Many of our clients ask us whether or not it would be advisable to make a new Will, when many years have passed since the signing of the last one or when their circumstances have changed considerably since their last Will was made.
Our advice is that whenever personal circumstances, or the situation with any of the testator's property, have changed significantly, it is appropriate to grant a new Will. By signing an updated Will, you can avoid later disputes between your heirs, and it is the most economical, effective and rapid way to ensure fair distribution of the estate of the deceased.
It is important to keep in mind that conditions are continually changing over the years, and these changes should be reflected in a Will. Therefore, it is advisable to update and adapt it to reflect the present personal circumstances.
It is important to note that Spanish law states that the only valid Will, is the latest one signed during the life of the deceased, so it should echo the circumstances surrounding the testate in his later years. Obviously a Will made by a person in their 40´s would not be the same as one made by an 80 year old. The provisions made at 40 in many cases do not conform to those made at 80. Therefore, we recommend that anyone from 70-75 years old, who has not yet signed a Will should do so, and those who made one years ago, and whose circumstances have changed significantly, should consider updating it by making a new one.
The process for preparing a new Will in Spain is relatively simple, provided you count on the advice of an attorney who can advise and prepare the documents for you. It is best to make the Will in English and Spanish with double columns so that the testator can clearly see the content of what is being signed.
Another point that raises many doubts for people is the cost of making a Will. In Spain it is relatively cheap compared to other countries. In our case the total all inclusive cost is 150€. This covers client meetings, and information gathering, preparation of the document, assistance at the notary, and VAT, so at this economic price there is no excuse not to make your Will now.
José Manuel Garzón – Senior Partner
Axarquía Solicitors is part of Marbellasolicitors SLP, a group of multilingual lawyers and tax experts that have more than 15 years experience assisting foreign buyers and vendors in Andalucía, both on the coast and inland.
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