Reply To: changing the name of the owner on a spanish property


Hi Shakeel,

Its been an ongoing dilemna for my client. The Spanish lawyer he used did mention that there were hopes that in time the Spanish are going to be brought into line by the EU one way or another on the way wills are handled for foreigners. It seems that there will be a “human rights” issue for the wife in that she could lose the property if she cant pay the tax but wouldnt be paying the tax (maybe minimal amount) if she was resident. The basic Spanish law as Im guessing you know is that in general terms non resident wills are supposed to be dealt with in the country of residence, according to Spanish law. Although the English law then bounces it back by saying if you own property abroad then the laws of that country apply.

The lawyer was suggesting that if the Spanish still insist of treating residents and non residents different in this area then the EU will impose that the law of the home country will apply regarding taxes. In this case the property would pass to the wife as it does in the UK.

The other problem he had was that even if he put his wife onto the deeds and paid any taxes that were due, if she died before him he would have to pay taxes on the part he now inherits from her, even though he bought it in his own name in the first place!

Lets hope it all gets sorted, however as we know these things can take a very long time in Spain