Spanish Inheritance and Probate

The loss of a friend, family member or loved one is a very emotional time and whilst all you want to do is to come to terms with your loss, there are the formalities and practicalities of dealing with their Spanish assets.

SJ Stoker Solicitors are specialists in this area and can deal with the entire Spanish probate process. This means that we can deal with all of the legal and administrative work in connection with the distribution of the deceased's Spanish estate, in accordance with the Spanish or English Will. We can also administer the Estate, even if the deceased did not leave a Will. Whether it includes bank accounts, residential property, shares, etc…we will ensure that the beneficiaries receive their share of the inheritance. If the estate comprises a Spanish property we will make sure that it gets registered with the Spanish land registry into the name of the appropriate beneficiary. We can act for the beneficiaries whether they are based in Spain, in the UK or both. If you instruct us, there will be no need for anyone to travel to Spain to complete the process.

Differences between English and Spanish law

Different rules apply depending on the nationality and domicile of the deceased. Spanish law, for example, obliges a Spanish national to leave a certain percentage of his property to his family, whereas the same rule does not necessarily apply if the deceased was English or Welsh. In these cases, English law will normally apply to determine the rules of inheritance. As English Solicitors we know what English law states and are therefore at a real advantage when it comes to obtaining and processing all of the paperwork required by the Spanish authorities.

Time limits

Where Spanish inheritance tax is payable, it must be paid within six months from the date of death or financial penalties will be incurred.

Spanish Inheritance Tax

Unless exemptions apply, each beneficiary must pay inheritance tax on his share of the Spanish estate. Different exemptions and discounts apply depending on where the property is located and whether or not the deceased was classed as a Spanish resident.

Common Complaints

When clients first instruct us, they have often been trying to deal with the Spanish estate for some time. They have been told by their legal advisor that they need to get "court papers" and other documents from the UK which must then be "legalised" before they will be accepted in Spain. Clients are often unclear what papers are actually required. Where there are a number of beneficiaries and the family members live in different parts of the country (sometimes the world!), it can be difficult if not impossible to obtain all the papers required within the timescales imposed by Spanish law.

Our aim is to reduce this pressure by taking control and ensuring that each family member or beneficiary knows what he/she has to do. We will provide practical advice and support to ensure that all documentation is prepared and processed as quickly as possible.

As part of our service we can:

• Provide immediate support and advice following a bereavement
• Clarify the legal steps that have to be followed
• Collate all necessary documentation
• Find out the value of the Spanish estate
• Prepare a Spanish Power of Attorney where required
• Apply for and obtain an NIE number for each beneficiary where required
• Complete and file the Spanish tax forms making sure that you comply with relevant legislation and regulations
• Arrange for the Inheritance Deeds to be prepared by the Spanish Notary (this is the document required by the Spanish authorities to be able to deal with the assets of the estate)
• Deal with the legal work in connection with the sale of any Spanish property, where required
• Distribute the estate amongst the beneficiaries
• Provide regular progress updates throughout the process

Please [CLICK HERE] to contact us for a free initial consultation.

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