“Irish property owners in Spain are being warned that in the event of a death they could be leaving their families to deal with a legal minefield.
Thousands of Irish buyers have snapped up apartments and villas along the Spanish coastline but despite making a significant investment in their properties, many don’t realize the importance of making a Spanish Will.
Alvaro Blasco, a Spanish lawyer and Irish solicitor living and working in Maynooth, told the Cork Independent why it’s so important for Irish nationals to ensure their assets are protected in Spain upon death.
“A foreign resident who dies in Spain intestate will have his estate divided according to Spanish law unless has stated in his Will that the law which will govern his/her estate is the Irish Law,” he said.
“The absence of having made a Spanish will can cause unnecessary and often expensive delays for the inheritors, as well as being a little unfortunate for the deceased.”
Mr Blasco says that without a Spanish Will, families of deceased Irish property owners have to wait until Irish probate is initiated and finalized a process that can take up to a year.
“You will also incur unnecessary expenses such as translation of all the court documents and the validation of the same. Spanish inheritance taxes oblige the heir to pay taxes within six months after the time of death. Therefore you may also have to deal with unnecessary tax penalties.”
Spanish Wills are all lodged in a public registration office so there’s never any danger of them being lost or mislaid. The Spanish civil code also enables a foreign property owner to leave assets as governed by the law of their country of origin, and not Spanish law.
It is also important to note that from 17 August 2015, it’s important to include in an Irish Will that the law that the testator or testatrix wish to govern their estate is the Irish law, as otherwise if they passed away during their holidays in Spain, without this mention, the Spanish law will be applicable for being the last residence.
If they die intestate then Spanish law applies to all assets held in Spain. “Make sure you find a solicitor that can provide a comprehensive service by drafting in both Spanish and English and register your Spanish Will in Spain.” Mr Blasco concluded. Contact Blasco Solicitors on 01-5545711 or visit blascosolicitors.ie”