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Do I have to make several wills if I have assets in several countries?

The planning of a will can always raise a number of doubts and problems, based on the tax consequences for the successors.

In addition, if the person who decides to make the will has several propertiesworldwide, then he/she must take into account both the laws of the country in which he/she resides, and in which he/she has properties.Also to be considered is the connection between both countries when it comes to disposing of such assets, a fact that makes the inheritance process even more difficult.

The law governing the succession is the law of the country of residence of the deceased, so when drafting a will it must be ensured that the rights of the deceased under foreign law are not infringed. As an exception to this rule, the testator can make a will expressly stating that he/she wishes his/her succession to be governed by his/her national law, regardless of where he/she resides.

For this reason, when considering whether or not it is convenient to make a Will in Spain, it is necessary to determine which is (or will be) the place of habitual residence of the testator and which National Law will be applied.

If the law to be applied is Spanish law, it is advisable to make a Will in Spain, as it will greatly facilitate the process of inheritance adjudication in Spain, as it will not be necessary to make a declaration of heirs, but it must be ensured that the rights of heirs established in Spanish law are respected.

If the law to be applied is the law of a country where there are no rights of succession, and therefore there is absolute freedom to testament, such as Ireland or the United Kingdom, it is also advisable to make a will in Spain, as this way no foreign document will be needed when making the inheritance award in Spain.

On the other hand, if the law to be applied is that of a country where there are legitimate rights, in this case it is not advisable to make a Will in Spain, as at the time of making the inheritance award in Spain it will be necessary to obtain the documentation granted in that country which indicates that the legitimate rights have been respected.

At MAM Solicitors we have 30 years of experience in these processes and procedures.

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