Are you a foreigner in Spain who does not have a will? Erardo Ferrer, whose firm has more than 20 years of experience advising foreign residents on inheritance matters, advises you to do it now and save money and problems for your partner, your children or any other heirs after your death.
First published in the Gazette Life December edition, December 1st.
Not leaving a will is always a source of disputes and problems for the heirs, and that can be even more so when assets are divided between countries. Making a will will allow you to choose the applicable law and decide how your inheritance will be distributed. It’s also a very simple and affordable legal procedure.
Did you know that if you are a resident in Spain and do not leave a notarized will, the more restrictive Spanish Law can be applied to you? Spanish succession law requires that 50% of assets go to a spouse, with other shares divided among children. This removes your freedom to choose how you may dispose of your estate, and can cause real problems if you have remarried or have step-children.
However, foreign residents can now choose to apply the inheritance law of their home country, if they choose to do so. In the case of British residents, this allows you more freedom to divide your assets.
Leaving a will with clear instructions always improves the situation of the heirs in the face of administrative bureaucracy and the costs of the inheritance process in Spain. It also saves you from having to request some documents in your country of origin, which after death is always a tedious and expensive task for the heirs.
Making a will is also an act of responsibility and consideration for your heirs. You can also freely organize how you want your assets to be distributed and even set conditions or appoint executors.
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