Managing the Estate of the Deceased when Assets are held in Spain

Managing the estate of a deceased person can be a difficult process and this can be exacerbated by the circumstances. When the deceased held assets overseas there are many legal barriers to overcome.

Expatriation to Spain is becoming more and more commonplace for UK citizens. Furthermore, many people choose to invest their money overseas to diversify their interests and provide financial security in the long term. Following the death of an individual there are several documents that may require legalisation when managing the property of the deceased.

It is imperative that the executor of the estate is aware of what documents may be required. Spain are a member of the Hague convention and, for this reason, documents that have been issued with the Apostille certificate will be legally recognised. We regularly assist with cases where property is held in Spain and the most common documents we legalise are: -

If it is not feasible for the executor to travel to Spain when managing the estate they may choose to issue a Power of Attorney to an agent, allowing the designated agent to act on their behalf in a legal capacity. There are many Spanish based, English speaking solicitors that specialise in this area and it is worthwhile researching this for further guidance.

In cases where the deceased established a will in Spain it may just be a legalised death certificate that is required. Where this is not the case, the executor will need to ensure the Grant of Probate and the Last Will & Testament are also legalised.

Spanish translations of these documents are regularly requested but are not always needed. We can provide a Spanish translation service for your documents.

This guide is provided for information only and does not constitute legal advice. We advise contacting the local authorities in the jurisdiction in which any assets are held to confirm their requirements as well as seeking legal advice.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.