This is why you should set up a will in Spain

If you own a property in Spain you might want to consider setting up a Spanish will. Read more about how this will benefit both you and your heirs.

Knowing that your home will be managed according to your final wishes after you pass, provides a sense of security. If you are a Norwegian citizen, you can include your property in your Norwegian will. Still, it might be both more efficient and cost-effective to set up a Spanish will.

The inheritance settlement based on a Spanish will typically takes 4-6 months, while a Norwegian will takes much longer to process. The reason is that a Norwegian will has to be translated and become legalised in Spain. The process also involves a lot of documentation, which will need to be translated, certified and legalised.

An open will is the most common type. This covers all of your properties, interests and duties in Spain, unless you have specified that the will should only cover one specific property. If you already own, or are planning to acquire more assets in Spain, this is more practical as you will not need to write several wills.

A valid Spanish will is also valid in Norway. However, it might be wise to limit the content to your values in Spain, so that none of the content of the Spanish will counteracts the content of the Norwegian will

José Luis Rojas Vazquez, lawyer and partner in Vogt Law

How do you set up a Spanish will?

The person who is setting up the will, called the testator, has to sign an open will witnessed by a notary who is present. A notary is an impartial person with legal competence within civil law. The job of the notary is to attest to the testator´s identity, their sanity at the time of signing, and that the will is set up entirely voluntarily.

If the testator does not speak the same language as the notary, the testator needs to bring a translator. For foreign testators, the will has to be written in both Spanish and the person´s language (such as English). When everything is settled, the notary will keep the original document and notify the central Spanish will registry (called Registro Central de Ultima Voluntad). The testator keeps a certified copy.

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