I am the named executor of a Will that contains assets in Spain – help!Delegated local expert's Role
An executor in Spain has the following tasks: protect the assets of the estate, distribute property to beneficiaries, pay debts and taxes due.
Given that this is a complex role, even for a native Spanish speaker, a sensible solution for anyone not fully conversant in Spanish would be to delegate this responsibility to a Spanish solicitor. A good Spanish solicitor will help you deal with formalities, advise on tax, assist with selling the assets and paying off the debts, dealing with distributions to beneficiaries, and preparing the estate accounts. Below we detail how this would function in practice.
- According to Spanish legislation, a Spanish solicitor, when acting as a ‘delegated executor’ has the same responsibilities as the actual executor. The Spanish Civil Code specifies the following:
- Oversee the security of the assets that form the deceased’s estate.
- Ensure that the assets are maintained until the inventory has been made, taking out such insurance policies as would be prudent to protect them.
- Provide notification to the beneficiaries that the succession process has started.
- Determine that the distribution of the assets has been made and that there are sufficient assets to cover any debts owing by the estate of the deceased.
According to Article 1344 of the Spanish Civil Code when the executor fails to meet the obligations set out above, the executor will be responsible for any damages suffered by creditors. However executor obligations also relate to the beneficiaries who may also take legal measures against the executor if they fail to fulfil their obligations.