Inheritance & Testament

The Spanish Probate process or “Inheritance Awarding “(Adjudicación de Herencia”) is a Notary Public-supervised process of authenticating a last Will and testament in the event that the deceased made one.

In Spain, Wills must be signed before a Notary Public, this act is always recorded at the Central Registry of Wills (Registro Central de Últimas Voluntades). Consequently, any lawyer is allowed (not only the one commissioned) to locate the whereabouts of the Will and help obtain the official copy that is only issued after the death of the testator.

Wills in Spain are never stored or kept by any lawyer; only Public Notaries have the authority of holding the originals and issuing certified or notarised copies. You can always ask a professional of law to assist you in locating and obtaining a Will. Any copies of the Wills issued before the death of the testator are only valid for informative purposes. Only heirs are entitled to obtain this document upon request either made by themselves directly or by their duly appointed legal representatives by means of a Power of Attorney. It might be a good idea to start by granting Power of Attorney to the solicitors of your choice so they can liaise and represent you before the Notary’s office.

When the Will has been granted abroad, most commonly in the home country of the deceased, specific directives on how to proceed to validate this Will, according to the rules of each nationality, need to be taken into account and considered.

We can sometimes encounter the situation in which no Will has been granted or formalised at all, in Spain or elsewhere (“Intestate Succession”). In such a case, a previous process to declare who the heir or heirs are must be followed and made official before the relevant authorities; this is known as “Declaration of Heirs” (“Declaración de Herederos”).

Generally, it is not necessary to file any court proceedings during an inheritance process; only in the event of conflictive situations might a solicitor be forced to file a lawsuit when there are disagreements in the interpretation of the inheritance-related documents or the partition of the estate and assets.

In normal circumstances, when no court assistance is necessary, the legal procedure to follow can, however, often be complex and arduous. Advice on how to proceed with the legalisation of foreign documents, the interpretation of the different laws involved and the governmental or local authorities concerned are usually matters of worry and concern to many people going through these grievous circumstances that, furthermore, can get lost and buried in rules, regulations and other red tape constraints and requirements. It is key to highlight the importance of applying the correct tax rates based on each specific case for, in Spain, in this type of matters, different legislations apply depending on the various regions of the country.

We can provide you with professional advice through all the probate process with instructions with regards to the necessary documentation required to complete the Inheritance and the payment of all taxes.

Our qualified team of professionals will assist in all the necessary administrative tasks so that real estate property, money in bank accounts and vehicles are registered in the name of the heir/heiress and, overall, making all this difficult task easier. Appropriate instructions will be provided to grant Power of Attorney in favour of the solicitors to become legal representatives during the whole process, so there will be no need for your presence in Spain for the Awarding.

Our main objective is to always provide our services with the special awareness of the difficult circumstances that relatives and friends are going through. Our service is always friendly, flexible, and sympathetic; focused on allowing the person to overcome the sadness accompanying the death of a loved one.

Wills

Will, generally, is the faculty of the mind that selects, at the moment of decision, a desire among the various desires present; it itself does not refer to any particular desire, but rather to the mechanism responsible for choosing from among one's desires.

Power of attorney

Power of Attorney is a document in which an individual appoints someone to serve as his Attorney-in-Fact or as his agent. This individual may handle the financial affairs of such a person as if the agent or Attorney-in-Fact owned the property himself.

Apostille

The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.