You might have signed a Spanish will some time ago and think that it is now arranged. Indeed, your will is still in place and perfectly valid, but it is important to have its content and wording checked from time to time to ensure that it is in line with the latest law updates so it won’t cause trouble
s for your future inheritors.
When someone comes to Spain and becomes owner of a house in our country, the first thing that they are recommended to do is to sign a will so that their assets in Spain are safeguarded in the future for those they care about.
Without a doubt, this step is very important, even if you have a will in place in your home country, so that your inheritors know how to proceed should you pass away and what to do with your assets based in Spain.
Having a Spanish will in place also makes the inheritance process much easier and more straightforward for your beloved ones. They won’t have to worry about many of the foreign documents that are requested when the Spanish will is missing, fails to cover every aspect or includes outdated stipulations.
When drafting a will, we recommend what is most suitable for the testator (person making the will) at the time of its signing. However, what could be the best option at one point might not be the best advice some years after. This is partly explained by changes in the law
s over time.
If you are unaware of these changes, which could affect your particular case, your inheritors might experience difficulties in the future when dealing with inheritance administration. One of the problems they might encounter is the requirement for additional documentation, which will lead to extra charges.
Another reason why your will might not be up-to-date is because you might have changed your civil status, had children, moved to a different country or become a Spanish resident, amongst other situations.
Most importantly, if you have become a Spanish resident or have changed your residency to another country, it is essential not only to have a will in place, but also an updated one where this change is reflected. Taking this simple step could make a huge difference to your inheritors.
It is also vital to ensure that, if a will has been signed abroad after signing one in Spain the latter will does not interfere with the Spanish one.
In short, if you find yourself in any of the situations listed below, it would be advisable to get professional advice and, most probably, get a new will signed:
- Moved to another country
- Become Spanish resident
- Moved to another ‘comunidad autónoma’ within Spain
- Changed your personal status
- Had children
- Signed a will a long time ago
- Signed a new will in a different country afterwards
- Appointed many people as inheritors
Moreover, if you have changed your mind and wish to appoint someone else, add another person to the will or even remove somebody from it, a new version will have to be prepared and signed. Likewise, if any of the people appointed in your will have sadly passed away or are not interested in inheriting your assets any longer, it is beneficial to get your will rewritten to make things even easier and simplify the future inheritance process.
Keeping your will up-to-date will cost you a little money but this is nothing in comparison to what it might cost your inheritors if it is not kept in line with your circumstances.
You might find that signing many wills over the years might be expensive but this could be nothing compared to the expenditures and hassles that your inheritors might have to face if not done properly.
For all these reasons, we always encourage our clients to look into this matter once in a while and get the advice of an expert who knows the latest updates and understands what is best for your individual circumstances. Also, as previously stated, having an updated will in place can be very cost-effective for your future heirs.
At Ábaco, we can help you revise your last Spanish will to ensure that it is in line with the latest updates and any changes in your personal circumstances. If needed, we can help you arrange the signing of a new version in Spain or in your home country.