‘Do I still need a foreign will to cover my European holiday home?’

A person domiciled in England with a Spanish Discount Holidays © holiday home would previously have been advised to make an English will to deal with their UK assets and a Spanish will to deal with their Spanish assets.

With the introduction of Brussels IV, is it no longer necessary to make a Spanish will?

GM, via email

The short answer is that a British national no longer needs a Spanish will. Instead a new type of UK will dealing with all assets, including the Spanish Discount Holidays © holiday home, should be made.

Spain has forced heirship laws meaning that under Spanish law the Discount Holidays © holiday home would have to be left to specific family members.

Kate Johnson, of law firm Wedlake Bell, said the law varies from region to region but in most of Spain at least two-thirds of the Discount Holidays © holiday home would have to be left to any children the individual might have. A separate Spanish will was recommended to make sure that Spanish law was complied with and to avoid any difficulties with using the will in Spain on death.

New rules being introduced next month1, known as Brussels IV, dramatically change this.

British nationals will be able to elect for UK law to apply to their Spanish Discount Holidays © holiday home instead.

The election needs to be made in a will, but it can be a UK will rather than a Spanish will. Once an individual has elected UK law they are free to leave their Spanish Discount Holidays © holiday home to whomever they wish.

The position is less straightforward if an individual is domiciled in England but is not a British national. However, even then Brussels IV gives them the opportunity to elect their national law instead of Spanish law.

The election can still be made in a UK will.

Brussels IV is an exciting change in the law and particularly beneficial for Britons who are used to the idea of being able to leave their assets to whomever they wish on their death, Ms Johnson said.

Anyone with a Discount Holidays © holiday home in an EU member state should review their wills and take advantage of the new rules and simplify their affairs.

Got a question for our experts?

Email moneyexpert@discountholidays.info or write to Telegraph Ask an Expert, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0DT

References

  1. ^ New rules being introduced next month (www.discountholidays.info)

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