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.

41 Lawyers Offering Services in Spain

Testimonials for Probate Law
  • Stephen McCool
    Stephen McCool, UK

    José was attentive and sympathetic throughout in his dealings with my brother (in Australia) and me (in the UK).


    Ours was a problematical case which involved José making contact with a Spanish notary and subsequently applying for NIEs for us and acting Power of Attorney. After this he was involved in protracted negotiations on our behalf with a particularly unhelpful Spanish bank in the matter of inheritance.


    He was a calming influence when needed and never less than professional. He kept us fully informed at all times.


    Jul 29, 2020
  • Michael Armstrong
    Michael Armstrong, La Manga del Mar Menor

    Consuelo has the highest praise and gratitude from this family by somehow reclaiming inheritance tax from Madrid. Previous solicitors left a mess,partial/incorrect and missing documents were received very late.


    Despite obstacles such as denial from tax office and virus Consuelo promptly, courteously and professionally simply got on with the job and succeeded against all odds. We cannot thank her enough!


    Jul 27, 2020
  • Carole Nicholls
    Carole Nicholls, N/A

    Beatriz has been wonderful to deal with she is very approachable and always professional and I would certainly recommend her to friends.


    When my circumstances changed Beatriz was extremely helpful and explained fully the action needed and the process required. I have communicated via email to her and she has always responded promptly and when I have visited her office she has always been very welcoming.


    Her english is excellent and she has always let me know the costs upfront of any work she has done.


    Jul 13, 2020
  • Yolande Van-de-l'Isle
    Yolande Van-de-l'Isle, London

    Jose understood my needs and was able to do all the things that I needed. He was extremely approachable and did everything necessary.


    I understood what he was doing and what was required of me to do. I was also very happy with the price paid.


    Jun 29, 2020
  • Abbie Orsini
    Abbie Orsini, England

    Rosa responded efficiently I was extremely happy and satisfied with this !


    She explained everything I needed to know and more to help me understand. At the beginning I found the process daunting Rosa took this feeling way and helped me feel at ease.


    Paying was straight forward and I was well informed with fees etc. Rosa took a very professional approach and I felt comfortable approaching her about any issues I had.


    She is a credit to advocate abroad !!!!! Thank you for your help !!!!!!!!!❤️


    Jun 18, 2020
  • Colin Gorman
    Colin Gorman, Santander

    Jaime, completely understood my concerns and went above and beyond the call of duty, I would strongly recommend Jaime for any legal matters.

    Jaime couldn't have done enough to help me.


    Jun 04, 2020
  • Jonathan Mackay
    Jonathan Mackay, Jaca

    Francisco was extremely professional and answered our many questions promptly and clearly, both by phone and email. We feel very lucky to have had Francisco handle our Spanish Fiscal declaration.


    The service was perfect, and we are very happy with the whole process.


    Mar 12, 2020
  • Gail Maher
    Gail Maher, Torrenueva

    Alvaro is brilliant.


    He comes across very professional and friendly,nothing too much trouble.


    As I was unable to go to Spain initially all communication was via phone and was put at ease straight away as he understood exactly what was required to deal with my case, and all went exceptionally well. I was able to meet Alvaro in August to pass over documents required and made me very welcome.


    I have been so pleased with everything I have now engaged him on a further instruction on our property in Torrenueva..


    Dec 11, 2019
  • Andrew Hales
    Andrew Hales, Fuengirola

    We dealt with Angela, and had a superb service - she was efficient, clear, timely and exceptionally helpful. We would recommend this respectable Solicitor who has excellent English.


    Trustworthiness is so important, and step by step help was very much appreciated. Thank you Angela of myAdvocate Fuengirola.


    Oct 23, 2019
  • Luis Gonzalez Lunden
    Luis Gonzalez Lunden, Canada

    Rosa responded very promptly to our inquiry, grasped our needs immediately, and provided an excellent solution which was delivered seamlessly. Rosa thoroughly explained the intricacies of the local legal system, providing options and considerations.


    Overall Rosa provided outstanding service through a professional and mindful approach to our needs. We really enjoyed our interaction and it is without hesitation that we recommend her to future prospective clients. Thank you Rosa!


    Sep 21, 2019
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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