Wills and Estate Planning

It is rarely appreciated that the preparation of a Will for a British client owning property in Spain always involves complex considerations as to which law should be applied when it comes to winding up the estate. Domicile, nationality and the location of the property will be relevant and if Spanish local law applies, forced heirship rules may prevent the testator from disposing of his estate as he wishes.

Spanish Inheritance tax works on a completely different set of rules to those which apply in England. The domicile of the deceased and the value of his estate are irrelevant. The factors that count include the location and type of the property passing, the number of the legatees and their relationship with the deceased, where they are resident and the extent of their pre-existing wealth as well as the value of the legacies they receive. A scheme which is effective under English law may be counterproductive in Spain.

We can help you through the labyrinth working alongside your UK tax advisers so as to ensure that as much as possible of your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries and not to the Spanish Revenue.

We prepare your Will in Spanish/English dual column format and arrange for execution before a Notary in Spain or in England. We can ensure that your Spanish Will dovetails with your English Will and register the former at the Wills Registry in Madrid.

We have extensive expertise in international cross-border succession problems involving Spanish law, other jurisdictions and conflicts of laws.