Do I need a Spanish Will?
As a Briton, if you own property in Spain, you don’t need to make a will if you don’t want to, but it is really advisable to do so, as it can avoid many problems in the future for your heirs.
Why should I have a will in Spain?
In 2012 the EU discussed and approved a new regulation in relation to wills and began to apply in 2015.
It establishes, eminently, the fact that the applicable inheritance law will correspond to the country in which the death is generated; unless the opposite is specified.
This implies that, if you made a will in your country and if you did not detail that you would like the law of your country of origin to be applied, dying in Spain is going to mean the application of Spain’s inheritance law.
This is very common in British people who, when making a will, decide to leave everything to their spouse. Taking English inheritance law as an example, this is not a problem. 100% of the possessions will go to the heir they explicitly defined.
However, in Spain this does not work in the same way, in Spain wills are limited. This means that if you die leaving a valid will, there is a fixed percentage of your possessions that must be given to your relatives. This is independent of your will. Two-thirds of the total assets must be for your children, spouse or parents; and the other part that you have voluntarily defined.
Finally, it is important to mention that, if you have a British will, unless there is a clause in your British will that contradicts it, it is not a problem to keep that will. This is because the Spanish will is exclusive only to the assets you have in Spain.