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Official Translations of English and Spanish Probate Documents

May 31, 2019
The demand for official translations of English and Spanish probate documents continues to grow as many British citizens have assets in Spain and a lot of Spanish citizens move to the UK.

There are important differences between English and Spanish Wills. English Wills are executed before a solicitor but this fact is not indicated in the Will - sometimes the English Will is simply a form. However Spanish Wills are executed before a Notary. The Notary states whether the testator has the necessary legal capacity to make the Will something which is not indicated in English Wills.

Official Translators must explain the differences between English and Spanish Wills so that the official translation of the English Will is accepted by the Spanish authorities.
Normally, Official Translators will translate the Grant of Probate enclosing a copy of the English Will. 

There is no equivalent of the Grant of Probate in Spain. Official Translators have to produce an official translation of a document with no Spanish equivalent.
In Spain, once the testators have executed their Wills before a Notary, the Wills have to be registered by the Registro de Actos de Última Voluntad, the Spanish Probate Register. When the testator passes away, the death certificate is submitted to the aforesaid register. If the death certificate is in English, an official translation into Spanish is submitted too. 

The Spanish Register will issue the Certificado de Actos de Última Voluntad. This Certificate confirms whether the deceased made a Spanish Will, when and the name of the Notary who executed the Will. An official translation of this document into English may be necessary if the deceased had assets in the UK but did not make an English Will. There is no equivalent of this certificate in the UK. It may also be necessary to submit the official translation of the Spanish Will to the relevant bodies in the UK.

Dalila Segador

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Dalila Segador

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

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