If you have a house or bank accounts or any properties in Spain, we advise having a Spanish Will.
Your heirs will also have to get a NIE number in order to inherit.
The main reason for having a Spanish Will is that it will be much easier for your heirs to deal with the inheritance.
You can hire a lawyer that will draft the Will in both English and Spanish. Once you have the document, you will have to go to a Spanish Notary for signing it along with a translator. If you hire a lawyer, he/she will be in charge of all the paperwork.
In Spain, it is mandatory to sign the Will with a Notary. You will not need to bring any witnesses. Once you sign your Will, it will be recorded in the Notary office and the central Will registry will be informed that your Will is in this specific Notary office. Therefore, any heir will be able to find the Will.
Choose the Law which will rule your inheritance.
There is a new European Regulation (EU 650/2012) changing Inheritance Law after 15th August 2015. This new regulation orders that when a person dies and is a resident in a European country different than this of his/her nationality, the Inheritance Law that will rule the inheritance will be the one where he/she had his/her last residence.
This means that if an Irish citizen is retired and residing in Spain and he passes away, the Inheritance Law that will rule his inheritance will be Spanish Law unless he stated in his Will that he wanted Irish Law to rule his inheritance.
It is very important for you to expressly state in your Will which Law you choose to rule your Inheritance.
This is important because the Spanish Inheritance Law is stricter than UK Inheritance Law, for example. In Spain, you cannot leave everything to your spouse or just name in your Will only one of your children. Under Spanish Law, you have to leave 2/3rds of your Estate to your children (even if you don’t want to).
Therefore, it is very important to check or amend your Will before 15th August 2015 if you are residing in a European country different than the one of your nationality.