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Absolutely. Above all, property owners need to make a will but other people should consider their position as well.

If you do not leave a will in the UK, there are special rules (intestacy laws) that determine how your assets are distributed. These rules can see your assets distributed very differently from how you would have liked and your estate will have to go through probate procedure.

The same is true in Spain, but in addition, your heirs will have to deal with a different legal system in a foreign language. This includes the need for each heir to obtain a NIE, go through all the legal paperwork and pay inheritance Taxes depending on their personal circumstances (fiscal resident, non-resident, the value of the assets, etc.)

Therefore, you have every reason to leave everything as well organized as possible. Many include their Spanish assets in their English will but, although this is legally possible, your English will has to be executed in Spain once it has gone through probate in the UK in order to be legal in Spain. Unfortunately, it is a long and costly procedure.


We would advise you to either have two separate wills, one in the UK for your English assets and one in Spain for your Spanish assets or make one in Spain that covers your assets worldwide, in other words an international will.

Making a will in Spain is relatively easy and inexpensive, and saves your heirs a lot of time, effort and money. Also important is consulting your solicitor regarding the tax implications of your will (inheritance tax planning) which will vary depending on several issues: residency of the deceased and their heirs, the value of the inheritance, the number of heirs, their residency, etc.


Your solicitor will draw up a rough draft and if you are in agreement, he will organize an appointment with the Public Notary to sign the final document, which will make it public and therefore official.

The information will be sent to the Central Registry in Madrid, which must be repeated if you change your will again and make it public. This service is different to the UK, but has obvious benefits for all concerned.

If you would like to change your English will while you are in Spain, and you do not want to travel back to the UK for just this purpose, it is recommended that you ask your Solicitor to draw up an international will which will be valid in Spain and in the UK. The will must be drawn up in English and Spanish and will mention that it covers worldwide assets.


You will be given a certified true copy (the original stays at the Notary Office) and our advice is that you inform your heirs and solicitor in the UK or your home country of its existence and file it carefully. You can then relax knowing that everything is taken care of and that you have left your family with everything organised.


It is but you will have to go through a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process to have it ratified and it is clearly better and faster to make a Spanish will disposing of your assets in Spain.

How does the new European Inheritance Law affect me?

The new European Regulation No.650/2012, which is now in force, relates to the contesting and challenging of Spanish wills by British citizens in Spain.

We anticipate that there could be more contested wills in the near future, due to the fact that the applicable law to the Succession-Inheritance procedure will be the law of the country where the deceased had his habitual residence. Under Article 22 of that regulation, the testator or testatrix can specify in their Will, or at the time of death, his or her national law.

If you decide to leave your assets to your wife, or anyone else not your offspring, and you live in Spain it is extremely important that, in line with the new regulations, your national law is specified in your Will. Otherwise, if you pass away while living in Spain, the law applicable to the inheritance will be Spanish Succession Law meaning that your children, as forced heirs, will inherit at least two thirds of your estate. Specifying the law applicable to your will avoids future problems at the time of the signing the inheritance deed.

This new Regulation applies to people who die on or after August 17, 2015 but if the testator or testatrix states in his or her will the applicable law for his or her succession prior to August 17, 2015, then that or the private international law which was in force at the time the Will was executed, will be valid, provided it complies with the conditions of the new regulations,.


As we are all aware, Spain, as with many other European countries, has serious financial problems and consequently the government is having to introduce new policies to help balance the deficit.

The problems vary across the 17 autonomous regions and so policies and levels of taxation vary according to the laws of local community governments.

The Comunitat Valenciana (government of Valencia region) has been reviewing a number of fiscal policies, consequently:

“The main objectives of the tax measures included in this Decree-Law, first, that in the current economic crisis and budget deficit in our Region, contribute more the haves Secondly, to strengthen legal instruments of the tax administration and control Valencian fight against fiscal fraud in the field of taxes assigned by the State to the Valencia. Encouraging, while voluntary compliance by taxpayers with their tax obligations, and simplifying formal tax obligations thereof”.

Among the most significant revisions has been in Inheritance Tax – Impuesto Sobre Sucesions and Donations.

Many people are aware that this is more complicated and potentially more expensive than in the UK. We recommend taking professional advice to guarantee that you have planned in advance how to deal with this tax liability.

This has now become even more important as the tax levels have been revised and allowances amended. Again it is important to point out this tax varies greatly from region to region; we are primarily highlighting the changes in the Valencian region.

Before Decree Law 4/2013 of August 2, which came into effect in August 2013, allowances of up to 99% were possible. This has now been reduced to 75%.

However, the actual financial base figure has increased and so he actual final allowances are calculated using a number of complicated factors relating to relationship to deceased, age, residency etc. This means it is vital to seek professional advice to understand your potential exposure to this tax.

All the above is just for your information and from Brassa Real Estate, S.L, we recommend that you use the services of a licensed Lawyer for a comprehensive legal advice.