Taking out probate in Spain tends to be more straightforward than in some other countries – however, this is only the case when you have all of the documentation in place.
The Spanish probate process is set-out below, and as you will see, it is predicated on having taking anticipatory steps to ensure all documentation is in place. Needless to say, this does not apply to everyone. In any case, we detail below the probate process and this starts with having created a legally valid Will in Spain:
Wills Drawn-up in Spain
The most straightforward situation is where the testator has drawn-up a will in Spain and in accordance with the legal provisions for creating a valid will.
How to Create and Register a Will in Spain
Making a will in Spain to cover your Spanish assets is a sensible action that will save time, money and stress for your heirs. The procedure is as follows:
- Contact an English-speaking lawyer with experience in matters of probate.
- The solicitor will draft a will that covers your assets in Spain and will distribute those assets according to your wishes and the law of your nationality.
- Note carefully, it is important to highlight the fact that this will applies to your Spanish assets and not any other assets you may have elsewhere – if that is your intention.
- The will is taken to a notary to have it formally drawn-up in a public document. The notary will hand over a copy of the will and retain the original for storage.
- The notary informs the Central Registry for Wills in Madrid of the existence of the will.
- When the time comes, your beneficiaries can obtain a certificate from the central registry that will certify that the will (of which they will have the copy the notary handed over) is in fact your final will and testament.
Creating a Spanish will greatly simplify matters though there still remains a series of actions that need to be carried out in order to have an estate’s assets distributed correctly.
It is not advisable to try to do so without the assistance of a qualified expert in inheritance matters in Spain.