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How do I stand with regards to a will done in Spain?

Inheritance Law

Antonio Flores Vila

25th of May 2000

Q. What is the position of the Spanish Law with regards to inheritance law for English nationals?

James Sutton
Norfolk

    A. Spanish law recognises that in the case of an English person English law is to be applied in order to decide what should happen to their estate on their death. Their English will will be accepted as valid in Spain. Unfortunately, English law in turn states that in the case of real property in Spain then it is the local law, i.e. Spanish law, which is to determine what should happen to it on death. Of course, for most English people there only substantial asset in Spain is their home. What happens to that home will therefore be determined by Spanish law. Even if you think you know that there is no Spanish will it is required to make a check with the Spanish central wills registry to ensure that this is the case. In practice, however, a combination of both laws is applied, and unless the will is openly unfair for one of the heirs according to Spanish law and he does challenge it, the will is valid and it will be upheld by the Courts.


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