What do you advise your client who has property in Spain?

As a will writing and estate planning professional it is possible you will come across scenarios in which clients have properties abroad. This throws up plenty of potential pitfalls for both the adviser, and the client. 

In our latest podcast I discuss the challenges surrounding properties in Spain which is an area of expertise for Thy Will be Done (Spain). In brief there are a handful of options open to professionals:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Advise the client to have a Spanish Will written
  3. Recommend the client puts a Brussels IV clause in the UK will to cover the Spanish estate.

For me these present individual difficulties. Doing nothing doesn’t help anybody; advising clients to have a Spanish will written runs the risk of incompatibility between it, and the UK will and we have seen examples where one simply revokes the other.

If a UK Will is relied upon, upon the death of the testator, it would have to be translated into Spanish and have an apostille attached. Each beneficiary would then need to apply for an NIE number, which is similar to a national insurance number, and a Spanish solicitor must then be sourced and appointed. Each beneficiary then needs to give that Spanish solicitor Power of Attorney to act for them in order to receive their inheritance.

This is a long winded, and costly process. The most efficient way for them to protect their Spanish estate is in fact to have a notarised Spanish Will in place just for their Spanish estate, containing an EU succession clause, declaring that the law of England and Wales (or other UK home nation) govern the succession of their Spanish estates to avoid Spanish forced heirship rules.

The podcast explains how in partnership with Thy Will Be Done (Spain) Ltd you can now organise a Spanish Will for your client and, at the same time, take instruction for their Spanish Powers of Attorney also which will enable you to not only provide complete protection for their estates in both countries but also, significantly increase the fee revenue you receive from them.


Paul Blackmoore is Managing Director of Thy Will Be Done (Spain) Ltd

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