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Do I need a Spanish Will ?

By Jaime Vives - Thu 10th Sep 2009

If your only asset in Spain is your property then you will not need to have a Spanish Will.

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Spanish law does not allow for your partner in marriage to automatically inherit your half of a jointly owned property and in all cases the Beneficiary will need to probate the Estate and pay Inheritance Tax on the asset before the asset can legally pass into the new ownerís name or names. To make matters worse any bank account held in the Deceasedís name, or jointly, is automatically frozen until the Estate has been probated and all necessary Taxes have been paid. The Taxes cannot be paid from the Deceasedís assets in Spain and it can take between 6 months and 2 years to complete the probate process and the transfer of the Deceasedís assets to the Beneficiary.

Inheritance Tax is calculated using different formulas dependant on the relationship of the person to inherit with the Deceased. For instance if you and your partner are not married then the Tax will be significantly higher than if you are.

Children of the Deceased also pay different amounts of Tax dependant on their status; unmarried partnerís children from a previous marriage, that have not been legally adopted, pay more Tax than children who are the direct descendant of the Deceased.

As you can see the whole situation is fairly complicated and is made even more problematical as it is not the Estate that is probated but each personís part of the Estate that they are due to inherit.This means each person is individually required to go through probate in order to obtain their share of the property at a cost in the region of 5,000Ä for lawyers fees plus Inheritance Tax that is due to be paid.

The end result can be a very costly affair and the property cannot be sold until all Beneficiaries have completed the process.

By transferring your property into a UK Private Limited Company, you have NO requirement for a Will in Spain, No Lawyers in Spain as it is all dealt with back in the UK, NO probate and no freezing of bank accounts in Spain.

Contact Wincham today to find out how we can help you to protect your loved ones for having to pay unnecessary taxes on your assets in Spain.

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