Making a will in Spain
It’s surprising how few people have made wills or plans to dispose of their assets when they die.
There are many foreigners of advanced age living in Spain and there are international complications that can arise if you do not have a Spanish will organised. There are four important points with regards to wills:
- You need to make a will disposing of any property in Spain to avoid frustratingly expensive legal issues that could become a problem for your heirs. You can make a separate will disposing of assets that are outside of Spain. We have a page dedicated to inheritance tax and some of the ways in which you manage its severity and impact.
- As a foreigner, you will find that Spanish authorities do not oblige you to follow the Spanish law of compulsory heirs, in which you must leave two-thirds of your estate to your children. You can leave your estate to whomever you choose, but you will be subject to Spanish inheritance tax, which is high when the property is left to non-relatives.
- There are very few ways around Spanish Inheritance tax (or Gift Tax) and these legal issues require careful advance planning. Spanish law provides no large exemption from inheritance tax, such as Britain’s £ 215,000. The tax is due after the first € 15,060. However, there are Inheritance Tax specialists specialist companies that can help you to limit your liability.
- However, if you are an official resident of Spain leaving your property to a spouse, you may be eligible for a 95% reduction in the value of the property for inheritance tax calculation. This is not available to non-residents.
It is best to talk to a company who specialises in inheritance tax implications so you can leave the majority of your assets to your loved ones. If not, more than half will go to the Spanish tax department.
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