PROCESSING an inheritance can be a complicated task, especially if it involves dealing with assets and people from across borders.
Differences exist when elements from different countries are involved: for example, the deceased was an emigrant and lived in a country other than their country of origin with heirs who live in another country. Or the assets are divided between Spain and another country.
Citizens of the European Union enjoy absolute freedom to work and live within countries that make up the Union.
That is why each day many people move to another member State to study, work or start a family, and until Brexit, UK citizens were in the same situation.
Consequently, each year more than half a million of families have to deal with a cross-border inheritance issue.
With Brexit, when the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland left the Union European, things have changed.
But for the huge number of British citizens who emigrated to Spain or invested in the country, they need to be aware of the changes in inheritance procedures.
Under regulation (EU) n ° 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of July 4, 2012, it was established to regulate inheritance under European Law unifying criteria throughout the European Union.
The EU regulation stipulates that the inheritance falls under the Law of the country of habitual residence of the deceased at the moment of their death.
However, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark have discarded the application of Regulation UE 650/2012,
What happens then? What Law should we apply?
In principle, the Regulation is applied in Spain regardless of whether the deceased has the nationality corresponding to another member state, so in summary:
If a British citizen had his last residence in Spain and dies intestate in Spain, Spanish law applies.
If a British citizen had his last residence in the UK and dies intestate in Spain, but without real estate in Spain, the applicable law is the British one.
If a British citizen had his last residence in the UK and dies intestate in Spain, but with real estate in Spain, Spanish law applies.