Do you have a home or business in Andalusia, or are you planning to move to southern Spain? Then there is good news: on September 20, 2017, a decision was made to amend the inheritance and gift tax. Ultimately, this will ensure that with an inheritance under 1 million euros, you will hardly have to pay any tax at all.

Under the new agreement, direct heirs (from parents to children) who inherit less than one million euros will receive a 99% exemption. The goal of the new measure is to put more money into circulation to create new businesses and jobs. For heirs who are at least 33 percent disabled, the rules are further relaxed.

Also for foreigners

The measure applies not only to Andalusians, but also to anyone who has a house or a business Andalusia has. Since the inheritance tax in the Netherlands is much higher and the exemptions much lower, it could therefore be very interesting in the future to buy a house or business in Andalusia. As long as the intentions are not yet enshrined in a law, the old rules apply. That means you don’t have to pay taxes on an inheritance of 250,000 euros or less. Higher amounts are taxable, however. But even those rules are more favorable than in the Netherlands.


If you own property in Spain, sooner or later you will ask yourself the question: Is it necessary for me to draw up a Will in Spain? The answer to that question is, no it is not absolutely necessary, but it is very wise. Why?

When a person dies without making a will, his/her assets will be distributed among the legal heirs according to the legal provisions. If you own property in Spain, according to the Spanish rules of International Law, the inheritance will be distributed according to your personal law, that is the law of your nationality (German law for Germans, Chinese law for Chinese and Dutch law for Dutch). However, for Dutch citizens who have been de-registered from the Netherlands for more than 5 years, the law of the country where you reside should be applied, i.e. Spanish law (according to the provisions of the 1989 Hague Succession Convention), unless you have stipulated otherwise in a will.

To avoid problems surrounding this complicated matter, making a Spanish will is highly recommended. Another reason to make a will in Spain is to avoid confronting your heirs with nerve-racking, long and expensive procedures, think for example of having all the documents (officially) translated and legalized, the Notary may require a certificate on the content of Dutch law, etc.

In your will, you should, in any case, specify which law you want to apply to the distribution of your estate. If you choose Dutch law, you must ensure that the content therefore does not contradict the Dutch provisions. It is also possible to appoint an executor of a will in your will. This person may be a relative, but not one of the heirs. You can also appoint a professional executor (e.g. a lawyer in Spain) who will not only take care of the distribution but also take care of the administrative and financial settlement.

It is also important, if you have a separate will in the Netherlands, that the provisions in both documents correspond, i.e. do not contradict each other.

Procedure for drafting and registering a will in Spain.

1. Determine what assets you want to bequeath to whom.

2. Find a lawyer who speaks your language and can help you prepare a bilingual document that meets legal standards.

3. The attorney will submit the contents to the notary, and will arrange an appointment to sign the will. The will is signed by the future testator, the notary and the translator.

4. The notary retains the original in his archives, and transmits the existence of the will to the Central Register of Wills in Madrid. At present, there is no Central European or International Register (yet). We recommend that you request a copy of the document.

5. Let your partner and/or heirs know that you have made a will in Spain and keep the copy in a place where they can find it. Remember that the copy has no legal validity, and one will always have to request the original from the Notary.

6. You can amend your will when and as often as you like. Changing circumstances may necessitate an amendment, but in addition, it is wise to reread your will from time to time and make any necessary changes. You do need to go back to a Notary Public for this.

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