Spain Explained

Making your wishes known

Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 01:33 pm.

Most people are aware of the importance of making a will. Ensuring that those you love receive the inheritance you’ve worked for is recognised as one of those tasks we should do in good time. However not many people are aware that you can also make a living will.

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A living will enables someone to express their wishes should they find themselves at the end of their life and unable to take decisions by themselves. For example, in relation to medical issues such as whether you wish to be resuscitated or are happy for your organs to be donated.

The opportunity to have factors such as this recorded in writing is particularly important when you are not a native speaker of the language. Conveying your wishes may be impossible for you to do and making a living will can alley any fears about loss of control when the time comes.

The living will is a document that can be created before a Notary and is then registered. The health administration has access to this document which has been translated into Spanish and takes account of procedures in Spain. Any health centre in the country is able to access the document and can put your wishes into practice whether you can express them yourself or not.

The living will can cover:

  • Life support and resuscitation
  • Attendance of a priest or vicar
  • Organ donation
  • Therapies
  • Pain relief
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It can also include identification of a named person who can make decisions on your behalf should the need arise. It should be noted, however, that although medical care will always try to respect your wishes there may be times when some situations are not covered or need to be interpretated/clarified.

The living will registry is new to Valencia but is an excellent opportunity for you to retain control at this important time. If you are interested please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and advise you of the next steps if it is something you would like to put in place.

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16 March, 2022 7:38 pm

Hi..I am planning to give a talk for Age Concern in Mazarron about living these apply in the whole of Spain?.

Oscar Paoli

16 March, 2022 10:01 pm


At a national level, the law regulates living wills or advance directives in Article 11.

At regional level, the Autonomous Regions have drawn up their own regulations. You should bear in mind that the name of the document and its form vary according to the Autonomous Region.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers