Spain Explained

Inheritance claims and power of attorney

Could your dreams of enjoying Spain, its climate and lifestyle, be taken over by a series of unfortunate events?

We plan for our retirement, we look forward to putting the alarm clock away and then – we’ve all heard the stories, “He had his retirement party on the Friday, was dead on the Saturday.” It seems like everyone knows someone who knows someone that this has happened to.

An unfortunate coincidence, a fact of life.

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A case study

For example, a happily-married couple from Scotland in their 60s had been planning their retirement in Spain. After searching long and hard they found their ideal cosy apartment on the Costa Blanca. They were immediately attracted by the warmth of the people and the splendid views. This was the place for them.

Unfortunately, just before moving out to Spain one of our clients contacted us with the sad news of the death of his wife. The original plan was never to be. As it happened this forward-thinking couple had not only planned their move, they had also planned their inheritance. They had found the inheritance procedures to be complicated enough in the UK, let alone in Spain and had made the decision to take advice and set out their wishes.

Our client and his three children were to be the heirs to the estate. Two of the children lived abroad, one son having moved to New Zealand and one daughter having lived for many years in Ireland. The two children, because of work and family commitments, couldn’t come to Spain in order to sort matters out.

Even though our client and the third child were in Spain, they were struggling to cope with the loss and didn’t feel able to face the legal procedures. In order to do the best for the whole family, our inheritance department prepared a power of attorney for each of the inheritors with detailed instructions to be signed in their own country. This was a great relief for all of them at a very difficult time.

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No need to travel

The message is that it is not necessary to come to Spain if you are an inheritor of Spanish property. All you need is a power of attorney and your NIE and these can both be organised for you by a solicitor from your home country. Your inheritors will be able to visit a notary where they live and sign any documentation there. Ábaco prepares the documents in both languages so everyone knows what they’re signing. With an extensive range of contacts in different countries we are usually able to make links with a Notary close to where the client is living.

Simplified arrangements can be a blessing at times like this. It’s not going to reduce the grief or the loss, but it is one less burden when you need it least.

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