Is my old Spanish Will still valid or not?

Most have heard about the change in the law that affects Spanish Wills made by foreigners in Spain. And if you had made one before the new regulation came into effect in 2015 you are probably unsure whether your existing Spanish will is still valid or not.

Prior to the new regulation Spanish wills made by non-Spanish citizens were automatically made according to the national law of the testator. Therefore it was not usual to make mention in the notarised Spanish will which country’s law was to be applied for the same.

Now however, the new regulation gives the option to make the Will according to the national law of the testator or the law of the country in which the assets are located. Since there might be a discrepancy between those two it is mandatory to state in the Will according to which law the Will is made.

British married couples with children and assets in Spain would most commonly leave it to each other first and then to their children equally. This can now create a problem because according to Spanish inheritance law the testator cannot freely dispose of his assets and a share has to go to the children upon his demise.

Consequently, if you have made a Spanish Will before 2015 with the clause as mentioned above and it does not mention under which law you are making the Will –which is most likely to be the case- you will be best advised to make a new Will. However, if you have appointed your children to be the immediate heirs then there is most likely no need for updating the Will.

To discuss your Spanish Will or further information please call me for an appointment at Andrea Burns Office on  96 669 7824.