Question to a UK solicitor: Do your clients need a Spanish will for their assets in Spain?

Phot for IHT article

It is quite likely that you will have one or two clients with assets in Spain and when it is time to deal with their estates, the probate in Spain could be a source of uncertainty or a source of conflict if there is not a Spanish Will in place. We can help you and your clients to avoid delays when dealing with cross-border estates between UK- Spain.

As you are aware, the European Regulation on Succession (EU) No 650/2012 started to create effects on 17th August 2015 (its rules are applicable to the succession of persons who die on or after 17 August 2015). The EU Regulation was ratified by Spain but not by the United Kingdom. However, English nationals can still take advantage of one of its important points which is to opt for their national law in a Will.

One of the main changes that the EU Regulation introduced is the fact that the connecting factor on applicable law has changed from Nationality to Habitual Residence. (Please note that the EU Regulation does not contemplate the concept of “domicile” that on the other hand, does not exist under Spanish law). This will help us to solve disputes on applicable law in cross border estates UK- Spain.

We should distinguee between British citizens living in Spain and British citizens living in the UK with assets in Spain.

In both circumstances, we would suggest drafting a Spanish Will along with the English Will. It will help your clients to avoid intestate successions in Spain which would turn the probate process in Spain time-consuming and complicated.

At that point, it is important that both you, as their advisor on the English side, and the Spanish lawyer, work collaboratively to ensure that the Spanish Will applies only to the Spanish assets by choosing the national law, and ensuring that none of the wills revokes each other.

A Spanish Will can be signed either in Spain in front of a Spanish Notary or in the UK, complying with certain formalities of a UK will and certain formalities of a Spanish will, which if drafted by the right professional would be easier for your clients.

A Notarial Will Signed in Spain, requires to be signed before a Notary Public, no witnesses are required and should preferably be drafted in two languages unless a translator is present. Finally, the Will should be registered with the Wills Registry, as in Spain, when a person dies we can ask for a last Will certificate that will show us when the last will was signed, before which Notary and in which date.

If your client opts to sign a Spanish Will in the UK, it should preferably be drafted in two languages, with one or two witnesses (depending if it is signed in England or Wales or in Scotland) and it should be preferably signed before a Public Notary and legalized with the apostille of The Hague Convention. Finally, the Will should be registered with the Wills Registry in Spain.

Does your client really need a Will specific for Spain? It is not compulsory but advisable. As mentioned above, it helps to avoid potential conflicts of law, allows to focus on the tax side of each jurisdiction, speeds the administration process, and last but not least avoids interpretation problems.

In terms of IHT in Spain (which is payable by the beneficiary, and not the estate), it should be noted that in Spain there are different tax laws applying depending on the location of the assets (Autonomous Regions).

If you have clients with assets in Spain we would strongly recommend them contacting a Spanish lawyer, with some knowledge of the laws in the UK, to advise on the different types of wills, tax consequences and practicalities of each will, specially now in the verge of an exit from the European Union.

Gunnercooke LLP

Spanish Desk

Antonio Guillen antonio.guillen@gunnercooke.com

Claudia Font  claudia.font@gunnercooke.com

PRACTICAL CASE:

I NEED TO APPLY FOR A SPANISH NATIONALITY FOR MY CHILD WHO LIVES IN PAKISTAN. HOW CAN I DO IT?

At Gunnercooke LLP we have seen a noticeable amount of enquiries from Spanish-Pakistani families where one of the members of the family is Spanish and the other one is usually from Pakistan (or another country). In most of those cases, the family lives in the UK and has a son or a daughter abroad (either in Spain or in Pakistan) waiting to obtain a Spanish nationality in order to reunite with the family.

The normal practice is for the parents of the child to apply for the minor´s Spanish nationality at the Police station in Spain or at the relevant Consulate abroad (for instance Islamabad). However, very often the minor lives abroad (Spain or Pakistan) and the parents cannot travel abroad because they are working in the UK. In those cases, one of the parents or a third person can apply for the minor´s nationality by way of a notarial power of attorney.

See below the possible scenarios and their solution:

A.- Parents and minor living in Spain.- They can apply for the minor´s Spanish nationality at the local Police Station.

B.- Parents and minor living in Pakistan.- They can apply for the minor´s Spanish nationality at the Spanish Consulate in Islamabad.

C.- Parents and minor living in the UK.- They can apply for the minor´s Spanish nationality at the Spanish Consulates in London and Edinburgh.

D.- Parents living in the UK and the minor living in Spain with relatives.- The parents can grant power of attorney to each other to apply for the minor´s nationality in Spain or alternatively, grant power of attorney to a third person to enable him/her to apply for the minor´s nationality in Spain.

E.- Parents living in the UK and the minor living in Pakistan with relatives.- The parents can grant power of attorney to each other to apply for the minor´s nationality in Pakistan or alternatively, grant power of attorney to a third person to enable him/her to apply for the minor´s nationality in Pakistan.

 

It is therefore possible to find a solution in scenarios D and E. The Spanish desk at Gunnercooke LLP has experience in drafting the necessary powers of attorney to enable one of the parents or a third person to apply for the minor´s nationality at the country where the minors is residing.

Obviously, our expertise is restricted to drafting the power of attorney. We do not advise on Spanish nationality applications but we can certainly help with the power of attorney and save the families the hassle of having to fly to the relevant country when their normal life is taking place in the UK.

For further information please contact

Antonio.guillen@gunnercooke.com

07872808598

 

 

Have your clients paid high Inheritance or Gift taxes in Spain in the past?

Gunnercooke

Pursuant to the European Court of Justice´s decision of the 3/9/2014 they could be entitled to ask for a refund

The Spanish inheritance and gift tax is a national tax but the Spanish Government transferred it to the regional bodies (autonomous communities), who have autonomy to legislate and collect the tax. The autonomous communities have legislated a number of tax benefits that are applicable to taxpayers, resident in their regions.

The key point is that most of the Autonomous Regions have introduced tax benefits to their residents, i.e. in the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza or Menorca) the inheritance transfers between immediate family members, if they are residents, are taxed with a maximum of 1% in most estates.

The problem is when we are talking about non-Spanish residents because the tax is not transferred to the regional bodies and the state rules apply without the said benefits. This implied that in the past a person who was not resident in Spain was paying a higher Inheritance tax than a person who was resident in that country. This was clearly a discrimination within the EU and many groups of affected individuals and professionals complained before the EU Courts.

In 2007 the European Commission sent a warning to Spain about a potential incompatibility between the Spanish inheritance and gift tax rules with Articles 21 and 63 of the TFEU and Articles 28 and 40 of the EEA. The Commission formally requested Spain on the 5th May 2010 and 17th February 2011 to take action to ensure compliance with EU rules. As Spain failed to take action, the Commission decided to take Spain to the CJEU and the European Court of Justice declared in its Decision dated 3th of September 2014 that this legislation breached the free movement of capital and it was contrary to the European laws. Spain was therefore forced to amend its legislation in that way.

Knowing that at present the inheritance or gifts between non-Spanish residents have the same benefits that residents have, the key questions are:

What about the taxes already paid by non-Spanish residents before that European Decision? Can we claim a refund for the excessive taxes?

The effects of the CJEU Decision 3/9/14 are not temporary limited and therefore if your clients have paid the inheritance or gift tax in Spain as a non-resident they should be able to claim for the reimbursement of the excess paid.

We would recommend contacting a Spanish Lawyer to review the Inheritance or Gift taxes already paid by your clients in Spain before 2014, and more importantly, if your clients are going to pay taxes in the following months, a Spanish Lawyer will also help them to decide the best way to minimise taxes, without the need to appeal for a refund.

On the other hand, we would also recommend your clients when buying in Spain, to consider the different tax rates and take into account the different regions and their tax rule, before deciding where to buy. We all know that laws can change, but why do not take this into account if it can help clients to save some money?

Claudia Font & Antonio Guillen

Spanish lawyers at gunnercookellp

1 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND 53 King Street Manchester M2 4LQ

 

E-mail: claudia.font@gunnercooke.com       E-mail: antonio.guillen@gunnercooke.com

D: 07788585115                                                  D: 07872808598

 

 

Spanish mortgages – Latest news.

 

Following our previous article about mortgages in Spain.

The CJEU resolution (21th of December 2016) allows consumers to claim their money back retrospectively from Spanish Banks

 

As we explained in our previous article, The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was recently asked to decide about an important case for Spanish consumers as well as for Spanish Banks. The final decision has now been issued and this is good news for those individuals who got a Spanish mortgage but not for the banks.

Some of you will recall that some Spanish mortgages signed in the last 15 years contained a clause that Spanish Courts recently declared null and void because of the “lack of transparency” and “the failure to inform customers adequately” when they signed the mortgage deed. These clauses are known as a “cláusula suelo” which means that they are subject to a minimum monthly payment even if the interest rate, which usually has a variable rate linked to the Euribor, is negative.

If you bought a Property in Spain during the property bubble (2000 to 2008) you were probably paying the appropriate interest. However, the interest rates were quite low after the recession and those who had a “clausula suelo” on their mortgages have been paying an unfair and excessive interest on their mortgages which they can probably claim back.

The consumer’s action group (Adicae) started in 2013, on behalf of 15.000 mortgage holders, a claim against banks claiming for the nullity of the “cláusulas suelo”, after these had been declared “abusives” by the Spanish Supreme Court but with a retrospectivity to May 2013. This was clearly unfair. If a clause in a mortgage was considered abusive then the consumer’s right to claim should not be capped to May 2013. It should be retrospective to the date in which the mortgage deed was signed.

The said action group went to Luxembourg asking for the backdating to the date that the mortgage was signed and the CJEU has today decided that Spanish Banks have the obligation to refund unlawful interest from the very beginning: backdated to the date the mortgage was signed (instead of May 2013).

This means that Spanish banks have to pay consumers around €4.000.000. Goldman Sachs says that BBVA will be the Spanish Bank with a higher debt in front of consumers with €1.815.000.000; CaixaBank (La Caixa) with €750.000.000; following them: Banco Popular and Bankia with €160.000.000. These are the main banks but there are around 40 more banks involved.

Obviously, there are some exceptions depending on the mortgage holder’s profiles or depending on the specific circumstances of each case, but what is clear is that if you or your clients signed a mortgage in Spain during the property bubble years you or them could have the right to claim some money back.

In the following months Spanish Banks will probably try to sign transactional agreements with consumers. We strongly recommend to contact a Spanish Lawyer for advice to 1) analyse your mortgage in detail and inform you if contains a “cláusula suelo” and 2) see if you have the right to ask for a refund when that Decision takes place and last but not least 3) to deal with your Bank to ask for the refund or to negotiate with it.

 

 

Claudia Font & Antonio Guillen

Spanish lawyers at gunnercookellp

1 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND 53 King Street Manchester M2 4LQ

 

Spanish Powers of Attorney signed in the UK

image-for-poaA new Spanish case Decision by the Director General of Notaries and Registrars in Spain (DGRN) has been issued on the 14th of September 2016 affecting Spanish Powers of Attorney signed abroad and therefore also those signed in the United Kingdom.

The said decision of the DGNR rejected the registration in Spain of a purchase transaction where a Spanish Power of Attorney signed before an English Notary Public had been granted. The reason for rejecting the registration of the document was that the Land Registrar considered the powers and faculties of the English Notary Public who notarised the Power of Attorney (POA) not sufficiently proved.

Under the aforementioned Decision, a foreign POA should have the same structure than the Spanish public documents. This means that the document should be signed by an authorized person with capacity to give faith and certify the identity of the donor/grantor and his/her capacity.

 

This Decision stated that the foreign POA should also mention that it will be legalized according to the relevant International rules. In the case of a POA signed in the UK, this means the legalisation of the document with the apostille of the Hague Convention.

 

The key point is to ensure on the document that the UK Notary public is giving sufficient warranties to the relevant Spanish authorities as to the capacity of the donor/grantor. From now on, a Spanish POA where the UK Notary Public is restricted to certifying the identity of a person will not be sufficient. A Judgment on capacity will also be required.

 

We are of the opinion, that the said decision cannot be extrapolated to all cases. The power of attorney that created this “storm” of doubts was a power of attorney solely drafted in Spanish and the Notary Public in question limited his involvement to adding a certificate to the power of attorney which lacked any mention to capacity. We therefore think, and hope, that Spanish Notaries and Land Registrars will reconsider their position with regards to the powers of attorney executed in the UK and will soon start to recognise these again. However, there could be the odd exception where a Spanish Notary or Land Registrar will turn down a perfectly valid power of attorney executed in the UK. To avoid these kind of situations, some carefully attention needs to be put into the drafting of the power of attorney to ensure that the document has a higher chance of being accepted in Spain.

Do not hesitate to contact gunnercooke’s Spanish desk if you require further information or help with the signing and execution of a Spanish Power of Attorney in the UK.

People walk over Westminster Bridge wrapped in Union flags, towards the Queen Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and The Houses of Parliament in central London on June 26, 2016. Britain's opposition Labour party plunged into turmoil Sunday and the prospect of Scottish independence drew closer, ahead of a showdown with EU leaders over the country's seismic vote to leave the bloc. Two days after Prime Minister David Cameron resigned over his failure to keep Britain in the European Union, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a revolt by his lawmakers who called for him, too, to quit. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

BREXIT AND SPAIN: TWO MONTHS LATER

WHAT WOULD AN EVENTUAL BREXIT MEAN FOR THOSE BRITISH THAT WANT TO BUY PROPERTY IN SPAIN?

How would it affect British people who own properties in Spain? And those who are in the process of buying them?

It is too early to know what is going to happen but the more immediate effect is the depreciation of the sterling pound. If you already own property in Spain then no need to panic and as the old saying states: Keep calm and carry on!

If you are planning to buy a property in Spain or have fallen in love with a specific villa and do not want to wait until there is more certainty about the future of the UK in the European Union, you can compensate the depreciation of the sterling pound with some measures. Below you will see some examples:

  1. You could offer to pay the purchase price in Sterling pound. This may prove interesting for the seller, especially if it is a British seller (something not that unusual these days). By doing this you will not be exposed to the depreciation of the pound and you will not pay a higher price for the property in Spain.
  2. If the above is not possible, you should then use a foreign currency broker who will be able to buy the Euro for a more favourable rate than the one offered by your High Street bank. Unless you are a High Net Worth Individual who has the privilege of having a bank account with a private bank, in which case you may get a similar rate to the one offered by a Foreign Currency broker.
  3. Finally, the economy in Spain and in the UK are not that stable. Use this point to negotiate a reduction in the price. In spite of an increase in property demand in certain areas of Spain, the property market is still far from recovered and the current economic and political uncertainty could help to get a substantial reduction in the price that could compensate the money that you may lose with the depreciation of the sterling pound.

These are just a few recommendations. Obviously, don´t forget to instruct an independent lawyer for your purchase. Whether is Antonio Guillen and Claudia Font at Gunnercooke LLP (or another lawyer) do not make the mistake of using a lawyer recommended by an estate agent or the seller because that could lead to a conflict of interest and eventually to a problem.

 

 

From Mexico to Manchester

http://https://blog.uchceu.es/derecho/de-mexico-a-manchester-con-parada-en-madrid-y-moncada-la-experiencia-internacional-de-beatriz-huitron/

I would like to thank Beatriz Huitron for the post placed in the blog of the Spanish University CEU in Valencia detailing her work experiences in the Spanish department of Gunnercooke LLP.

Best wishes to Beatriz and all the best in her future endeavours as a lawyer wherever she ends up landing as the world will be full of opportunities for a Mexican national with experience in Mexico, Spain and the UK.

Saludos!

See original post below.

De México a Manchester con parada en Madrid y Moncada: la experiencia internacional de Beatriz Huitrón

beatriz-huitron-uch-ceu

Beatriz Huitrón, alumna de Derecho y del Título Especialista en Derecho Internacional y Europeo de la CEU-UCH, en Manchester

“Mi nombre es Beatriz Huitrón, de nacionalidad mexicana y alumna de tercer año del grado en Derecho y Título de Especialista en Derecho Internacional y Europeo.

Tras un Erasmus que realicé el año pasado en Madrid, por parte de mi anterior Universidad “Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe”, mi vida profesional y personal cambió por completo. En consecuencia, tomé la decisión de concluir mis estudios en la Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, España.

Elegí el CEU de Valencia porque me parece que es una pequeña ciudad con mucha calidad de vida y tras venir de una ciudad (Ciudad de México) con más de 5 millones de habitantes, hoy me es grato poder estar aquí.

Durante mi estancia de estudios en Madrid realice tres meses de prácticas profesionales en la Embajada de México. Estuve laborando en el área de visados de la Sección Consular. La sección consular es el área administrativa que ofrece un Estado en el exterior, con el objetivo de proteger los intereses del Estado y sus nacionales, así como prestar ayuda a estos. Mi labor, en el área de visados, era entrevistar a extranjeros que querían viajar a México por motivos de negocios, estudios, trabajo, etc. Una vez que eran entrevistadas esas personas tenían que aportar la documentación requerida para que posteriormente se verificara si se cumplía o no con la documentación correspondiente en base a la Ley de Migración Mexicana. Fueron tres meses con mucho enriquecimiento profesional, sin duda aprendí muchísimo. También es importante mencionar, que al inicio de la carrera en Derecho en México, estuve de practicante en la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, gracias a la experiencia en la dependencia fue el motivo por el cual decidí aplicar para unas prácticas en el exterior.

Madrid fue mi primer destino Erasmus, pero no mi primera experiencia internacional. En el 2014 tuve la oportunidad de vivir tres meses en Nueva York, EE.UU., con el objetivo de mejor la lengua inglesa.

Mi última estancia en el extranjero como becaria fue en febrero del presente año en un despacho jurídico en Inglaterra. Gunnercooke es un despacho con sede en Londres y Manchester. Yo tuve la oportunidad de laborar por tres meses en el despacho de Manchester. Las prácticas se desarrollaron en el área civil y consular y trabajaba como asistente del Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester, Antonio Guillén. Durante este periodo, sin duda, pude aplicar todo lo que he hecho durante mi trayectoria profesional, además de varios conocimientos jurídicos civiles que había aprendido en el curso anterior de la carrera. Los casos que se nos presentaban día con día eran más sobre herencias, compraventas y ventas en España. De esta manera, tanto apliqué como aprendí terminología jurídica civil en inglés y español. Tras la experiencia me pude percatar de lo importante que es hablar inglés. Ahora lo valoro más que nunca y espero en algún futuro poder regresar a Inglaterra, sin duda, fue una excelente oportunidad profesional y personal en mi vida.

Beatriz Huitrón junto a Antonio Guillén, abogado inglés y español y Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester

Beatriz Huitrón junto a Antonio Guillén, abogado inglés y español y Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester

Ahora que estoy a un año de concluir un ciclo en mi vida profesional, tengo claro que me encantaría dedicarme al ámbito internacional o financiero. Desde un principio y debido a que tengo conocidos que se encuentran laborando en el área del Derecho Internacional Público, tuve claro que quería conocer más sobre ese ámbito y así es como lo he venido haciendo.

Uno de mis planes a medio plazo y que tengo muchas que suceda es realizar un voluntariado en la India o Tailandia, en apoyo a mujeres en riesgo de exclusión. Me considero una persona que le encanta ayudar a los demás y sería una gran satisfacción para mí poder hacer algo por alguien.

Posteriormente, estaré abierta a cualquier oportunidad que se me presente en la vida, sin embargo, el día que regrese a mi país será para dar lo mejor de todo lo que he aprendido en mía experiencias y de esta manera contribuir para la mejora y crecimiento de mi país.”

¡Muchas gracias por compartir con nosotros tu experiencia, Beatriz! Te deseamos lo mejor en el futuro.

 

Spanish theme restaurant Tapeo opens in Manchester

Tapeo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spanish desk from Gunnercooke LLP attended last night the soft opening of Tapeo Restaurant in Manchester.

Tapeo is the latest Spanish Restaurant to be opened in the busiest area of Manchester City Centre. Fully owned by Spanish owners and managed by couple Nacho Garcia and Natalia Esquerdo, the restaurant has a very high chance of becoming the new place to go for Spanish food in Manchester.

From a legal and business point of view, it is very inspiring to see Spanish theme businesses opening in the City Centre. Tapeo follows the opening of recent Spanish theme restaurants such as La Bandera, Iberica, Lunya and El Gato Negro. Having such a wide variety of Spanish food in town (and with the recent sunnier weather) who longer needs to go to Spain for authentic Spanish food?

See below press release from Manchester Evening News.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/tapeo-manchester-spanish-restaurant-deansgate-11320977

Santa Ana del Monte. A story of successful recovery of deposits paid to an insolvent developer in Spain

Construction site photo

 

 

 

Litigation is never an easy thing.

When I was a trainee lawyer in Spain, my boss, who was a walking enciclopedia and knew every single law in Spain, used to tell me:

“Antonio, it is always better to reach a bad settlement than entering into a long but good case in Court because litigation is, regardless of the outcome, always exhausting and some times frustrating”.

I always followed that advice and tried to settle where possible (provided that the client was happy with the settlement reached, of course) but sometimes a settlement is not possible because there is no intention to settle from the other party or simply because there is no money to settle. This is what happened with a development that I know quite well in Spain. The development was called Santa Ana del Monte in Jumilla and it was supposed to be a very interesting development with nice properties and golf courses until the recession put a halt on the construction and the developer had to file for administration, then eventually after 5 years of failed negotiations, liquidation.

When I say that I know the development quite well is because I had more than 100 clients who instructed me and a barrister litigator that we use in Spain called Emilio Lucas Marin (another very well versed lawyer who receives my admiration) to represent them in the insolvency procedure and try to get their money back. After 5 years of talks, legal writs, claims, appeals and some eventual sleepless nights the developer filed for liquidation and the clients were left with barely no chances to get their deposits back, deposits that ranged from 30,000 Euro to 100,000 Euro. We then explored a possibility that had been explored in only a few cases which consisted of issuing legal proceedings against the bank that had received the deposits. This kind of action could be taken on the basis that Spanish law 57/1968 seemed to state that when a bank receives the payment made by an individual towards the construction of an off-plan property, that bank could be held jointly liable if the developer does not supply a bank guarantee to guarantee the safety of that deposit. This is exactly what happened in Santa Ana del Monte. Purchasers paid their deposits into a bank account of a Spanish bank, the developer used the money and in most of the cases failed to secure the deposits with a bank guarantee. On this basis, we studied the possibility of taking action against the said bank. Other law firms did the same and others opted for issuing legal proceedings against all the banks that had provided bank guarantees for that developer in the past.  We decided to take action solely against whichever bank received the deposit in that particular case and it worked.

3 years down the line we have received more than 20 positive judgments where the Judge has ordered the bank to repay the deposit in full. Very often those judgments also order the bank to pay legal interest and legal costs. In other cases the Judge has been more prudent and not awarded legal fees but generally there is an order for payment of interests attached to the order for full refund.

We still have several clients who are litigating against the bank but looking at the current trend of Judges ruling in favour of the purchaser/client the odds are clearly in favour of the client.

What is the moral of this story? Well, first of all I still believe in the advice given by my first mentor in the legal profession. When dealing with a dispute always try to settle if possible. When this is not possible then litigate but make sure that you have sufficient legal grounds to win. And if by any chance you have paid a deposit for an off plan property and this was never built you may have a case against the bank that received your deposit. If that is your case, speak with a lawyer to see if you have a strong case against that bank as this may be your only chance of getting your money back.

In memory of Miguel Viladés (R.I.P), a superb lawyer and a gentleman who, together with his son Alberto, mentored me and initiated me into the legal profession.

 

 

I am an Executor on a Spanish estate. Do I still need an N.I.E.?

The answer is simple: Yes.

Any person appearing in a Will that is going to be used for the administration of a Spanish estate, whether this is an English or a Spanish Will, requires a N.I.E. number. Obviously, this applies to those who inherit the asset but also to those who are not beneficiaries under the Will but have been appointed as Executors of the estate. In the event of several executors there is no need to get N.I.E. for all of them unless they have been appointed in a joint basis whereby all their signatures are required for any document with legal implications.

The above means that if Joe Bloggs died with no Spanish Will but he had an English Will that covered all his assets around the world and in that Will he appointed his brother and his trusted solicitor as Executors, both of them will need a N.I.E number and both will have to fly to Spain to attend the signing of the deed of inheritance at the Notary’s office. If this is not convenient, they can give power of attorney to someone based in Spain (ideally a lawyer or someone they trust) to sign the deeds on their behalf.

With regards to the N.I.E. this can be obtained in different ways:

– In person at the local police station in Spain

– In person at one of the Consular offices or delegations of Spain in the UK ( Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London or Manchester)

– By way of granting power of attorney to someone based in Spain

For those who are not aware, there is no need to appoint an Executor in a Spanish Will as the heir/beneficiary has the same powers as a UK Executor. This is a mistake that many people make when signing their Spanish Wills. They appoint Executors when these are not necessary. Having said that, there is no harm in appointing Executors on a Spanish Will or in an English Will that is going to be used in Spain. It is just not as necessary and important as in the UK. In the end is up to the Testator or Testatrix to decide.