Written by Graeme Beattie
For freedom of testamentary disposition to apply to their estate on death, an express choice of applicable law is required to be stated in a Spanish resident/ domiciled expatriate’s will.
In Spain, forced heirship provisions mean that an individual with habitual residence in Spain must leave two thirds of their estate to their children and grandchildren. This is applicable in the absence of a valid will conveying their alternative wishes, such as leaving the entirety of their estate to their spouse. A surviving spouse could therefore face unexpected hardship if their spouse (who has assets in Spain) dies without a valid Spanish will in place.
All individuals with Spanish estates should have had their wills revised from 2015 onwards to ensure it includes wording that complies with current Spanish and European succession law.
With an estimated 285,000 British nationals currently residents in Spain, many will need to seek specialist advice to keep their testamentary affairs in order. For instance, wills must be properly registered before a Spanish Notary.
If you need help with any aspect of Spanish estate planning, we have Spanish qualified lawyers who can assist you directly through the mediums of both Spanish and English from our centrally located Bristol office. Simply get in touch to find out more.
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This post was written by Caitlin Roxburgh