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Legal Questions Podcast With Maria de Castro

Every month, in association with Maria de Castro of Costa Luz Lawyers, we're going to be bringing you a recorded podcast where Maria will be answering your questions relating to Spanish law. Be informed!

Legal Podcasts with Maria de Castro - April
16 April 2015 @ 12:27




Name: Anna

Comment: Hola Maria, Can you please tell me what is the difference between NOTA SIMPLE INFORMATIVA and ESCRITURA.

Nota simple informativa is summarized information note from the Land Registry, after due registration of ownership rights.
An escritura is the public deed (public contract) made at the Notary.
In most of the cases, an escritura is needed for a legal fact or business to be registered at the Land Registry



Name: Anna

Comment: Hola Maria, Can you please tell me how do I get the Fiscal  number, can I get it from the Spanish Embassy?

Yes, you can apply at any of the Spanish consulates in Britain 

The consulate will not be able to provide you with an application form, so it is better that you download from the Internet. Here is the link for the download:



Name: Maureen 

Comment: have property in Spain, no mortgage, have the deeds, how do I go about transferring deeds to a relative, can this be done in UK or does it have to be in Spain

You can grant a gift deed before the Spanish Embassy in the UK. Once you have the deeds, your lawyer can pay the gift tax and have the property registered accordingly at the Spanish Land Registry.



Name: Pauline 

Comment: If bank accounts in Spain are in joint names, do I have to pay tax on our money if my husband dies. I am sole beneficiary to any of my late husbands’ estate in Spain 

Yes, you need to pay tax on half of the balance of that account at the date of your husband´s death. It is important that you have a Spanish will, including your choice on applicable Law for the process as quick and easy as possible.



Name: Sheila

Comment: My husband and I jointly own a house in Torreblanca. We have made a Spanish will but we are confused about Spanish inheritance laws. We had heard that on the death of one partner the property automatically reverts to the children. We are not resident in Spain. We own a house in England as well as the Spanish house. We have made an English will with regard to this property.

I take you are UK residents.

In your case, UK law apply and therefore any will made in regards to the house will never be limited by Law of forced heirs in Spain.


Name: Stella 

Comment: Regarding the new law concerning inheritance tax for non residents on property in Spain.  Who do you contact and are there any forms available

You need to present a legal writing before the Spanish Treasure. There is no specific form for this.
Treasure department needs to answer your request within six months.
Claim needs to be done within 4 years but there is an exceptional way to claim against the Administration if these four years have expired. Through a Patrimonial liability claim.



Name: Brenda 

Comment: My partner has died without leaving a will. The house in Spain is in both our names. Will I be forced to sell by his next of kin? They did tell me that they are not interested in the house but I don't believe them what should be my next step. He was a UK resident. Did not own estate assets in the UK just a business with a partner.

In that case, Uk Sucession Law forwards the matter to Spain Law in regards to the real estate rights he had here in Spain and therefore heirs can claim their portion on the house.  They can start a judicial procedure for the sale of the house if there is no agreement among co-owners but you will have preferential buying rights over that half.


Name: Marcia 

Comment: My mother has a property in Tenerife this was jointly owned by her and my step father he passed away in July 2013 he made a Spanish will leaving the property to my mother how does she change the property into her name only? 
Someone mentioned an 'Apostille' we are not sure what that means. 

A probate work is necessary to be done before the Tenerife Land Registry. She will need to pay IHT with some penalties.
The Tenerife Land Registrar will want to have enough evidence that the Spanish will does not contravene National Inheritance Law which is applicable to the whole succession.
In regards to the Apostille, this will just be necessary for your lawyer to act on your behalf if you grant this in the UK.
The apostille is a stamp that gives international validity to your UK document.



Name: Rosa

Comment: My friend's mother a resident of Spain died while visiting her daughter in Canada.  The mother has an apartment and a couple of bank accounts in Spain.

There is an old will that was drafted by her father and mother many years ago
The father also died many years ago but the mother never changed the will.  Can my friend use the old will for inheritance purposes?
Is there a time constraint within which she must go to Spain and get things in order?
Will she need a lawyer to get the apartment transferred to her name?
Will she be able to get access to the bank accounts?
Does she need to get anything from the Spanish Consulate in Canada that will help her, such as an identification number of some kind?

I am taking they have UK nationality and the wills you refer are Spanish wills.

There is in Spain a National Registry of Last Wills which will give to you official prove of enforceable wills and their dates.
Inheritance Tax needs to be paid within 6 months for death in order to avoid penalties
I would use a lawyer as registration is not sometimes a straight forward matter, especially when transferors are foreigners and Spain has a Forced Heirs succession Law. Also for the paying of the tax for all the reductions to be applied.
Access to Bank accounts is not allowed till Tax is paid
In regards to the Spain embassy in Canada: she can obtain the tax identification number there and also grant POA to a Spanish lawyer



Name: George 

Comment: I legally signed my property back to the bank in Spain where there was enough equity to do so.6 years ago
I am now in a position to buy a property outright 
How do I find out if I owe anything before proceeding? 
Main things are tax, water, electric
Also I need to get my nie up to date, how do I do this?


No debt can remain registered at an official debt registry after 6 years.

Like 0


hosilverlining said:
19 April 2015 @ 17:21

I read in a post recently that banks are not allowed to block or freeze accounts without a court order. We have recently been notified that our account will be blocked if we do not supply information required by regulations (for prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorist organisations) by 30th April. We have no problem with providing this information, and we have completed the form they asked for, but a friend who does not live in Spain and is with the same bank has been asked to take his identification documents into the bank, which is very difficult to do by 30th April. We have also previously been warned that our account would be blocked if we did not supply proof of non-residency, with very little advance notice. Other friends have found that accounts have been blocked and standing orders have not been paid, causing great inconvenience, despite their efforts to provide the information requested. Can you comment on what the banks are legally allowed to do with regard to blocking bank accounts of non-residents?

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