Preparation of a Will in Spain is of upmost importance in Spain, to ensure that your family can receive their inheritance avoiding major problems or delays. This requires legal and tax planning, achieved with good advice that is then reflected through the corresponding Will.
It is vital to formalise a Spanish Will when involving any type of asset (housing, cash deposits, shares, etc.); especially following European regulations, European Regulation on Successions, No. 650/2012, which allows the testators to choose between the laws of their countries of residence or to uphold the law in force in their countries of origin, which will determine the applicable inheritance laws.
From August 2015 it was established as applicable law for inheritance that the country in which a person maintained habitual residence at the time of their death would dictate country of applicable law; i.e., if a European citizen was residing in Spain at the time of their death, then Spain would be the country of applicable law for their inheritance.
Therefore it is essential that a properly prepared Will is in place and has correctly nominated its beneficiaries, to thereby comply with the person’s last wishes.
The new regulation, which is applicable in all EU countries; except UK, Ireland and Denmark (they have not subscribed to the change), also allows the testator to expressly designate as applicable law, the law of the country of their nationality, either at the time of the preparation of the will, or at the time of death; but by default the rules on inheritance applied, would be that of the country in which they die.
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In the case of countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark, we also advise that although their respective domestic laws apply - by having a Spanish Will, the beneficiaries can easily resolve and release of their inheritance within 3-4 weeks, without having to wait for a Certificate of Law from the country, translations, etc. which would imply a duplication of expenses and unnecessary delays.