Which law applies?
Can I choose the law applicable to my succession?
Last update: 10/1/2012
This depends on the deceased’s nationality. No exception is provided for real estate located abroad since the principle of the unity of succession applies. If the deceased had several nationalities, the applicable law will be that of the deceased’s effective nationality, that is to say the laws of the country with which the deceased had the closest ties. Therefore, it is not possible to choose the applicable law.
Which criteria are used to determine the applicable law?
The succession upon death will be judged according to the personal status of the deceased at the time of death. The personal status is determined by the nationality (Art. 9.8 Civil Code).
If a succession is settled in Spain, the acquisition of the succession and liability for debts of the succession will be judged according to Spanish law.
Renvoi: if the foreign law refers to Spanish law, the Spanish substantive rules (legal rules with the exception of renvoi rules) are applicable (Art. 12 Civil Code). More detailed provisions relating to renvoi are foreseen in the same article of the Civil Code.
What principles govern the choice of applicable law?
Under Spanish law it is not possible to choose the applicable law.
What are the main international agreements in force?
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Successions in Spain
Current country: Germany