Does an English Will Cover Spanish Property?

inheritance tax in spain non-spanish wills

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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Testimonials for our Will Drafting Service service
  • Claire
    Claire, Valencia

    Ramon was very helpful and professional. He listened to our requests carefully and we will be using him again if we need anymore legal services.


    Mar 28, 2019
  • Colin Johnson
    Colin Johnson, Sevilla

    Very helpful, especially as English and Spanish law has it's differences and my final document - a testament -  required the services of a notary and the final translation.


    A pleasure to meet Rafael and to discuss my needs and he made the whole process straightforward with lots of common sense solutions. ***** 5 stars and highly recommended.


    Mar 15, 2019
  • Gary Moore
    Gary Moore, Gandia

    Fransisca is 1st class and very professional and extremely caring


    Mar 12, 2019
  • Gary Moore
    Gary Moore, Gandia

    Francisca is a first-class Professional ' puts u at ease.


    100% up to date and reliable.  I would not consider using anyone else.


    Feb 28, 2019
  • Alison Hamilton
    Alison Hamilton, Fuengirola

    Kept us informed every step of the way, very efficient and very pro active.


    Absolutely excellent!


    Feb 12, 2019
  • Patrick Crean
    Patrick Crean, Almerimar

    Juan was fantastic. Very easy to understand and very pleasant. I would definitely use his service again.


    Jul 05, 2018
  • Ken & Margaret
    Ken & Margaret, Torrevieja

    Pedro was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more. We would definitely recommend his services to friends.


    May 24, 2018
  • Barry Gracey
    Barry Gracey, Melbourne, Australia

    I found Jaime helpful and responded promptly to my emails.


    I was very happy with the service provided and if needed would use him in the future


    May 07, 2018
  • Nigel Bateman (Fuengirola)
    Nigel Bateman (Fuengirola)

    Excellent service, very reasonable, fluent English and totally professional. I would not hesitate to recommend this highly skilled team.


    Apr 09, 2018
  • Julia Alcock
    Julia Alcock, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria

    Esther was very friendly and approachable. She was professional and answered any questions I asked. We would definitely use her again in the future.


    Feb 22, 2018
  • John Crompton
    John Crompton, UK

    Very satisfied with the service that Oliver provided.


    Oliver was professional, approachable and his fees were very reasonable.


    I will definitely use his services again!


    Nov 25, 2017
  • K West
    K West, Nerja

    Beatriz spoke English more or less fluently, and put me and my wife at ease with what can be a difficult process. She could have improved on written communication at the end of the process but would definitely use her services again.


    Aug 07, 2017
  • Jackie Stevenson
    Jackie Stevenson, Gran Canaria

    Esther is informative and extremely helpful and above all very professional.


    I would definitely use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Jul 19, 2017
  • Aziz Oudjida
    Aziz Oudjida, Mijas Flores

    We couldn't have hoped for better lawyer than Mr Francisco. He is always responsive, always available and approachable, with a remarkable ability to explain and provide legal solution. But more important, he strikes me as a very good and genuine person, honest and very competent.


    I can say without a doubt in my mind that Mr Francisco stand well above all these lawyers.


    Jun 02, 2017
  • Jim Shanks
    Jim Shanks, Denia

    Manuel is a consummate professional with a quietly confident manner that is highly reassuring to the layperson unversed in legal matters.


    I will definitely use Manuel´s services in the future should such need arise.


    Highly recommended.


    Mar 09, 2017
  • June Matthews
    June Matthews, Botanico

    More than helpful, very professional, understood our requirements straight away and provided us with our solutions.


    Very impressed with her work ethics, would definitely use her services again.


    Feb 06, 2017
  • Mrs. J.B.
    Mrs. J.B., Cordoba

    Welcoming manner and kind comments about the fact. Extremely approachable.


    Highly competent understanding of and patient explanations regarding my many questions.


    Very fairly priced to do with the making of a Will.


    Jan 12, 2017
  • Mark Watson
    Mark Watson, Scotland

    Rosa was very professional.


    She took time to explain problems and guided us thru a very difficult conveyance.


    I would recommend Rosa to anyone that requires advice on selling a property. She is very knowledgeable and fair with her charges.


    I wished we had her helping us when we bought the property.


    Nov 23, 2016
  • RH
    RH, UK

    The lawyer Beatriz responded to our email very quickly and when we arrived in Fuerteventura all the paperwork was ready to sign and everything was dealt with on the same day.


    Nov 14, 2016
  • Chris
    Chris, Valencia

    Very good communication by phone and email/whatsapp also.


    Ramon listened and gave very useful advice and was very good value for money. He explained everything I needed to know and I trusted him which was key as other companies seemed to quote very high amounts probably because I don’t know the system here and can’t speak Spanish well enough.


    Nov 07, 2016
  • AD
    AD, Alicante

    Jose gave me information on tax implications of different inheritance options, with forms, figures and useful advice for the future.


    He was very friendly and approachable, I would you use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Oct 15, 2016
  • JMH
    JMH, Mallorca

    I was able to talk things through and my lawyer was able to help me find solutions and alternatives to my problems without it costing a fortune but providing me with what I needed.


    Rosa was very approachable and professional.


    Oct 11, 2016
  • Lorraine Booty
    Lorraine Booty, Torrevieja

    Carmen provided a very efficient and immediate service.


    We would definitely use the service again.


    Sep 13, 2016
  • Caroline & Kevin
    Caroline & Kevin, UK

    Alvaro was approachable, reliable and his instructions were clear. He was easy to communicate with and we felt he had our best interests at heart.


    His English is excellent and he offered excellent value for money.


    Sep 02, 2016
  • VB
    VB, UK

    Fernando was very professional, understanding, replied immediately to my emails.


    He speaks english fluently.


    Jul 01, 2016
  • Brian Eastwood
    Brian Eastwood, Ibiza

    Extremely professional and able to convey everything perfectly in English. The service provided was very efficient, quick and friendly.


    The rate quoted for the work was better than similar legal practices in Santa Eularia del Rio and Ibiza town.


    We have already recommended Cristina to several other people.


    Mar 07, 2016
  • AHJ
    AHJ, Alicante

    I found José personable, articulate and very helpful.


    Almost all reasons for going to a lawyer are stressful but I found his manner and advice made the process of my divorce straightforward and without complications.


    Mar 07, 2016
  • M Breeze
    M Breeze, Nuneaton

    Very satisfied with the service.


    Erardo was extremely helpful – he couldn’t have done more. I will definitely use his services in the future.


    Feb 25, 2016
  • Gill Turner
    Gill Turner, Torrevieja

    Both the lawyer and his legal assistant were very helpful and patient with all the questions asked- They put us at ease and were very efficient.


    Very satisfied overall with service, and would definitely use the service again.


    Feb 19, 2016
  • Santi Perez
    Santi Perez, UK

    Very helpful & able to communicate both in Spanish & English.


    He couldn’t have done more. Very satisfied.


    Jan 15, 2016
  • Alan lewis
    Alan lewis, UK

    Our lawyer was friendly, took trouble to understand our problems and charged a reasonable fee. The whole process was easy and efficient.


    Nov 01, 2015
  • Brian Thomas
    Brian Thomas, Priego

    A very fast response to my inquiry, Francisco has excellent English and gave us a very friendly and professional service that we feel was value for money.


    We do recommend him to our friends.


    Oct 31, 2015
  • Peter H David
    Peter H David, Mallorca

    Rosa could not have been more helpful and professional in providing us with what we needed accomplishing in very short space of time.


    We will certainly be in touch with her again the next time we need legal service.


    Oct 30, 2015
  • Robert Jasso
    Robert Jasso, Palafrugell

    Emma was very professional. She explained the legalities of our will and what to expect before we met with the Notary.

    This was of great service to us. She is very approachable and is very client oriented.


    We would want to use her again.


    Jun 25, 2015
  • Patricia Allen
    Patricia Allen, Fuerteventura

    Our lawyer Beatriz was excellent. She understood my initial query immediately and answered all our concerns.


    The price quoted was the price we were charged. I would definitely use her again.


    Mar 12, 2015
  • Neil Coates
    Neil Coates, Mallorca

    Our lawyer listened attentively to what we wanted, was pleasant and efficient. There were no linguistic problems.


    Although I speak some Spanish, all our business was conducted in English.


    I was very satisfied with the service provided.


    Feb 13, 2015
  • Dennis F Beecroft
    Dennis F Beecroft, San Miguel de Salinas

    Easy to approach both business and conversationally.


    Information good and execution of decisions good. Simply no complaints.


    Feb 03, 2015
  • Martin Pettit
    Martin Pettit, Cheltenham

    Everything was explained clearly and concisely. Appointments were on time and the Notary visit was very well organised.


    I was very satisfied with the service and would definitely use this lawyer in the future.


    Jan 30, 2015
  • James Charles
    James Charles, Denia

    Jose-Antonio was extremely helpful, couldn't have done more.


    In terms of responsiveness, understanding, value for money, ability to explain and provide appropriate legal solutions, I would give him top-marks on all.


    Jan 20, 2015
  • GT
    GT, Puente Don Manuel, Velez

    Overall very satisfied with the service. House purchase went through quickly and no hitches.


    Beatriz always answered calls and emails promptly when we had any questions. She arranged notary as near to our house as possible. Would definitely use this lawyer in the future.


    Nov 28, 2014
  • Susan Basham-Gamble
    Susan Basham-Gamble, Wokingham

    My lawyer was very helpful and professional giving a personalised service and nothing was too much trouble. All questions and queries were answered fully.


    Excellent value for money and good advice given throughout. Will definitely use his services again.


    Nov 09, 2014
  • Frank Balmer
    Frank Balmer, Teresa de Cofrentes

    Very satisfied. Our lawyer was extremely helpful and had more or less fluent English.


    He was very friendly, explained everything we needed to know. We couldn’t have asked for better service.


    Oct 31, 2014
  • NW
    NW, London

    My lawyer was extremely helpful, couldn't have done more. I was very satisfied with the service provided.


    His English was of a sufficient level and I found him to be personable and professional.


    Oct 28, 2014
  • Evelyn Lindsay
    Evelyn Lindsay, Aberdeen

    As I am elderly and do not speak Spanish I found the service I received was excellent, everything explained in easy, understandable language and Rosa’s English was fantastic.


    Also the cost was very reasonable as I am only on a state pension. In the future if I need any legal advice I will contact her again.


    Sep 15, 2014
  • George Lawrence
    George Lawrence, Sada

    Our lawyer was very well mannered, extremely kind and helpful and was very patient and if I did not understand him, there was no problem in explaining it 2-3 times to make sure things were absolutely clearly understood.


    It took me 19 phone calls between Sada and A Coruña to find someone of his understanding and quality. I have no problems in recommending him to any of my friends – English or Spanish. And I wish to say thank you very much, to one and all.


    Aug 21, 2014
  • Keith & Sandra Brown
    Keith & Sandra Brown, Villaviciosa

    Our lawyer was friendly and helpful with a very good command of the English language.


    Even payment for their services could be paid, by bank transfer, directly into their nominated bank account.


    We would definitely use their services again whenever necessary.


    Aug 07, 2014
  • Robert Short & Lenka
    Robert Short & Lenka, Benidorm

    The lawyer did an excellent job and helped us through everything we had to do and advised what would be best for us.


    Service was very good and the price was also resonable. We would certainly use him again.


    All processes he managed to organise in short time, which was helpful. Thank you.


    May 31, 2014
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