Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The importance of having a Will in Spain

The laws covering inheritance and inheritance taxes is different in Spain to many other countries.

Why is it important to have a Will in Spain

Even if you have a Will in your own country of residency or domicilty, if you hold assets in Spain you should also ensure you have a Will written in Spain. The Will in Spain needs to work in conjunction with any other Wills you have written but should specify clearly what happens to the asset in Spain in the event of your death.

Failure to hold a Spanish Will can cause issues after your death, can lengthen considerably the time it takes for probate to be finalised and may in fact mean the assets do not finally go to the person you would have wanted to inherit them.

If I am married surely my partner just automatically inherits

In Spain it is not necessarily an immediate family member who is the only one with rights to the assets or part of them. Spain has no spousal exemption so a jointly owned asset between a married couple attracts immediate death duties for the 50% owned by the deceased and the asset cannot be transferred 100% to the joint owner until the death duties are paid. IHT taxes are the responsibilty of the beneficiary, not the estate, so assets cannot be sold to pay any death duties due.

What are Death Duties in Spain

Inheritance taxes vary from region to region and also can be affected by the relationship of the person who is the beneficiary, to the deceased. It is always best to take legal advice from a professional in Spain who can help you construct a suitable Will and help you understand and provide for any taxes that will apply.

Advice should be taken when considering buying a property in Spain at the outset to ensure the ownership is set up in the most cost effective manner to help mitigate as much Inheritance tax as possible.

Read the full article: the pitfalls of not having a Will in Spain

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