A Spanish will: what are the advantages?

In this article, we discuss the usefulness of a Spanish will for non-residents. With a Spanish will, you ensure a quick and easy settlement of your estate. This will save your partner and heirs a lot of costs and administrative hassle. 

We discuss two concrete benefits.

Benefit 1: Less administration and costs for your heirs

A Spanish will will significantly facilitate AND speed up the settlement of the estate in Spain. In addition, drawing up a local will is cheaper than settling the estate without a will.

After your death, your heirs will not have to face different procedures such as sworn translations and applying for documents at different agencies. This will save your heirs administrative hassle.

Read more about settling an estate in Spain.

Benefit 2: You have security

Spanish inheritance law is similar to Belgian inheritance law, but there are important differences. In Spain, the testator generally has less freedom over his estate.

The applicable inheritance law generally depends on the testator's place of residence. If you do not make a will, the inheritance law of your home country will apply. If your permanent residence is in Belgium, Belgian law will in principle apply.

In contrast, if you are permanently resident in Spain, Spanish inheritance law will apply and your estate will be subject to Spanish rules.

With a Spanish will, your heirs have security. You can choose between the inheritance law of the country of your nationality or the country of your residence. Consider a situation where you regularly reside in both countries and still have assets in both Belgium and Spain. A testamant then provides certainty.

In other words, with a Spanish will, you ensure that the Belgian inheritance law applies. Opting for Belgian inheritance law thus gives you more freedom over the distribution of your estate and makes its settlement clearer for your heirs.

Read more about the validity of a marriage contract in Spain.


A Spanish will is not compulsory.

If you would like more information on inheritance tax payable in Spain or on Spanish gifts, find out more here Inheritance tax in Spain and donate in Spain.

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