If you have lost a loved one and have been named as an Executor in their English or Spanish Will it means that you are responsible for the administration of their Estate between the beneficiaries in the Will.
There should be a Spanish Will in place
It is highly advisable for a testator to have a Spanish Will in place to cover the Estate in Spain for various reasons that aid Executors in administering the Estate. The legal process of administering a person’s Estate after their death, whether they have left a Will or not, is called Probate. If you are not an immediate family member then a Grant of Probate will need to be applied for. If there is no Spanish Will then a Grant of Probate must be obtained before the Estate in Spain can be inherited. This leads to time delays and if the delay is over six months it will mean that Spanish inheritance tax needs to be paid.
Probate is different in Spain
The role of Executors in an English Will gives them the responsibility of ensuring that the estate is administered between the Beneficiaries in the Will. In Spain however the deceased’s Estate passes to the Beneficiaries directly without relying on the Executor.
To accept their inheritance, the beneficiaries sign a deed at a Notary Public, self assessment inheritance tax is paid and changes will be made at the Land Registry where required.
How B legal can help
Advising executors and beneficiaries’ in Spanish Estate Administration, we collect all the documentation which may be required by the authorities, legalise them, translate them and prepare the Inheritance Deed for our clients.
We obtain valuations of the property and other assets and of any debts owed, preparing and completing all relevant tax accounts for the Spanish Inland Revenue, preparing the Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance and executing same in order to register the Spanish Estate under the Beneficiaries’ names. We can also provide beneficiaries with an NIE number which is needed to inherit assets in Spain.
Due to Data Protection Law, we will require a Power of Attorney from each of the Beneficiaries in order to act on their behalf so that we can deal with the bank, Spanish authorities, Town Hall, Spanish Inland Revenue, Notaries and Land Registrars on behalf of our clients.