needs applying for to prove in Spain who is the heir, if no UK Will Letters of Administration (both needed in UK for the Estate).

If no UK Will, then Letters of Administration will need to be applied for, for use in Spain and England https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/if-the-person-didnt-leave-a-will

Conclusions

So basically for Spain, we would need just a Spanish Will (no UK probate) or UK probate (if a UK Will) or Letters of Administration (if no UK Will).

If you have not made a will, we would strongly ad­vise you to do so.  There is no harm in tak­ing ac­tion now and get­ting this ar­ranged as this is a def­in­ite change. Please contact us to ar­range your new Will.

2 Comments

  • Nick Vince

    As a beneficiary to my sister’s Estate in 2005 I received a letter from my Sister attached to Will confirming this, and that “at last I have rectified the situation ” by this she referred to the fact that at the insistance of her deceased husband in 1997 he insisted I was to receive nothing .
    In 2019 my sister passed away and not being told anything by her Uk Solocitor I instructed a Spanish lawyer who discovered that another Will was made that gave me nothing upon her death. I find it strange that if this decision was of her own making she never informed verbally or in writing . Two firms in uk have told me to wait until Grant of Probate has been received ? I dont know what tactic this is for.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Nicky,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Amanda, our paralegal, will be in contact with you shortly to discuss this matter further.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

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