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Does an English Will Cover Spanish Property?

Foreign nationals with assets in Spain often fail to draft a local Will, leaving beneficiaries unsure if the English Will that was created will cover Spanish property owned by the deceased.

The process for dealing with an inheritance under a foreign Will is in fact the same as that for a Spanish Will with the only addition being that all of the relevant documents need to be legalised and officially translated so that the Spanish notary can draw-up the necessary Spanish documentation allowing for assets to be distributed to the heirs. Unfortunately this will add to the expense and in addition can delay the process substantially.

In order for a foreign Will, for example an English will, to be valid and given effect to in Spain, it needs to be verified as being:

  • A valid will with regard to inheritance laws in England & Wales
  • That the testator was of sound mind
  • Any executor or trustees named in the will are empowered to administer the estate

A will in the UK will typically name one or more executors to handle testamentary matters when the testator dies. The executor should request a ‘Grant of Probate’ which is an official document issued by the probate registry in the UK that certifies the executor as having the right to deal with the assets of the testator.

This may be done personally or a solicitor can make the application for a fee.

Once the Grant of Probate has been issued by the probate registry, that document must be legalised by having the Hague Apostille stamp attached by a Notary Public whereupon it is ready to be translated into Spanish. This can be done by either sending it to an sworn translator in Spain or to the closest Spanish consulate.

Once the Will has been legalised and translated it is simply a matter of following the standard process for an inheritance under a Spanish will.

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Will Drafting Service

Available in the following locations: Alicante, Arrecife, Barcelona, Benidorm, Cadiz, Castellon, Córdoba, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Gandia, Granada, Jaen, L`Eliana, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas, Los Alcázares, Los Cristianos, Madrid, Malaga, Marbella, Maspalomas, Mazarron, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Puerto del Rosario, Puzol, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez Malaga, Vigo, Zaragoza.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.


1Who is this service for?

For anyone who wishes to control the manner in which their estate is distributed under their own laws rather than the laws of the State where their assets are located.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Obtain the details of the assets comprising the estate and instructions on how the estate should be distributed
  • The Will is drafted in both English and local language to ensure conformity with clients’ intentions
  • The Will is drawn-up in the office of a conveniently located public notary.
  • Attendance at the signing of the Will
  • Handover of an official copy of the Last Will and Testament
Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

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