Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 03:14 pm.
You may already have heard about the changes to inheritance legislation and Spanish wills in Spain. There are important changes taking place that may affect you if you are an EU citizen and a resident here.
New EU inheritance legislation
The Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012 states:
EU citizens habitually residing in Spain (Residents) will be subject to the Spanish succession law, despite their nationality, unless they specifically state in their will the wish for the succession law of their country of origin to apply.
This means that if you have a Spanish will it must specifically state that you wish your own country’s inheritance law to apply. If this clause isn’t included then the distribution of your inheritance will automatically revert to Spanish law. If you have no will at all, then Spanish law will also apply. This does make a difference.
Spanish national inheritance law
According to the Spanish national inheritance law a certain percentage of inheritance must be left to legal beneficiaries such as your spouse and children. This is different to UK and Irish law which allows an individual to leave their inheritance to whoever they wish.
If you have a specific request for who you wish your inheritance to be left to then leaving your old Spanish will as it is or having no will at all may mean that your wishes cannot be followed.
The new legislation doesn’t come into effect until 17th August 2015. However, we highly recommend that you do change your will if you are a resident in Spain but do not have Spanish nationality.
In order to adapt your documentation to ensure that you can leave your inheritance to those you choose, we have expert staff who can help you.