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Spanish Wills

Spanish Wills

1. Types of Spanish Wills

In the Spanish legal system, there are rules governing the distribution of property after death.There are two different types of succesions:

  1. Testate Succession, when the deceased person has expressed his wishes in the form of a will.
  2. Intestate Succession which arises when a person dies intestate. In this case, the statutory law rules will govern the distribution of their properties, rigths and assets.

According with the Spanish Civil Code (article 676 Spanish Civil Code) there are three types of common wills:

  1. TESTAMENTO OLÓGRAFO ( HOLOGRAFAPHIC WILL)
  2. TESTAMENTO ABIERTO ( OPEN WILL)
  3. TESTAMENTO CERRADO ( CLOSED WILL)

1) HOLOGRAFIC WILL

The legal conditions of the HOLOGRAFIC WILL are the following:

The holografic will have to be verified (“protocolizado”) as genuine before a judge ( juzgado de primera instancia) with jurisdiction to act in the place where the will is made.

The judge will verify the the handwriting of the decedent by three witnesses who knows the testator.

Once it is verified, the judge will enforce the will's contents. The estate shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the will.

2) OPEN WILL

This is the usual type of will for most people in Spain. This type of will is the best option because is not expensive ( more or less 300.- Euros or 200 sterling pounds) and is very easy. You only have to go the the Notary and sign your spanish will ordered by your Spanish Solicitor according your wishes. According with Article 694 Spanish Civil Code “ Open wills shall be executed before a Notary with jurisdiction to act in the place where the will is made”. It is made before a Spanish Notary , who shall keep the original document in his files (protocolo) and will send a notification ( simple copy) of the will to the Registro Central de Última Voluntad ( Central Registry of Spanish Wills) located in Madrid.

The testator shall express his testamentary intentions orally or in writing to the Notary. Once the Notary has drafted the will in accordance with your instructions, stating the place, year, month, day and time of its being granted, and the testator has been advised of his right to read it himself, the Notary shall read it out loud so that the testator may affirm whether or not it represents his intentions.

The will shall be executed at once by the testator with capacity to do so and shall be signed by such witnesses and other persons as are required to be present, according to the circumstances ( In this case The Notary may request the presence of 2 witnesses, who can also be required in case the testator is blind or illiterate).

In the event that the testator affirms that he is not able to sign, one of the witnesses shall sign it at his request and on his behalf.

3) CLOSED WILL

In this type of will your provisions and appointments are secrets because the testator will keep his/her provisions ( the will ) in an envelope and closes in the presence of the Spanish Notary.

You shall declare before the notary that your provisions are contained in the envelope and declare whether you have written them by yourself or it has been written by a third person, also you shall declare whether you have signed it or it has been signed by a third person for you. ( Articles 684,685 and 686 Spanish Civil Code)

The notary then seals the envelope and signs it, then he files it and send a notification of the will to the Central Registry of Spanish Wills (Registro Central de Última Voluntad) located in Madrid.

This will cannot be made neither by blind nor by illiterate persons.

 

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