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Can my partner, upon my death, stay on living in my property although the beneficiaries of the ownership would be my children?

Inheritance Law

Antonio Flores Vila

21st of February 2002

Q. I am currently in the process of purchasing a property in Spain as a holiday home. I am not married but living with my partner in the United Kingdom. I have two daughters who would be beneficiaries under my will in the UK. The property in Spain would have my name on the title deeds. Can you advise me whether under Spanish law I can make a Codicil to allow my partner to live in the property until her death (assuming she outlives me) before the property is passed down to my children?

Bristol, UK

    A. My suggestion is that you leave the life interest (´usufructo´ in Spanish) to your partner, and the bare ownership (´nuda propiedad´) to your children. Under Spanish law this would be acceptable, but most importantly, under your personal law (presumably British law), which is the applicable law on the will, it is equally acceptable as it provides for a freedom of disposition of assets.

    Upon your death, your partner would be able to remain in the property until death, after which your children would consolidate their bare ownership with the life interest, thus converting their right into a full ownership. It is important to note that your partner would have the right to use the property as wished, but would not be able to sell. Your partner would also have an obligation of conservation of the asset.

    It is recommendable that you have a Spanish will (Notarised will) in order to ease the inheritance process.

    If you need more help do not hesitate to contact us.

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