Wills in Spain

If you want to make Wills in Spain with English succession law to apply, must state this explicitly on the Will.

Wills in Spain

We are an English couple, resident in Spain,  and we are in the process of putting our assets in order and so will be drawing-up Wills in Spain. Can you explain whether Spanish or English law would be applied to the distribution of our assets?

 

This is a common question at the moment as many are correctly reviewing the preparations they have made for estate planning in the light of changes to European law that will affect those who are resident in Spain.

According to the article 9 of the Spanish Código Civil, the applicable law, regarding inheritance issues, is determined by the nationality of the deceased. The 8th section of the mentioned article specifies that, regarding the applicable law, there is no distinction made as a result of the nature or the location of the assets.

Wills in Spain and new EU Regulations from 2015

That said, things are going to change as a consequence of the REGULATION (EU) No 650/2012 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 4 July 2012, on “jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession”.

Article 21 of that Regulation establishes, as a general rule, that “the law applicable to the succession as a whole shall be the law of the State in which the deceased maintained habitual residence at the time of death”. Where, by way of exception, it is clear from all the circumstances of the case that, at the time of death, the deceased was manifestly more closely connected with a State other than the State whose law would be applicable under the previous paragraph, the law applicable to the succession shall be the law of that other State.

According to Article 22, a person may choose as the law that governs the succession of their assets as a whole, the law of that State whose nationality they possessed at the time of making the choice, or at the time of death.

This Regulation cannot be formally invoked currently, because according to Article 84, the regulations will enter into force on the 17th of August 2015. Meanwhile, in any case, if a person drafts a Last Will and Testament before that date, the law applicable to the succession can be chosen by the testator, if it is according to the mentioned rules stated in the European Regulation.

So, in summary, if you are planning to become resident in a European country other than the country of your nationality, such as say Spain, and you wish the rules of succession of your country of origin, say England, to apply, then you must state this explicitly in your Last Will and Testament. Otherwise, Spanish law will apply and the system of forced heirs that pre-determines the beneficiaries rather than permitting you to elect them, will apply.

31 Lawyers Offering Will Drafting Service Services in Spain

Testimonials for our Will Drafting Service service
  • David Stevens
    David Stevens, Seville

    Rafael has provided us with excellent service for us as we relocated to Spain. He guided us through the NIE application and subsequent switch to TIEs. He assisted us through the process of our house purchase and also helped us with our wills.

    We found his help invaluable. His approach was friendly and professional throughout. We would recommend him to anyone looking for English speaking legal services.


    Sep 21, 2020
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nigel Bateman (Fuengirola)
    Nigel Bateman (Fuengirola)

    Excellent service, very reasonable, fluent English and totally professional. I would not hesitate to recommend this highly skilled team.


    Apr 09, 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
  • Aziz Oudjida
    Aziz Oudjida, Mijas Flores

    We couldn't have hoped for better lawyer than Mr Francisco. He is always responsive, always available and approachable, with a remarkable ability to explain and provide legal solution. But more important, he strikes me as a very good and genuine person, honest and very competent.


    I can say without a doubt in my mind that Mr Francisco stand well above all these lawyers.


    Jun 02, 2017
  • Mrs. J.B.
    Mrs. J.B., Cordoba

    Welcoming manner and kind comments about the fact. Extremely approachable.


    Highly competent understanding of and patient explanations regarding my many questions.


    Very fairly priced to do with the making of a Will.


    Jan 12, 2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • Brian Thomas
    Brian Thomas, Priego

    A very fast response to my inquiry, Francisco has excellent English and gave us a very friendly and professional service that we feel was value for money.


    We do recommend him to our friends.


    Oct 31, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Keith & Sandra Brown
    Keith & Sandra Brown, Villaviciosa

    Our lawyer was friendly and helpful with a very good command of the English language.


    Even payment for their services could be paid, by bank transfer, directly into their nominated bank account.


    We would definitely use their services again whenever necessary.


    Aug 07, 2014