Inheritance With a Non-Spanish Will
It is often the case that foreign nationals do not draw-up a local Spanish will to deal with their Spanish assets meaning that any will that they have created in their home country must be used.
The process for dealing with an inheritance under a foreign will is the same as that for a Spanish will with the only additions being that you will need to arrange probate (where there is property or cash this is a requirement) and all of the relevant documents need to be legalised and officially translated.
This is 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 considerably 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, the following needs to be verified.
Grant Of Probate
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 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.
Legalisation of the Will
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 carried-out by either sending it to an official 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.
Inheritance Taxes and the Family Home
Where the asset that is the subject of the tax is a property then the inheritance tax may be paid in instalments where:
- The application has been made within the required timeframe
- The property is required for use as a primary, habitual residence
- The size of the property does not exceed 120m ²
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