Wills and Inheritance

We assist clients to establish their testamentary affairs in the most sensible and tax efficient manner and deal with the administration of estates throughout Spain in a timely, efficient and sensitive way. Our services including:

  • Bilingual Will drafting
  • Spanish Inheritance Tax advice and how to minimize its effect
  • Administering estates involving Spanish and non Spanish wills and on Intestacy
  • Drafting and organising for beneficiaries and executors to grant Powers of Attorney and obtain NIEs
  • Liaising with Spanish banks and the Spanish Revenue
  • Registering heirs as titleholders of property and obtaining the release of funds held in Spanish banks
  • Contested estate or succession claims


European Union Succession Regulations

Spain is a signatory (unlike the UK and Ireland) meaning that with respect to any death occurring after the 17 August 2015 the regulations which by default invoke the deceased´s law of habitual residence are the determining factor in how a persons estate devolves. The presumption applying the law of habitual residence can be displaced so long as the testator has made a Will explicitly stating that he or she wishes their law of nationality to apply instead.

Even in countries where the succession regulations are not of automatic application i.e. the UK their effects cannot totally be ignored and advice ought to be sought before a Will is drafted.

Spanish Wills

Nearly all Wills made in Spain are signed in the presence of a Notary and then registered at a central registry.

A Spanish will (which can either be signed in Spain or if the client prefers in the UK or elsewhere) is a declaration made to the Notary of the testators personal circumstances, and what his or her testamentary wishes are.

We will draft the will in dual column bilingual format and attend with you on execution before the Notary in Spain providing appropriate tax advice and where necessary liaising with your UK solicitor to ensure your domestic and Spanish Wills (that deals with your Spanish assets only) are compatible.

Non Spanish Wills

We can advise on the best way to enforce and administer an estate in Spain based on the testators foreign will which may includes terms such as “Trusts” and “Trustees” which are alien concepts in Spanish Law.


We can advise on the appropriate intestacy laws that will apply when the deceased dies without leaving a suitable will either in Spain or in their home jurisdiction and the steps that will be required to prove the entitlement of the appropriate beneficiaries.

Spanish Inheritance Tax

This tax is meant to be paid within 6 months of the death albeit an extension of time can be applied for in appropriate circumstances. The tax is levied on beneficiaries as opposed to the estate and is dependant on the amount inherited, blood relationship to deceased and existing wealth.

Since 1st January 2015 Spanish Resident beneficiaries find themselves on the same level playing field as Spaniards as regards the imposition of this tax. Spanish Inheritance Tax is levied by the various Regional Governments of Spain and varies substantially from one region to another.

We can advise beneficiaries as to how the rules in any particular region apply to them including the extent of tax free allowances available.


We are willing to act as executors of estates in circumstances where the estate is particularly complicated or where the testator has no appropriate close family who they can appoint.

The powers of executors in Spain are much reduced to those encountered in common law jurisdictions.


Spanish law places the primary responsibility for the administration of the assets of a deceased’s estate on the beneficiaries no matter how many there are.

We can advise the beneficiaries as to the most efficient way to administer the estate and undertake this task on their behalf under Powers of Attorney granted. We will also obtain for each beneficiary the required NIE certificate so that they can pay relevant taxes and have their title to the property registered.