Wills and Probate in Spain

All you need to know about Wills ans Probate in Spain.

Wills in Spain

A UK or Irish resident or domiciled person who has assets in Spain, in the form of property, bank accounts etc. should make a Spanish Will. The will must detail exactly what they wish to happen in the event of death. If you are resident of another country, then you need to take advice given the situation in your country.

When do you need a Spanish Will?

Whenever there is more than one person listed on the title deeds of a property, a Will should be made by each person.

A Spanish Will only applies to assets in Spain, and would have no legality in any other country.  In the case where a will has been made only in the country of birth, the process of having this recognised in Spain is lengthy and can be expensive as the documents need to be officially translated and apostilled. In addition, after the translations, it could be that the Will is not accepted in Spain.

What happen if you don’t have a Spanish Will?

If an English or Irish person dies without making a Will, either in Spain or in their home country, a certificate would need to be obtained from the General Register Office in the home country (there is a separate office for England & Wales, one for Scotland, one for Northern Ireland and one for Ireland). This certificate then needs to be officially translated and apostilled.

With the minimum amount of fuss, we prepare Spanish Wills for clients owning property in Spain. Our service includes the preparation of the Will and translation in front of the Notary.

Once signed, you can be assured that your assets will be dealt with in the manner that you wish, and avoid expensive and timely delays which occur when no Will has been made in Spain.


Probate in Spain is very different from Probate in the UK or Ireland. It is unusual for executors to be appointed and normally a Spanish lawyer will assist the beneficiaries with the process, with a Power of Attorney.  Any document coming from abroad such as a UK or Irish Will first needs to be apostilled and then officially translated. We will check whether there was a Spanish Will registered at the Wills Registry in Madrid.

Also, it may be necessary to obtain a copy of the UK or Irish Probate or Letters of Administration if there was no Will. Our lawyer can assist by helping you through the entire process, including payment of Inheritance Tax and representing you at the Spanish notary under a Power of Attorney.

If you want more information about Wills and Probate in Spain, please contact us.

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