For anyone not domiciled in Spain then the laws of succession of the country where they are nationals, shall be applied. If a valid will has not been written that means that the ruled of intestacy of that country shall apply.
Below is a brief summary of some of the more important rules of intestacy in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
Rules of Intestacy – England & Wales
Married couples or civil partners can inherit under the rules of intestacy in England and Wales. So if a couple has divorced, the ex-spouse will not inherit although informal separations do not prohibit from inheriting.
Where an estate is valued at more than £250,000, and the deceased has left no valid will evidencing how the assets should be distributed, any spouse or civil partner inherits:
- All the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and
- The first £250,000 of the estate, and
- A life interest in half of the remaining estate (the spouse or partner can benefit from that half but not sell or spend it).
A distinction should be made where any property or bank accounts were owned ‘jointly’ by the couple as in those cases the assets belonging to the deceased would automatically pass to the surviving spouse.
The couple’s children will inherit one-half of an estate over £250,000. If there is more than one child that half is shared equally.
Rules of Intestacy – Scotland
The rules of intestacy in Scotland are rather different to those in England & Wales and are found in the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 as amended.
Firstly, any debts owed by the deceased must be dealt with. The surviving spouse is the primary beneficiary under Scottish intestacy rules.
In Scotland the surviving spouse is entitled to what is known as ‘prior’ which means a right to any:
- House (up to a value of £300,000)
- Furniture (up to a value of £24,000)
- Cash (up to a value of £42,000 if children, or £75,000 if no children)
Client reviews of our legal services, as uploaded by clients directly to the Wufoo survey platform:
- Jason Yorke, United KingdomThursday, July 19, 2018Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.
- Mr David P Robson, ValanciaThursday, July 12, 2018My lawyer Francisca offered value for money and was very helpful. Will use her again.
- Richard Day, London and BarcelonaThursday, July 05, 2018My initial call to your service desk was responded to by Oscar very quickly.
I appreciated his time as I outlined my issue, a problem with the building community and administrators. At the end of ...the call he provided clear guidance on next steps.
Furthermore he quickly turned around the issue with an excellent drafted response for which I could not of hoped to be better worded. It was comprehensive and aligned perfectly with what I felt was needed.
Excellent value for money and most definitely I would highly recommend Oscar.
- Søren Aabel Hammer, MalagaThursday, July 05, 2018Beatriz was professional and quick to respond. Would definitely recommend to friends.
- Patrick Crean, AlmerimarThursday, July 05, 2018Juan was fantastic. Very easy to understand and very pleasant. I would definitely use his service again.
- Damien Stephan, BenidormThursday, July 05, 2018The whole process from start to finish was straightforward and well explained. I honestly cannot recommend them enough!
They really went out of their way to be helpful and kept me up to date at ev...ery opportunity. Excellent value for money from some really nice and genuine people. True professionals.
Wouldn’t hesitate to use again in the future.
- Claire, FuengirolaWednesday, July 04, 2018Alvaro assisted me during my experience at advocate abroad, and he was so kind. He answered any questions I had, and made me feel completely at ease.
I knew I was in the hands of a professional. H...e could not have done more to help me.
- Paul and Joyce Rose, Mijas, MalagaWednesday, July 04, 2018Extremely helpful and very professional. Will definitely use Alvaro next time we require legal advice.
- Nigel Whinnett, Esher, UKWednesday, July 04, 2018Professional, friendly, efficient service, good value, a pleasure to use the services of the lawyer and his team. In depth knowledge of the relevant laws, taxes etc.
Would highly recommend and use ...again.
- Claire O'Gara, FuengirolaWednesday, June 27, 2018I liked Alvaroós enthusiasm, and the great level of customer service. He always answered my questions thoroughly.
- Mrs Susan Vickery, Silves, PortugalTuesday, June 26, 2018Good advice, very helpful and fast. Would definitely recommend Luis to friends.
- Niall Purdie, BarcelonaMonday, June 25, 2018Anna helped me purchasing my house, she was knowledgeable and professional throughout. I would recommend using her legal services.
- Kartik, ParisFriday, June 22, 2018Very satisfied with the service provided by Marianne. She speaks English fluently and she was very quick, comprehensive and clear in answering all the questions.
- David Stack, Lliria, SpainThursday, June 21, 2018Francisca was extremely helpful. She made the whole process easy to understand. I would definitely recommend her service to friends.
- Susanna Buckley, United KingdomWednesday, June 20, 2018Lidia 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 c...ontracted, 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.
- Wendy Dickson, MarbellaTuesday, June 19, 2018It was all done very quick. Very good value for money. How easy it all was to communicate via email.
- Peter & Anita Bradshaw, Leeds, EnglandMonday, June 18, 2018We could not be more happy with the service we received from Jaime.
He responded immediately to our enquiry and it was clear from the outset that he fully understood our position. It was vital tha...t Jaime acted quickly in this matter and he did so in a highly professional and competent manner, providing us with clear and concise updates throughout.
We found Jaime to be very polite and approachable and we believe his fees to be very reasonable. We would genuinely not hesitate to recommend his services.
Before contacting Jaime, our previous experiences of Spanish Lawyers had been appalling - in fact we needed Jaime's help to resolve issues which previous Lawyers had created. Our only regret is not finding Jaime sooner!
Thanks so much for all your help Jaime.
- Dion Nash, AlgarveTuesday, June 05, 2018Our lawyer Luis is bilingual, and was extremely helpful. We received very good service - Luis did everything needed to help me with my case. I would definitely recommend him to friends.
- Jan Neate, NerjaWednesday, May 30, 2018Very satisfied with the service provided by Beatriz. She extremely helpful and spoke more or less fluent English. We would definitely recommend her to friends.
- Serena Bhatia, LondonWednesday, May 30, 2018Anna has been nothing but helpful in providing information, sound advice and genuine care, My fiancé and I adore her! She is timely, professional and extremely knowledgeable about world wide law.
- Ronald Peter Downs, SpainTuesday, May 29, 2018A lady staff member took us under her wing and managed to sort out my residency. Overall no complaints.
- Tracey and Mike Iliffe Bradley, Colchester, United KingdomTuesday, May 29, 2018From our very first contact through to the end of our purchase, Rosa surpassed all expectations.
She was helpful, efficient, always quick to return our communications and a pleasure to deal with. ...We have already recommended her services to a friend.
- Cheryl, SevilleMonday, May 28, 2018Miguel was helpful and kind. We will use his service in the future.
- Ken & Margaret, TorreviejaThursday, May 24, 2018Pedro was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more. We would definitely recommend his services to friends.
- Rl, AlicanteThursday, May 24, 2018Felt very comfortable at all times. Nothing was too much. Understood everything mentioned in our meeting. Very reasonable rate, money wise.
- KL, Valencia, SpainWednesday, May 23, 2018Inma is easy to talk to, is prompt in replying to emails, is helpful and above all achieved the solution I wanted.
- MF, LanzaroteMonday, May 21, 2018My lawyer Cristina was extremely understanding , friendly and reassuring. With Cristina on my side, it gave me confidence to continue.
- RA, ParisFriday, May 18, 2018The service I needed wasn't complex, just verification of documents, but the service was rapid, friendly and exactly what I needed.My lawyer Julia was bilingual.
- Sham Naib, Callao Salvaje, TenerifeFriday, May 18, 2018My lawyer Oliver was very helpful, always happy to assist. He professionally checked the law before dispensing advice.
- Smith, FranceFriday, May 18, 2018Caroline is bilingual and was very helpful throughout. There is nothing I would suggest to improve. I was very happy with the service and would definitely recommend to friends.
‘Moveable and ‘Heritable’ Estates
After this it should be noted that Scottish rules of intestacy distinguish between a ‘moveable’ and a ‘heritable’ estate. The former relates to cash, jewelry, car, shares etc. The latter relates to property and land.
Once the prior rights have been distributed to the surviving spouse, the moveable estate is distributed as follows:
One-third to the surviving spouse or one-half if no children,
One-third to the children or one-half if no surviving spouse,
One-third to the free estate
The ‘free’ estate refers to that which is left after debts, prior rights and legal rights. The free estate should be distributed equally among the children or if no children then jointly to brothers and sisters and parents followed by brothers and sisters solely then parents solely…and so on down the line of succession until the Crown.
Should a husband and wife or civil partners die together in circumstances where it is not possible to determine who predeceased who, then for the purposes of intestacy in Scotland both are said to have predeceased the other when considering the rights of beneficiaries to their mutual estates. As a result each is ignored when considering the legitimate heirs to each others’ estate.