Do you have assets in Spain? Executing a will in Spain considerably simplifies acceptation your assets in Spain, bearing in mind the time period stipulated for payment of corporate tax since death (six months), as well as the slow process entailed in recognizing a foreign will in Spain. We will assist you in arranging signing documentation before the notary public as well as throughout the inventory process and inheritance acceptation.

There’re three kinds of wills in Spain:


Open Will (Testamento abierto)

The first one and the most common of them is the open will which has to be signed in any Spanish Notary or Spanish Embassy. The notary reads careful the content before the signing as is the case in any other notary signature event, and after it he sends it to a central registry in Madrid where a copy of all wills and life insurances are kept. In addition a copy of every single document signed in a notary is sent there including the wills, so the client gets only a copy of it (not the original), after the signature. The main point of that is even though the client looses the will, he can always get another copy in the notary, and if he passes away, there is available a registry with all the wills.

Closed will (Testamento cerrado)

This sort of will is written by the client in a paper and delivered to the notary, who makes sure of the client’s identity and puts it in an envelope that remains closed until the person passes away. At this point, the heirs would have access to its content that would be read by the notary.

Holographic will (Testamento Ológrafo)

This sort of will involves more risks than the others. It doesn’t have to be signed in the notary, and it can be written in a piece of paper and signed by him. The main point here of course, is about proving that the document belongs to the person, in the event the heirs disagree about the content. If that happens, a long process takes place to proove through experts and witnesses that the author was the one who signed it, so we don’t recommend choosing this option unless the person can’t meet a notary for any reason.

As we wrote above, the notary will check the person identity, will make sure that he understands his language (otherwise a translator will be required), but above all, will check to ensure that he is a good mental state to be able to write his will. If the notary finds out that he is not, then he is obligated not to allow the individual to sign, and if the client has a mental disease but in several moments he recovers his sanity, he will be able to sign a will during those moments. However, if an heir finds that the person signs a will having lost his mind and the notary doesn’t realize it, he will be legitimated to apply for a will cancellation.

After death

Once we have news about a relative’s death, it is very important to start all the inheritance stages, because we will have only six months to submit the tax statement, although before that, we will need to find out if we are heirs or not.

The first step is to apply for a death certificate in the Civil Registry of the town where the relative died, and anyone can get it, since it is from a public registry.

After this, we need to go to the last Will Registry in order to get a last will certificate. This document is essential as it will show every single will signed by the relative, as well as any life insurances. This documents, will also state which notary has the will, so the heir can go there, get a copy, and start the state acceptance process.

Once the heirs are in the notary, they will have to sign “state acceptance deed”, but they have to make sure they reject any debt from the deceased relative. Otherwise, they will be obligated to pay it with their own funds (“Aceptación a beneficio de inventario”). After the inheritance deed is signed and delivered, then it could be used for changing the property ownership, or for funds withdrawal.