August 1st, 2013
There unfortunately continues to be a lot of misinformation in circulation on this subject- particularly ‘opinions’ posted on the internet by those not in professional practice.
The starting point is that if you own a Spanish property, you must have a Spanish Will.
Notwithstanding this; and quite possibly because of incorrect advice, many British owners of Spanish properties die each year, having made no Spanish Will. This can result in complex and expensive Spanish probate cases.
However, the mission of our team is to inform our contacts and clients during their lifetime as to the best solution in each individual case.
In the vast majority of cases, as indicated, the best solution is that during their lifetime, non- Spanish owners of Spanish properties should ensure that they make separate up-to-date Spanish Wills, to deal with their Spanish assets. The main benefits are:
• It avoids ambiguity as to which
national succession law is to be followed. In many cases, this can present
testators with greater choice in selecting beneficiaries.
• It avoids protracted and potentially highly costly Spanish probate procedures.
• It provides opportunities for efficient tax planning.
• It enables clients to enjoy the protection and peace of mind of being able to use Spain’s excellent compulsory national Wills Registry.
The quality of the professional service in provision of Spanish Wills is of paramount importance. We have identified the main features of our Spanish Will service which we consider to be of key importance to our clients:
• Our clients can be confident that
our documents have been produced with both Spanish and English legal input and
taxation analysis, which is absolutely essential when dealing with dual (or
multi) jurisdictional estates.
• Our clients can be confident in the professional qualification, regulation and accountability of those responsible for advising and producing documentation.
• All our Spanish legal documentation includes at no extra charge, a professional translation into ‘real’ English (we only work with sworn translators, qualified and authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs). It is obviously fundamental that the translation is completely accurate, to ensure that the testator fully understands what is being signed.
• We organise the whole Notarial process for our clients, providing our clients also with full guidance notes as to the signature process, as well as helpline advice, any time. So, the whole process is extremely straightforward and stress-free for our clients.
• Our proven track record of working alongside our extensive network of Notaries throughout Spain, ensures efficiency of process and confidence and convenience for the client.
• As our priority is to work with Notaries with an in-house bilingual facility, clients do not have to pay extra (as can otherwise commonly the case) for interpretation services at the signature appointment.
• All documentation is discussed and agreed at the client’s pace, to ensure that everything is carefully considered and thought through before documentation is finalized and ready for signature.
• From our extensive and broad ranging experience of Spanish probate cases, clients can be confident that all documentation is designed to ensure efficiency and ease of Notarial/ Registry acceptance in the event of Spanish probate.
• As we offer a full range of Spanish estate planning tools (without being tied or committed to any single product or process), clients can be confident of a truly independent and unbiased approach to Spanish estate planning; to find the best solution in each individual case.