In the current state of alarm we are experiencing and in full confinement, the Spanish law allows you to make a Will in Spain without leaving your home.
Under normal circumstances, making a Will is as easy as making an appointment at a Notary’s office. Once there, your wishes would be disclosed to the Notary for him to draw up your Last Will and Testiment.
However, due to the situation of confinement combined with concerns of leaving one’s inheritance situation in order, some questions may arise. We hope through this post to clarify some of these doubts.
The big question is: Do I have my legal status in order so that my Will will be respected in all its aspects?
In addition, the current situation caused by COVID-19 makes it impossible to travel to another country.
So, if you do not live in Spain but own property here, how can you make a Will in Spain if you are unable travel?
German, Swiss or British citizens who cannot travel to Spain due to current mobility restrictions.
There is a suitable option to solve this problem.
Have you made a Will in Spain?
We always advise our clients from the moment they become owners of a property in Spain to make a Will before a Notary.
We do not wish to be discouraging however misfortunes may occur and one must be prepared for the unexpected. The question here is to be legally prepared, with the knowledege that family members are legally covered and aided by professionals. This way you can be certian that your Will will be respected in all aspects.
The fact that our desires will be respected, helps one live worry-free and peacefully.
Now, if you are an owner of property here in Spain but have not made a Will as yet, you can do so from the comfort of your own home wherever that may be. For such a Will to be valid, it is very important to take into account the legal status of the testator and if the document is signed outside Spanish territory. In other words, the legal requirements of the foreign citizen who wishes to make a Will in Spain must be compatible with Spanish legislation.
How to make a Will without leaving home according to Spanish law.
Although we cannot travel to other countries at present, Spanish legislation allows a legal solution, that being to grant holographic Wills.
How does a holographic Will work?
- It is a hand-written Will written by the testator in his own handwriting.
- It can be done without the intervention of a Notary.
- No witnesses are required.
5 requirements for a holographic Will to be valid.
– The testator must be over 18 years of age.
– If the testator is a foreigner, he or she can write it in his or her own language.
– The entire Will must be written by the testator and signed by him/her.
– The year, month and day of the Will must be recorded.
– If any words are crossed out, corrected or added between lines, the testator himself/herself must sign these as being of his/her own hand.
Effectiveness of the holographic will.
– During the life of the testator, the holographic Will remains effective without the need to present the Will before a Notary.
– Upon the death of the testator, the person in possession of the holographic Will must present it to the Notary within 10 days of learning of the death.
If he does not do this, any interested party in the estate may ask the Notary to demand of the person who is in possesion of the Will to present it to him.
Once the Will has been presented and the death has been verified, the Notary will proceed and will take the contents of the document as conclusive.
Our advice if you have already made a holographic will
If you thought it necessary at any time in the past to make a holographic Will, may we please stress our recommendation, above all for the security of the testor, to re-sign the document before a Notary.
You should also please bear in mind that a holographic Will, despite being legal, entails more bureacracy in the long term. A Will made before a Notary, has less formalities to contend with.
These are the most important issues you should know about the holographic Will, but you should always seek advice on your particular case from a solicitor who specializes in inheritance.
Do you have any questions?
We will answer you in English, German and Spanish.