Making a Spanish Will When Buying Property in Spain

Spanish inheritance laws are probably very different to those that you are used to in your home country.

We can advise you on the various different options regarding your Spanish Will. It is possible to have two wills – one in the Spain covering your Spanish assets and one in the UK covering your other assets. Both Wills need to be drafted carefully to make sure that they do not revoke each other.

Key issues we can help you consider and plan for include:

  • Whether you need a separate Spanish Will
  • What would happen to your Spanish property under Spanish intestacy rules
  • Your loved one’s inheritance rights under Spanish law
  • How to make a valid Spanish Will
  • How to register your Will in Spain without leaving the UK
  • Inheritance tax planning for Spanish property

You can find out more about these issues and the costs of making a Spanish Will below or you can speak to a member of our team for personal advice tailored to your situation.

We can also help you with buying Spanish property and inheriting Spanish property.

For your convenience, we have put together a list of useful Spanish legal terms and their English translations, to help make navigating legal issues in Spain a little easier.

For specific advice on making a Will and inheritance planning for Spanish property, please get in touch with our friendly, expert Spanish property lawyers in the UK.

Call: 01438 840 258                                    Email:

How we can help with making a Will for Spanish property

Advice on whether you need a Spanish Will

This will depend on the circumstances, so it is essential to take expert legal advice. A significant factor is where you are considered to have your ‘habitual residence’ at the time of your death.

If you are spending half a year or more in your Spanish property (whether consecutively or in separate periods) or you have any other Spanish assets (including a bank account), it is likely you will need a Spanish Will as Spanish authorities are likely to consider that you are habitually resident in Spain.

You will also need to consider how UK inheritance rules will affect your Spanish property as the UK has its own rules around the inheritance of foreign property.

Spanish Will writing

Our Will writing team can guide you through creating a Spanish Will, making sure it is compliant with Spanish law and that it complements your UK Will, rather than conflicting with it.

We can make sure all relevant issues have been considered, including all of the ways Spanish inheritance law can interact with UK inheritance laws. You can then have peace of mind that your Spanish property will be treated as you would wish when you pass away.

Registering your Will in Spain

Your Will needs to be registered with the Central Wills Registry in Madrid to be considered valid. However, you do not need to go to Madrid yourself to arrange this. Our team will be happy to deal with the registration of your Will for you, making all of the necessary arrangements without any need for you to ever leave the UK.

Spanish inheritance tax planning

Spanish inheritance tax rules are very different from those in the UK and can be much more costly for your beneficiaries if you do not plan effectively. It is therefore essential to have a thorough understanding of your estate’s potential liability for Spanish inheritance tax (known as ‘succession tax’).

There are different tax-free allowances (equivalent to the UK nil-rate band) set by the central government of Spain and regional authorities and these can be much higher or lower than the UK equivalent.

There is a tax exemption to leave assets to a surviving spouse. Depending on the value of the assets and the region this could even be a full exemption.

With effective inheritance tax planning, it is possible to minimise the impact of Spanish succession tax, which is something our expert team will be happy to assist with.

Spanish Wills & inheritance planning for UK citizens explained

Can you use a UK Will for Spanish property?

You can leave your assets in Spain to somebody with a UK Will, but this doesn’t make sense – the cost of the subsequent inheritance will be more and it is possible that you will inadvertently cause inheritance tax problems.

What happens if you don’t make a Will?

The cost and extra complications of leaving no Will at all is great and should be avoided.

Do you need to follow Spanish inheritance law as a foreigner?

In the past, foreigners did not have to follow the same inheritance rules that Spanish people. Things have changed, however, and in some circumstances foreigners in Spain do need to follow Spanish inheritance law e.g. if you are resident in Spain and haven’t made a Will

Do you need to make a Spanish Will in Spain?

A Spanish Will can be prepared and signed in your local area – there is no need to go to Spain. We can arrange for the registration of your Will at the Central Wills Registry in Madrid.

Your Spanish Will can be signed in the UK or in Spain. To find out more, please take a look at our guide to foreign Wills.

Our Spanish Will writing fees

We charge £395 plus VAT for drafting a simple Will for one person or £595 plus VAT for two “Mirror” Wills. On top of that there are Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation fees (currently £30) and Notary fees, which will depend on the Notary.

Why use Judicare for Wills and inheritance advice for Spanish property?

Spanish lawyers. Plain English advice.

With both Spanish lawyers and English lawyers who have studied Spanish law in our team, we are fluent in Spanish and English and translate for you and ensure no important details are missed.

UK-regulated solicitors for your peace of mind.

As a UK law firm, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) providing assurance over our legal and professional standards. This also means we carry professional indemnity insurance for claims up to £3million compared to many Spanish lawyers who are typically only covered up to €18,000.

Detailed understanding of both Spanish and UK law

Drawing on our comprehensive knowledge of both Spanish and UK law, we know all of the issues that can arise where the two legal systems interact. This is particularly important when it comes to issues involving ownership, taxation and inheritance.

AIPP membership

We are members of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP). This organisation exists to improve professional standards and offers assurance that we provide the highest standards of specialist expertise for dealing with foreign property.

Highly experienced expertise

With many years of experience dealing with all of the legal issues connected to Spanish property, we know the common problems you can run into (and the not so common ones) and what we can do to minimise any potential negative impact on you.

Need help with a Will for property in Spain?

Our UK-based team of property lawyers are highly experienced in helping clients who own property in Spain to make appropriate Wills for their Spanish assets.

With a thorough understanding of both UK and Spanish law, we can provide clear, reliable legal guidance in plain English, giving you the confidence to deal effectively with inheritance issues for property in Spain.

Call: 01438 840 258                                    Email: