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spain residents spanish spouse uk succession wills advice

Advice on Spanish wills for UK residents in Spain
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Folks, hopefully I can offer something useful back now instead of just asking questions!

There seems to be a lot of confusion over succession laws i.e. who you can leave Money to in your will. This is known legally as 'freedom of testamentary disposition'.

In Spain, there is no such freedom by default, and children and the spouse of the deceased can be the 'forced heirs' of the deceased.  Because of this, even if you make a will in Spain when resident here, you may only be able to determine the beneficiaries of one third of your estate in Spain e.g. for your spouse if you have 2 children.

We were told by a local community company that if you specify a particular person - like your spouse - in your Spanish will, to receive all your assets on death, this would supersede normal Spanish succession laws.  This is NOT true!  I have now researched 4 different law firms guides to inheritance and had the situation confirmed to me by a local tax advisor who I trust 100%.  Simply stating that you want to leave your assets to someone will not supersede Spanish succession laws. The advice is that you must state in the will that you want your estate to be distributed according to UK law which has 'freedom of testamentary disposition' (or your other native country as appropriate).

They also stress to have a Spanish will for Spanish property to avoid all documents having to be translated and apostilled if the will is in the UK, and lawyers here searching for the will in the UK (where of course there is no central system for holding wills like there is here). If you do have a UK and Spanish will, then make sure they reference each other.

Happy to be corrected of course if anyone knows differently. Though I guess I would say, why wouldn't you put that line in your will anyway?!
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