Do I need a Spanish Will?
All of your affairs can be dealt with in the UK with a UK Will. Remember a UK Will can be altered in the future if circumstances change and can be drafted to revoke all previous Wills ‘in any location’. You therefore have all the flexibility you need built in to secure the future interest of your family. Of course, if you still feel that you require a Spanish Will to deal with additional Spanish assets, Wincham Executor & Trustee Company Limited will be only too pleased to help you with this as well. However, please consider the comments below before deciding how you wish to proceed.
What happens upon death in Spain?
At present the law in Spain means that any assets held in Spain whether it is a property or bank account would be frozen upon the death of any of the owners. You will be unable to deal with or access any money and you would not be able to sell any property until such time as you have obtained Spanish Probate. In order to obtain a Spanish Probate you will require an Abagado (Spanish lawyer) and the beneficiaries will be liable to pay any inheritance tax personally. Unlike the UK the inheritance tax is paid by the individual beneficiary based upon their circumstances not by the Estate. This means that the beneficiary will have to pay the tax out of their own pocket and cannot access Estate funds (or sell the property) to obtain the tax. This often causes a big problem and is the reason why so many beneficiaries simply walk away from a Spanish inheritance.
What happens if you are married?
If you are married or you have a joint account in Spain then it means that your Spouse or joint account holder will be unable to access funds in that account until probate has been completed in Spain. This often leaves them in the position of being unable to make funeral arrangements or return to the UK as they do not have access to their funds.
What happens if your beneficiaries don’t live in Spain?
To deal with the sale of the property or to arrange for the transfer into their own names the beneficiaries will need to attend Spain personally to obtain NIE numbers and deal with Notaries and Spanish authorities often in a country that they are not familiar with. This is often a very daunting task but we can assist with every step and guide you through the whole process with the assistance of our multi-lingual staff based in our Spanish office.
If you still feel that you need a Spanish Will we will be happy to prepare one on your behalf however please be aware that your UK Will can deal with any worldwide asset and we can arrange to simply have it translated and apostilled to satisfy the Spanish authorities.
A Spanish Will is registered in a central location in Madrid and once it has been registered you cannot proceed to change it without going through the process of cancelling the old one through the Notary that dealt with your original Will. This can be time consuming and very costly.
What is different in the UK?
In the UK if you wish to change your Will you simply write a new one stating that the old one is revoked.
The majority of people who are considering making a Spanish Will do so because they own property in Spain. We offer a service which can assist you with holding your Spanish property in a tax efficient way which will negate the need for a Spanish Will. You will then be able to prepare a UK Will to deal with all of your worldwide assets.
We would be pleased to explain the differences between UK and Spanish jurisdictions and advise you generally in relation to your particular circumstances and needs. Please contact us by telephone on +44(0)3333 441 176, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wincham Group of companies have (PI) Professional Indemnity Insurance and HMRC Money Laundering Regulation Licence.
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Alicante Office: Av. Ejercitos Espanoles 10 | Edificio Apolo VII | Calpe, 03710 | Alicante | Costa Blanca | Spain
Spain Tel: 0034 965 830 991