Dementia and Estate Planning in Spain

The Spanish Civil Code

It is not uncommon nowadays for our firm to receive enquiries from clients worried about the impact of debilitating diseases of dementia such as Alzheimer’s on their relatives, in particular with regard to the management of their assets in Spain.

Of course it is almost always recommended to create a last will and testament in Spain to deal with any Spanish assets. The Spanish Civil Code states however, as a general rule, that people under 14 years old and anyone suffering a mental illness may not create an effective Will. Should the Will have been drafted before the mental illness affected the individual creating the will, then it is legally valid.

 

Mental Capacity

When we talk about mental illnesses we are particularly concerned with the individual’s mental capacity i.e. any mental disorder or any situation that affects the power of a person to express their intention or will.

In order to determine the extent of any mental incapacity, usually a capability test is carried out by the Notary, where the will is drawn-up. However it is always good to get a certification in advance from a doctor that declares the person as having such capacity in cases where there might be any doubt.

Should the disease have progressed to the point that it is not possible to create a valid will then it will become necessary to appoint a guardian who will do this on their behalf. This will require civil proceedings to be undertaken in court, which will determine who the guardians are and also the attributions, obligations and prohibitions that the guardian is subject to, such as are laid out in title X of the Spanish Civil code.

 

Exequatur & Enduring Power of Attorney

Of course, there are many examples of those who have undergone this procedure in their home country. If this is the case, then the ‘guardianship’ already obtained in the foreign jurisdiction may be validated via the exequatur procedure, which is how most foreign court orders are enforced in Spain.

Any ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’ created  in a foreign jurisdiction and which allows you to manage the affairs of someone after they become mentally incapacitated will need to be legalised, ie have the Hague Apostille attached and the power of attorney will need to be translated into Spanish by an approved translator so that it may be used in Spain.

In any event, any last will and testament that a guardian makes in the name of the person they represent must meet the Spanish regulations for valid Wills and we need to make sure

that is not going against the true will of the person that is represented, by taking into consideration previous Wills or the testimony of relevant witnesses.

Often these types of situations are quite delicate so it is always good to seek legal advice to make sure that the necessary diligence that this situations requires, is applied.

56 Lawyers Offering Services in Spain

Testimonials for Probate Law
  • Mr Swildens
    Mr Swildens, Alicante and Belgium

    I'm very happy with the services received: I started with José in Alicante on various subjects whom than handed me over to Miguel for another case because he said Miguel was much more experienced in the field I needed assistance, I can appreciate professionals knowing their business.


    In the beginning when I started emailing with your good selves I experienced difficulties receiving mails from advocate abroad, it was a server issue from advocate abroad, I repeatedly asked Miguel and José about it but they could not find anything wrong. At this moment I no longer experience these problems.


    Sep 20, 2019
  • Isabel Albert
    Isabel Albert, Valencia

    Inmaculada has always responded to all my queries and explained and provided excellent solutions. She is very approachable, diligent and professional.


    Sep 17, 2019
  • Ole Sørensen
    Ole Sørensen

    Fast and good follow up by Erardo.


    Jul 30, 2019
  • Irene Hyde Christie
    Irene Hyde Christie, Coin

    I am very pleased with the service provided by Francisco. He has been most helpful and responded very quickly to all my emails.


    Jul 26, 2019
  • Franco Trio
    Franco Trio, United Kingdom

    Rosa always responded promptly to any email I sent.


    She kept me informed and provided alternatives and 3rd party services (translation).


    Thank you Rosa for your assistance, perseverance and honesty in helping my mum and I. We will definitely recommend you.


    Apr 10, 2019
  • 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
  • Marcus Bond
    Marcus Bond, Fuengirola

    Proactive, great communication, thoroughly recommend.


    Feb 14, 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
  • Kevin
    Kevin, Algarobba Costa

    Clear information throughout, well explained and always had my confidence.


    Jan 08, 2019
  • Stephen Hill
    Stephen Hill, England

    Excellent service, quick response, understood our requirements.

    Would definitely recommend Luis to our friends.


    Aug 15, 2018
  • Chuck Stone
    Chuck Stone, USA

    Alfonso provided the official translation I required and responded in a timely and professional manner. Great job! The service was excellent.


    Jul 31, 2018
  • Michael Bates
    Michael Bates, UK

    Francisco was very easy to deal with. Very professional. Would not hesitate to recommend him to friends.


    Jul 27, 2018
  • Jason Yorke
    Jason Yorke, United Kingdom

    Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.


    Jul 19, 2018
  • 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
  • Susanna Buckley
    Susanna Buckley, United Kingdom

    Lidia is very approachable and friendly and I never felt that anything was a problem.


    She was also very sympathetic to my situation (my mother had passed away) and supportive. As soon as she was contracted, she acted quickly to sort things out so that I could return home to the UK as soon as possible.


    She always tried her best to answer any questions very quickly and promptly and matters proceeded without too much worry on my part.


    Jun 20, 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
  • Richard & Maria
    Richard & Maria, United Kingdom

    Rossana was perfect for our needs.


    Always helpful and supportive, particularly when we were becoming anxious about the continuing Spanish property and inheritance taxes, she always explained how these were calculated.


    We have dealt remotely (email/text/phone) and in face to face meetings and would have no hesitation in future instructions or recommending to others.


    Jan 10, 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
  • Nicole d'Amonville
    Nicole d'Amonville, Palma de Mallorca

    María was extremely helpful, responsive, understanding and very good at explaining the legal aspects of my case. She was a true professional from beginning to end. Thank you, María!


    Nov 22, 2017
  • Sarah Finnagan
    Sarah Finnagan, England

    Francisco was fantastic and helped me through every single step and helping understanding everything.


    Price was very reasonable i have no complaints at all.


    Very easy to get hold of and very quick at responding would definitely go back to him - thankyou so much Francisco for everything.


    Sep 21, 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
  • Michael Tenerife
    Michael Tenerife, UK

    Rosa excelled in all of the criteria listed for evaluation.


    Extremely responsive, understanding, professional, and offered great value for money. Rosa explained the situation clearly and provided the clearest solution every time.


    I just can't imagine how Rosa could have done more. Truly excellent service.


    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
  • Richard Anthony Poole
    Richard Anthony Poole, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Very responsive, very understanding, value for money, has a great ability to explain and provide the appropriate legal solutions, very approachable and very professional in dealing me.


    May 03, 2017
  • LM
    LM, Ibiza

    Cristina was amazing and very helpful and i would highly recommend her services again.


    I am very satisfied and I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Mar 10, 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
  • Mike B
    Mike B, South of England

    Beatriz responded immediately to my first approach and always quickly thereafter, understood and knew the law/background, carried out local activities in addition on my behalf, good value for money, helped us through an unfamiliar situation very well in a personable and pleasant way.


    People had warned me the key to this was finding a trustworthy lawyer in Spain so I approached a couple of lawyers in Nerja and judged on their first response, Beatriz obviously passed that test.


    Dec 15, 2016
  • AS
    AS, Denmark

    Jose was very helpful, always happy to assist.


    I am very satisfied the service provided by my lawyer.


    Dec 08, 2016
  • 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
  • Diana Rawstron
    Diana Rawstron, London

    Domingo provided an excellent service on this matter and I was very pleased that I had found him through your website.


    I definitely use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Nov 03, 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
  • Mrs. Irene C Price
    Mrs. Irene C Price, Acton Trussell

    It was a pleasure to deal with Francisco. He spoke excellent English. He was professional and courteous at all times, and responded to any queries I had by return, taking time to explain complicated legal procedure in a manner I could understand.


    For the work Francisco did, his charges were good value for money. I would recommend his services without hesitation.


    Oct 12, 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
  • Mark Tiller
    Mark Tiller, Swindon

    The level of support I was given, both in terms of speed of response and clarity of what the process was and what I needed to do.


    The lawyer was very approachable and gave me confidence the were solutions to any problems that arose.


    I will forever me grateful to the lawyer for helping me deal with one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever had to deal with.


    Oct 05, 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
  • Louise Randall
    Louise Randall, UK

    His responsiveness was always prompt, but I felt even though I was extremely transparent in my communication, we didn’t always get the information that was asked for, and consequently things took a bit more time to complete.


    Overall I was very satisfied with the service and would definitely use this service again.


    Jan 06, 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
  • M B Groves
    M B Groves, England

    Fast response within 24 hours appointment when i wanted. Value for money.


    Very efficient.


    Sep 24, 2015
  • John Fitzpatrick
    John Fitzpatrick, UK

    Outstanding advice and service Jose was polite courteous and responsive and very sensitive in dealing with my fathers complex bereavement case.


    Jun 29, 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
  • EP
    EP, UK

    My lawyer explained everything clearly and was transparent about fees and costs throughout.


    He was very friendly and helpful, kept in touch regularly to keep me informed and always made my options clear to me as well as being very thorough and dedicated to working in my best interests. Very pleased with the service provided and the outcome.


    May 22, 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
  • AS
    AS, Brussels

    My lawyer spoke English more or less fluently and was very helpful.


    He responded quickly to my request, understood the issues concerned and provided understandable and useful advice. A clearer pricing structure would have been helpful.


    However, I was satisfied with the service and would definitely use this lawyer again.


    Oct 23, 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
  • Glynis Stanley
    Glynis Stanley, Dublin

    I appreciated the in-depth information, time and willingness to explore all angles to help what was a difficult situation.


    As I had previously had very unsatisfactory dealings legally in Spain I left my appointment feeling that I had found a Practice that was honourable and trustworthy....very happy to recommend.


    Feb 12, 2014
Send Your Enquiry
Are there public holidays?

Enquiry sent. Thank you!

Please fix errors