All You Must Know about Divorce and Testament in Spain

Domestic Law

Domestic Lawyers

We possess expertise in family law, inheritance law, and related areas, enabling them to navigate complex legal processes and protect the rights and interests of their clients.

When it comes to divorce, these lawyers assist clients in all aspects of the dissolution of marriage. They provide advice on legal separation, divorce proceedings, child custody, alimony, property division, and other relevant issues. Divorce and Testament Lawyers in Spain strive to achieve fair and amicable settlements whenever possible, but they are also prepared to advocate vigorously for their clients’ rights in court if needed.

In terms of testament matters, these lawyers help individuals create and manage their wills and estates according to Spanish law. They guide clients through the process of drafting a valid testament that reflects their wishes regarding asset distribution, guardianship of minors, and other important matters. These lawyers ensure that their clients’ testamentary intentions are legally binding and help navigate any complexities that may arise during the probate process.

The divorce in Spain may be processed by mutual consent or through a lawsuit in the Courts in the town where the spouses had their last registered address. The divorce may be processed by mutual consent or through a lawsuit filed by one of the spouses.

In order to be able to process it, the only documents required are the marriage certificate and the birth certificates of the children, if any. You will also have to prove that you are living or have been living in Spain before you separated (Certificado Padrón-Inhabitants Office).

A-.When a divorce by mutual consent, the spouses should sign a settlement agreement in which they agree: who will get the custody of the children, who will keep the property or will stay at home, if any alimony for the children will be paid, compensations, and the settlement of the matrimonial property regime.

Apart from this Settlement Agreement, you will have to present the marriage certificate and the birth certificates of the children, if any.

Approximately one month after the mutual consent divorce claim has been accepted by the Court, the judge will call the spouses to Court to ratify the Settlement Agreement that has been presented and then the Judgment for the divorce will be given immediately.

B-.If the spouses have not been able to reach an agreement, we will have to file a lawsuit proposing who will get the custody of the children, who will keep the property or will stay at home, if there will be any alimony for the children, compensations, and the settlement of the matrimonial property regime.

Once the lawsuit has been accepted and the other party is served with the claim, the defendant will have twenty working days to answer to the lawsuit and then the judge will set a date for the trial in which both spouses will have to be present.

This Law Firm is specialized in this kind of matters and we can help you with solving your situation. We are especially careful with divorce cases and will always protect your interests.

Sell ​​jointly owned property after divorce

1) If a property has been acquired a number of years ago and in the meantime the original owners have separated by divorce, the following applies:

Swedish estate register and division of property (must be copied) and (translated) if there are major values ​​involved, this must be done by an authorized translator, Notary Public, Apostille stamp.

2) If there are children of legal age, they must, in a special power of attorney, waive any claims, or without reservation approve a sale. Which must be signed before the Notary Public in Sweden and an Apostille Stamp or in the country where the child / children live when the power of attorney is drawn up.

3) If the children are minors and the selling party is not a guardian, the other party must draw up its own power of attorney where it approves the sale and makes no demands.

4) If the selling party has meanwhile remarried and in the new marriage the child belonging to the other party, who are of legal age, accompanies them, they must also approve a sale.

5) Proof of identity is also required for all those involved with genealogical information, (translated) and must be certified by a Notary Public, Apostille stamp,

(see point 2).

6) Passport copy of all, if available (see point 3)


If you have a house or bank accounts or any properties in Spain, we advise having a Spanish Will.

Your heirs will also have to get a NIE number in order to inherit.

The main reason for having a Spanish Will is that it will be much easier for your heirs to deal with the inheritance.

You can hire a lawyer that will draft the Will in both English and Spanish. Once you have the document, you will have to go to a Spanish Notary for signing it along with a translator. If you hire a lawyer, he/she will be in charge of all the paperwork.

In Spain, it is mandatory to sign the Will with a Notary. You will not need to bring any witnesses. Once you sign your Will, it will be recorded in the Notary office and the central Will registry will be informed that your Will is in this specific Notary office. Therefore, any heir will be able to find the Will.

Choose the Law which will rule your inheritance.

There is a new European Regulation (EU 650/2012) changing Inheritance Law after 15th August 2015. This new regulation orders that when a person dies and is a resident in a European country different than this of his/her nationality, the Inheritance Law that will rule the inheritance will be the one where he/she had his/her last residence.

This means that if an Irish citizen is retired and residing in Spain and he passes away, the Inheritance Law that will rule his inheritance will be Spanish Law unless he stated in his Will that he wanted Irish Law to rule his inheritance.

It is very important for you to expressly state in your Will which Law you choose to rule your Inheritance.

This is important because the Spanish Inheritance Law is stricter than UK Inheritance Law, for example. In Spain, you cannot leave everything to your spouse or just name in your Will only one of your children. Under Spanish Law, you have to leave 2/3rds of your Estate to your children (even if you don’t want to).

Therefore, it is very important to check or amend your Will before 15th August 2015 if you are residing in a European country different than the one of your nationality.

Heritage in Spain

The purpose of this information is to explain in a simple way the basic rules, and to clarify how an inheritance process works in Spain.

The fundamental thing is that under Spanish inheritance law, the deceased’s national correct legislation is always used. (In the case of a Swedish person, it is thus Swedish legislation that regulates the inheritance rights from this person)
In other words, in the event that the deceased has not drawn up a will, the estate is divided in accordance with the deceased’s national law, the inheritance declaration is also carried out in accordance with this legislation. Note, however, that in Sweden in some cases there is a right to sit in an undisturbed estate, this is also taken into account in Spain, but is done in a different way because according to Spanish regulations you can not leave a declaration of inheritance open.

Procedure for preparing a declaration of succession in Spain.
As a first step, you must apply for a certificate of the deceased’s so-called Last Wish – Ultimas Voluntades – from the Ministerio de Justicia. This certificate of Ultimas Voluntades shows all the wills drawn up by the deceased in Spain. The valid will is always the last drawn up.
Application for the said certificate is mandatory, even in cases where the deceased has not drawn up a will in Spain.

When the application for the Ultimas Voluntades certificate is made, you must enclose an original copy of the death certificate, issued by the Registro Civil.
If the death occurred abroad, the death certificate, issued by the authorized foreign authority, must be legalized and translated into Spanish by an authorized translator.

Once the certificate of Ultimas Voluntades has been obtained, one of the heirs, or a person appointed by them by proxy, must collect an authentic copy of the deceased’s will from the Spanish Notary before which the last will was drawn up. In cases where there is no will drawn up in Spain, but it has been drawn up in Sweden in accordance with Swedish law, this must be legalized and translated by an authorized translator.

In cases where the deceased has not drawn up a will in Spain or Sweden, the inheritance declaration must first be drawn up by the heirs of the deceased. This can be prepared either in Sweden and later translated into Spanish by an authorized translator and legalized, or in Spain by presenting the necessary documents and documents. Once the necessary documents have been prepared, the Declaration of Succession is drawn up in Spain (Declaracion de herederos y adjudicación de los bienes en España), then the taxes are paid, and finally it is registered with the respective registration office. However, it is appropriate to draw up a will for the assets in Spain, in order to make the inheritance procedure in Spain smoother, as mentioned in the above paragraphs. The Spanish will can comprehensively include the assets that the testator holds or will hold in Spain. When drawing up a will in Spain, it is advisable to use the services of a professional person in order to better structure the taxes and minimize the inheritance tax for the heirs in the future.

Our experience shows that all inheritance changes are unique, there are a number of different variables that affect inheritance tax in Spain to varying degrees. The ambition with this information is to explain in general terms that the inheritance tax in Spain is not absurd, but reasonable. So reasonable that every year thousands of Europeans choose to invest in real estate in Spain.

What to do in case of death:

  1. Contact your local tax authority through your tax representative / lawyer / legal representative to request a deferral of an additional 6 months regarding the payment of inheritance tax.
  2. In Sweden, you must wait until the estate register after the deceased is registered and ready.

Only now, can one begin to remedy the succession in Spain. With the help of your representative or lawyer, they can start drawing up documents that the Spanish authorities will require to rearrange the apartment in your name:

  1. First and foremost, the Spanish authorities want to know that the deceased is indeed deceased, therefore you must have a Death Certificate with a genealogical examination issued by the Swedish Tax Agency.
  2. Then the authority is very interested in what the Swedish law says about WHO inherits the deceased, you can prove this by showing the Swedish Estate Register after the deceased.

The above documentation must be translated into Spanish by an authorized translator and then provided with so-called Apostille stamp.

First of all, you do not have to rush and be incredibly nervous about submitting the Spanish estate register to the Spanish authorities. You automatically get a deadline for it of 6 months from the day of death. You can also get it extended for another 6 months. And what happens if you still do not have time to get the papers in on time. Really nothing dramatic. If you submit the estate register AFTER the deadline (6 months from the date of death), what is also normal in Sweden comes into force: that you will be obliged to pay a late fee and any default interest. If you present the Spanish estate register, for example, 3 years after the date of death, the fee and interest will be higher than if you do it shortly after the normal deadline has expired. But these are not unaffordable amounts. In this context, we would like to point out that there is no legal basis for the claim (or rather the rumor that is spreading among Spanish Swedes) that the Spanish state can confiscate the apartment / townhouse / holiday property if you do not submit the estate register in time. In Spain, as in Sweden and other countries within the European Union, a state governed by the rule of law, where laws and regulations apply to collect, inter alia, unpaid taxes, always through careful procedures and procedures that respect, fully, the rights of individuals.

Regarding the more concrete measures to arrange in the event of someone’s death, we have the following:

  1. Order from the Swedish tax authority a death certificate with genealogy
  2. Copy of the last Swedish will if such existed or information about any Spanish will.
  3. Copy of the Swedish estate register that has been submitted to the person in question. If it is already registered the better. (Translation into Spanish should include only appropriate parts of it).
  4. Copy of legal certificate in Spain for the property in question.
  5. Copy of the last property tax paid in Spain
  6. Copy of balance on the day of death of any. bank account in Spain
  7. Copies of other assets located in Spain at the date of death (for example, shares issued by Spanish companies and the like)

All of the above documents and documents must be certified and legalized translated by Authorized Translator into Spanish. In both cases, the documents must be finally legalized with the stamp so-called Apostille.

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