Welex,  law and accountant firm on the Costa del Sol, has the pleasure to write a few lines about wills in Spain for non-residents.

If you have decided to grant your Will in Spain, we will explain briefly the types of wills that exist under Spanish law and the documentation that has to be presented to the Notary in order to sign the will.


First of all, you may wonder whether it is necessary to go to a Notary or not. In Spain we have the following types of Will as per the Spanish Civil Code:

-The Special Will, which includes the following wills: the military will, the maritime will and wills drawn up in foreign countries.

-The Common Will, which we are going to deal with in these lines.

The Common Will in Spain can be:

  • Holographic when the testator writes it himself and it can only be granted by adults. This document must be written entirely by the testator in Spain and signed, stating the year, month and day of signature. This will must be notarised within five years of the testator’s death in Spain.

Furthermore, the person who has this Will in its possession must present it to the competent notary within ten days of the day on which he becomes aware of the testator’s death. Failure to comply with this duty will make him liable for any damages he may have caused.

  • Open: this Will is granted in the presence of the Notary, who is aware of its contents.
  • Closed: in this case, the grantor does not reveal what his or her last will is, but declares that it is included in a document that he or she presents to the notary in Spain.

The most common Will in Spain is the Open Will before a notary. This Will is kept by the notary, who keeps the original in his or her possession and gives a copy to the grantor, and the will is also registered in the General Register of Last Wills. In this way, at the time of death, there will be a record of whether or not a Will was granted in Spain, and which was the last Will granted.


Each person will make his or her own will personally, and it is not possible for two or more persons to make a single will, nor can it be made through a representative or proxy.

In order to execute a will, it is necessary to present your identity card or passport to the notary so that you can be identified.

Foreigners may execute a Will in their own language, assisted by an interpreter of their choice. In this case, the Will will be drawn up in their own language and in Spanish.

Finally, bear in mind that the Will can always be modified and another Will can be made at a later date.

If you would like to know more information about wills in Spain for non-residents, or would like to make a legal, accounting or tax consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Welex lawyers, a leading law firm in Marbella.

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