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Official Translation of Spanish Will made by a Spanish Citizen

Mar 14, 2017

The official translation of a Spanish Will made by a Spanish citizen may be needed if the deceased had assets in the UK and did not grant a Will in the UK.
The official translation is the translation of the document which needs to serve as legally valid instrument. Only official translators are authorised to certify official translations. 

Official translators are experts in the similarities and differences between the two legal systems involved (in this case English and Spanish); therefore an official translator will produce an accurate translation to be accepted by the authorities.

Spanish Wills are executed by the testator before a Notary.

Once the testator and the Notary have signed the Will, this must be registered by the Registro de Actos de Última Voluntad, the Registry of Last Wills, in Madrid.

Spanish law does not recognise testamentary freedom for Spanish nationals. There are several important legal concepts in the Law of Succession in Spain with no equivalent in the UK; therefore it is paramount that an official translator does the translation into English. The Spanish testator must bequeath and devise his estate taking into account concept such as:

  • Legítima: the third part of the estate that descends to natural heirs as of right
  • Tercio para mejora: third for betterment apportionable at will to any or all of the lawful heirs
  • Tercio de libre disposición: third of the estate that unlike the other two thirds may be left by the testator to whoever he chooses

The Spanish Will also refers to many formalities which are very characteristic of the Spanish notarial practice: the Will has a protocol number and is drawn up on paper exclusively used for notarised documents. 

Official translators will produce accurate translations which will include the necessary explanation for the authorities to understand the concepts above.

Dalila Segador

About the author

Dalila Segador

Dalila joined Nockolds in 2005 and is a Legal and Official Translator in our International Team. Before joining the firm, Dalila graduated with a master’s degree ...

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