Domicile in Spain
The Spanish Civil Code has a definition of ‘domicile’ in article 40. It states that the domicile is where the person has his or her habitual residence. However, in Spain, domicile is not important in deciding which regulations will apply, but simply to receive notifications – not sure what this means?.
As a result, the Spanish domicile concept is not a problem because, following the Civil Code, it simply refers to your habitual residence. If this does not apply, you will be able to decide when you start a procedure, according to article 155 of Ley 1/2000, de 7 de enero, de Enjuiciamiento Civil. At least you can be sure you will receive your notifications at a reasonable address that you can decide for yourself.
Now, what will happen with the regulations that apply to probate in Spain?
Under Spanish law, the most important concept is the residence. It may affect both the way you can distribute the inheritance and the regional authority, and thus also the regulations to which you will have to pay succession taxes.
Domicile in the UK
On the other hand, in the UK there is the idea of ‘deemed domicile’ which means that, in relation to inheritance tax and probate in Spain or the UK, you could be treated as a UK resident even if you were not living there at your time of death.
When may this happen?
Either when the deceased person was resident in the UK within the three years immediately before the death, or if the deceased was resident in the UK for at least 17 out of the last 20 income tax years of assessment.
Residence in Spain
Nowadays, it is difficult to say how residence will work for UK citizens, at least until the Brexit negotiations come to an end.
For EEA citizens, there are no residency issues because they are allowed to be in Spain without a VISA. But if we look at Spanish regulations about residence related to non-EEA residents, things are not so easy.
The most likely situation for our readers is that the deceased person was not resident in Spain. He or she likely had a non-work visa to live there for a while. If you have regular income and a private health plan, this visa is not so hard to get.
If the person was a resident, they will most likely know about all this.. However, this does happen from time to time, because people tend to forget the paperwork done in the past once they settle into life in a new country.
What Can I Do if I Am Not Sure?
Probate in Spain, and elsewhere, can have many complications. It is not only about checking what regulations apply, but after that you still have to follow the regulations and the formalities associated with them.
If you want to be sure to do everything legally and to not miss any important deadlines, call us now, talk us about your case, and we will be able to help.