Top Tips for Making a Will in Spain

Nobody wants to think about dying. But the fact is, it's going to happen one day, sooner or later.

You'll make things easier on your loved ones during a difficult time if you're prepared for it.

If you own property in Spain, making a will in Spain should be a priority for you. Even as a non-resident property owner Spanish law will apply to your estate if there is no will. This could mean your property will not go to the people you want it to go to.

Let's take a look at these top tips for making a will in Spain.

1. Understand the Spanish Inheritance Law

If you are a British citizen, you may assume that the will you file in Britain will ensure that your estate is divided how you wish. However, the Spanish Inheritance Law may fiddle with your plans.

Countries have different laws regarding what happens to estates when people die. Spain's inheritance law is quite different than Britain's. 

As you may know, in Britain you can bequeath your possessions to whoever you want. In Spain, on the other hand, a certain portion of your estate must go to certain relatives--usually spouse and children. You have complete say over where only one-third of your estate will go.

If you don't make a Spanish will, this law will automatically apply to your estate. To avoid this, draw up a Spanish will and have a specific statement in it that you wish for your country of nationality's laws to apply. 

2. Know the 3 Types

There are 3 types of Spanish wills that you can choose from. They are the holographic, closed, and open.

You must handwrite holographic wills yourself. A couple of problems with going this route is that you don't get any advice from an expert and it can be easy to lose.  

The big pain, however, is the need to go to court for validation upon your death.

A closed will is a little better in that you take it to a notary and have it sealed up. However, going to court for validation is still necessary.

To make things easier on your beneficiaries, an open will is the best choice. You draw this will up in front of the notary. Thus, you can ask for advice as you work on it. 

The biggest advantages, though, are that the notary will register it with the Registry of Last Wills to ensure it won't get lost and there's no need for court validation upon your death. 

3. Get Your Documents Together

There is a lot of documentation that your beneficiaries will have to provide upon your death. This can include your bank statements, death certificate, property deeds, life insurance certificate, vehicle documents, etc.

Some documents won't be available until you actually die. But your beneficiaries will appreciate you gathering the documents that are available now and having them together in a safe place for them. 

Making a Will in Spain

If you own property in Spain, making a will in Spain is a very important step. It's not too expensive and will ensure that your property goes where you want it to go when you die. 

For more information about living in Spain, be sure to check out more of our blog. We regularly update it with pertinent information for property owners from out of the country.