Validity of a Foreign Will in Spain

When a foreign will is used to deal with your Spanish property, the procedure that the heirs must go through to dispose of the Spanish assets is costly, in order to avoid this, it is strongly advisable to make a separate Spanish will.

In order to be able to process the inheritance with regards to assets located in Spain, the foreign will must be duly legalized or authenticated. How?:

– If the Hague Convention is in force in respect of the country where the will was granted, the foreign will must then be legalized with the Hague Apostille. Be aware that the Hague Convention replaced legalization, in member states, as the default procedure with a system of apostille.

– If the Hague Convention is not in force in the country where the document was issued, then the foreign will must be legalized or authenticated to be accepted in Spain, which means that the signature, the position of an official and the seal on the document are genuine, it is usually done in the national department responsible for foreign affairs, once this step is taken, the document must then be duly approved by the Spanish authorities.

Once the foreign document is duly legalized, this must be translated into Spanish by an official translator.

Your Spanish Lawyer must be empowered to prepare a list of your Spanish assets in order to pay the inheritance tax in Spain.

You must obtain a legal certification that the documents provided comply with the laws of succession from your home country. This certification must also confirm that the testator had legal capacity to make a will, that the will is valid and that the trustees named are legally empowered to administer the estate.

If you have a will in your home country and another in Spain you must ensure that neither contradicts each other.

Get Legal Help

Purchase a pre-packaged legal service delivered by our team of Spanish lawyers for a fixed one-off price:

» Will Preparation/Review, € 145
» Distribution by a Spanish Lawyer of Estate Assets to Heirs, € 1500
» Processing the inheritance tax in Spain,
» Ask an English-speaking Spanish lawyer about inheritance law in Spain


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