The Official Translation of a Spanish Will

Published at February 13, 2024

Official translators normally must translate Spanish Wills when dealing with Spanish probate documentation to be used in the UK.

The Open Will is the Spanish Will signed by the testator/testatrix and witnessed before a Notary and recorded as a public deed by a Notary.

In the UK the testator/testatrix signs the English Will before two witnesses, but the Will is not signed before a Notary. Spanish Wills include formalities which are very important in the Spanish legal system and, in the execution of public documents.

Spanish Wills are drafted by the Notary who must identify the testator/testatrix from his/her identity documentation. Spanish Wills indicate more personal particulars regarding the testator/testatrix than English Wills. Spanish Wills will include the date and place of birth of the testator/testatrix, parents' names, and marital status.

Furthermore, the Notary must indicate that in his/her opinion the testator/testatrix has the necessary legal capacity for the execution of the Will. The Notary also has to indicate that the testator/testatrix has read the Will or that the Notary has read the Will to the testator/testatrix and the attesting witnesses. The Notary must state that execution of the Will complies with the legal formalities. The Spanish Will is drawn up on sheets exclusively used for notarised documents and recorded under a protocol number.

The official translation into English of a Spanish Will is necessary if the British testator/testatrix did make an Open Will in Spain for his/her Spanish assets but did not make an English Will for assets in the UK, for example. The official translation will also be necessary when a Spanish testator/testatrix disposed of his/her assets in the UK under his/her Spanish Will.

It is very important that a official translator does the official translation because a Spanish Will is very different from an English Will. Furthermore, a Spanish Will represents the formalities of the Spanish legal system. Official translators are expert linguists and are very aware of the similarities and differences between the Spanish and English legal systems and will take them into account to produce accurate official translations to be accepted by the relevant authorities.

About the Author

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Dalila SegadorHead of Official Translations

T: (+34) 951 55 22 54


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