What to do after the Loss of a Loved One in Spain

After you have completed the funeral arrangements for your loved one, you will eventually have to address the financial matters associated with their estate in Spain. Finalising the affairs of your loved one can be stressful, especially when you have little idea what to do.
As the solicitor in Spanish Solutions always says, take your time and deal with matters step by step.

Here is a list of documents to get together:
 Insurance policies;
 Death certificate;
 Will (Spanish if possible or home country Will);
 List of assets;
 Bank account numbers;
 NIE numbers for heir/s and the deceased;
 Copy passports for heir/s and the deceased;
 Property deeds in Spain;
 Padron if applicable;
 Last property tax bill in Spain
You will need the original death certificate in order to handle several of the legal matters regarding the estate. Once you have collected these documents, it is best to arrange to see a Spanish lawyer or to contact one to deal with the Spanish probate process. Spanish Solutions can assist with this.
Understanding the basics of “probate”

The word “probate” is commonly used to refer to the administration of a deceased person’s estate. If a British or Irish person dies with a valid will either in Spain or their home country) then the estate is distributed in accordance with the provisions in the will.
If a British or Irish person dies intestate (without a valid will), then the estate is distributed in accordance with their national law.
An estate includes all of the assets of the deceased such as real estate and personal property (i.e. car, stocks, bank accounts, etc.). Probate in Spain will only deal with assets in Spain.  Probate is required in Spain to change the name of titled assets (like cars, houses, bank accounts, etc.) as they do not automatically change at the time of death in Spain.
Many people don’t understand the probate process, are worried about it, look for ways to avoid probate or just leave it. This only causes problems later and probate can be fairly simple.
We provide an introduction to Spanish Solutions Legal and Tax, based in La Zenia, Orihuela Costa. They provide a free consultation regarding the probate process in Spain and inheritance tax, either by email or in person. Contact Amanda on 966760917 or on [email protected].
Another concern is how long it takes to deal with the probate of the estate in Spain. While it varies, any inheritance tax needs to be paid within six months, so it should be completed in this period.
In Spain, assets titled in the name of husband and wife do not pass automatically to the surviving spouse. Probate is required; and until it has taken place, the records at the Land Registry will still show an owner as deceased, so the property can not be sold until this has been amended. This will be done after a Notary has been shown that all the probate process has been completed. A probate can be done simultaneously with a property being sold. Spanish Solutions could handle this for you.
If you were the deceased person’s power of attorney or guardian, your authority to act on that person’s behalf ends with death.
A change of ownership of a vehicle will require the probate document at the Traffic office in Spain. Title is transferred to the heir or one of them. Spanish Solutions can arrange this for you.
If there was a life insurance policy, you should contact the insurance company and provide them with a copy of the death certificate. A copy of this policy will need to be provided to the solicitor dealing with the probate.
If the deceased had money in a bank account, it does not automatically transfer to someone else at the time of death even if there was another name on the account. Again they will need the probate document. You should notify the bank of the death when advised by the solicitor.
We would recommend that you contact Spanish Solutions  for a free meeting or consultation, in order that you are clear on the process for the future.
Contact Amanda Thomas on [email protected] or 966760917.


You might be interested in these related articles:

  • Archives