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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche. www.costaluzlawyers.es

Legal tip 723. FREE Guide on Inheritance Law and Wills for Dummies
08 March 2012 @ 19:37

Olvera. Spain - 13

"Olvera. Spain - 13", Cádiz, Spain, by Drumsara, at flickr.com



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15 Comments


peterc said:
12 March 2012 @ 13:11

I am still confused about who gets what in my circumstances. I am a UK citizen resident in the UK. I have a UK will that leaves everything to my wife, but no Spanish will. We jointly own a house in Spain. If I die, does my wife get my half of the property according to my will? Or do my three children get a part of it?


Maria said:
12 March 2012 @ 13:16

If you have no estate assets in the UK, your inheritance will be governed by Spanish Inheritance Law and your children will be forced heirs unless they renounce to these rights


peterc said:
13 March 2012 @ 13:12

Thanks Maria, but I am still confused [am I a dummy?].

My wife and I jointly own a house in the UK, where we are resident. We also jointly own a house in Spain. My UK will leaves all my estate to my wife. I have no Spanish will. If I die does my wife get full possession of the house in Spain, or do the three children also have an interest? If they do inherit, are they liable to Spanish inheritance tax? Sorry if I appear a little confused but I have had some conflicting advice about this.

Peter


Maria said:
13 March 2012 @ 14:00

Oh no Peter, you are not dummie. The matter is sometimes confusing.

The main key is to go to nationality. What is your nationality?

M


Teressa McDonald said:
13 March 2012 @ 17:15

Hi Maria, I would just like to assist your UK readers by clarifying for them and Peter that they will not need to have a Spanish Will and if they are a UK citizen the division of their estate whether they have a UK Will or not will be dealt with under UK succession law no matter where in the world their assets are. In Peter’s case his UK Will determines what happens to his estate and as long as he deals with his Spanish assets within the UK Will and does not exclude them then he will not need another Will in Spain. The process for obtaining Probate in the UK and then using it to transfer assets in Spain is straightforward and something that my Company deals with every day. Of course, having a Will whether in Spain or the UK does not negate inheritance tax and any UK citizen should seek specialist advice on estate planning to avoid paying more inheritance tax than they need to.


Phil Ogden said:
13 March 2012 @ 17:15

Hi Maria, further to earlier comments I would like to add that, from what Peter said, he has assets in U.K., his marital home and further, a holiday home in Spain. They are U.K. resident and U.K. Domiciled. The marital home will automatically pass to his widow on death, free of U.K. Inheritance Tax; not so in Spain however. There are no spousal exemptions from Spanish Inheritance Tax for Non Spanish Residents and his widow, or him if he survives his wife, will have Inheritance Tax to pay in Spain. Upon the second parent’s death, their 3 children will have further Spanish Inheritance Tax to pay, following which the asset will further be assessed in the U.K. for British Inheritance Tax, being part of his Worldwide wealth.
There are, of course, lawful measures that one can employ to completely avoid Spanish Inheritance Tax and possibly other Spanish taxes such as Spanish Income Tax and Spanish Wealth Tax.



Phil Ogden said:
13 March 2012 @ 17:20

Hi Maria, further to earlier comments I would like to add that, from what Peter said, he has assets in U.K., his marital home and further, a holiday home in Spain. They are U.K. resident and U.K. Domiciled. The marital home will automatically pass to his widow on death, free of U.K. Inheritance Tax; not so in Spain however. There are no spousal exemptions from Spanish Inheritance Tax for Non Spanish Residents and his widow, or him if he survives his wife, will have Inheritance Tax to pay in Spain. Upon the second parent’s death, their 3 children will have further Spanish Inheritance Tax to pay, following which the asset will further be assessed in the U.K. for British Inheritance Tax, being part of his Worldwide wealth.
There are, of course, lawful measures that one can employ to completely avoid Spanish Inheritance Tax and possibly other Spanish taxes such as Spanish Income Tax and Spanish Wealth Tax.
Phil Ogden
Spanish Tax Consultant
Wincham Consultants Limited


Teressa McDonald said:
13 March 2012 @ 17:23

Maria, Just to confirm I am a UK Solicitor working for Wincham Legal Limited who specialise in helping UK clients in Spain and the UK with Legal and Taxation issues.


Phil Ogden said:
13 March 2012 @ 18:36

Hi Maria, further to earlier comments I would like to add that, from what Peter said, he has assets in U.K., his marital home and further, a holiday home in Spain. They are U.K. resident and U.K. Domiciled. The marital home will automatically pass to his widow on death, free of U.K. Inheritance Tax; not so in Spain however. There are no spousal exemptions from Spanish Inheritance Tax for Non Spanish Residents and his widow, or him if he survives his wife, will have Inheritance Tax to pay in Spain. Upon the second parent’s death, their 3 children will have further Spanish Inheritance Tax to pay, following which the asset will further be assessed in the U.K. for British Inheritance Tax, being part of his Worldwide wealth.
There are, of course, lawful measures that one can employ to completely avoid Spanish Inheritance Tax and possibly other Spanish taxes such as Spanish Income Tax and Spanish Wealth Tax.
Phil Ogden
Spanish Tax Consultant
Wincham Consultants Limited


Phil Ogden said:
13 March 2012 @ 18:39

Sorry Maria,
I seem to keep repeating myself. I'm not really well practiced with technology.


Phil Ogden said:
13 March 2012 @ 18:39

Sorry Maria,
I seem to keep repeating myself. I'm not really well practiced with technology.


Maria said:
14 March 2012 @ 09:41

Thanks Teresa and Peter.

Of course (1) every inheritance follows the rules of Law of nationality of deceased and (2) if leaving a UK will, there is no legal need to make a new will in Spain.

This clear and simple rule has its shades as if a UK person leaves no estate assets in the UK and estate assets abroad, UK law forward the whole inheritance to the Law where the foreign asset is located.

Regarding UK/ Spanish wills, the only advantage of having a Spanish will is the speed for the transfer of spanish assets to heirs, specially when UK Law forward the case to Spanish Inheritance Law as explained above. In this case, that Spanish will, will make the Spanish probate an easy and quick matter.




Malc said:
19 March 2012 @ 10:53

I am confused as I am a british subject but a resident in Spain. I have a Spanish will which we did in 2004 leaving everything to my wife and after her death to our children. We also made a will in the UK in 2002 which leaves everything to my wife with a lump sum to the children. Which will is current or are both?


Maria said:
19 March 2012 @ 11:26

If you have UK nationality and die leaving a estate asset in the UK ( among any other possible assets) Law applicable is UK Law. If you have UK Nationality but just leave property in Spain ( among other non- estate assets), Spanish Law will apply.

Under the above statements, either Spanish or Uk Law will stablish at the moment of your death on the validity of wills signed.

The general case, when UK Law applies, makes the Spanish will applicable to assets in Spain if this will is not in contradiction with the UK will.

Every case is different and needs careful consideration of every detail

Kindest!

Maria


Malc said:
19 March 2012 @ 12:30

We have assets in both countries but our main house is here in Spain.


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