"In this world, nothing can be said
to be certain, except death and taxes”. Those wise and somewhat sad words were
uttered by Benjamin Franklin in 1789, and of course, nothing has changed in the
So, the firm recommendation is to
get yourself a Spanish Will prepared, if you own a Spanish property and/or have
assets in Spain. It will not override any Will you have organized in the UK or
Ireland. It will simply allow your beneficiaries to deal with your Spanish
Estate and assets speedily and this is important. In Spanish Law, they have 6
months from the date of death to pay IHT (Spanish Inheritance Tax). It is most
unusual for the English probate to be dealt with in time to allow this deadline
to be met – and this will result in the accrual of tax surcharges and interest.
As already revealed, you can include
your Spanish property and assets on your UK or Irish will and leave it at that.
However, after death, before the inheritance procedure can begin, an official
translator, the Foreign Office, and lawyers will have to become involved – but
that takes time and will cost money. It seems to be prudent to arrange a
Spanish Will in the first place.
While in Spain, there are strict
rules about who can and cannot inherit, but they do not apply to you. As a UK
or Irish national, you can choose who you want the inheritor/s to be.
In theory it is possible for you to
make your own Spanish Will. It would need to be translated into Spanish by a
qualified translator, and be presented to a Notary Office for signature for the
document to become legal. Another downside is that although the Notary will be
able to advise on legal matters – they are not qualified to talk about
inheritance tax or the pitfalls and advisability of the inheritance
arrangements you are proposing. Consequently, it seems sensible to arrange for
a Spanish Will and have it professionally prepared. As property advisor’s based
in Moraira, we obviously come across these needs on a regular basis as it’s all
part of the buying
process and related
services, therefore are able to suggest some local lawyers that can help if