The new last will law

Information regarding the new Last Will law in Spain.

Following the new European Law, the Probate proceeding will change on the 17/08/2015.

FIRSTLY THIS ONLY APPLIES TO RESIDENTS OF SPAIN. Please ignore law firms who contact you suggesting you change your Will if you are not a Resident and if you are a Resident, please read the following…

The most important changes are:

1º) The regulation does not affect UK, Ireland nor Denmark, because these countries didn’t accept this Act.  SO ALL BRITISH; IRISH AND DANISH PEOPLE ARE UNAFFECTED.

2º) For all other nationalities, from that date, the Law applicable for Wills and Probates will be the Law of the country where the deceased person lives, nor the national Law, as now. This does not apply again to British, Irish and Danish nationals.

3º) Therefore, the whole process will be done just in one Country, and using the Law of this Country (where the deceased person lives).

4º)  If you are not British, Irish or Danish living in Spain and you want to use the Law of your country, instead of Spanish Law, then you have to change the Will including a clause refusing expressly the application of Spanish Law, choosing the Law of your Country.

5º) If you are British, Irish or Danish living in Spain and you want to use the Law of Spain, instead of your national Law, then you have to change the Will including a clause refusing expressly your Law, choosing Spanish Law.

There are a few exemptions to this (relating mainly to jurisdictions and litigations, not too relevant to Wills): one is that this regulation won´t be applicable if despite you living in one country you have stronger ties with another Country. An example, if you are French living and renting in Spain, but you have houses only in France, and you work for a French company….

So, in summary, from August 2015, anyone of ANOTHER NATIONALITY than British, Irish and Danish (and we know we have many) if you have made your Spanish Will, then you may have to change the Will including a clause refusing expressly the application of Spanish Law, choosing the Law of your Country.

This law is over 200 pages long so we cannot cover it all so it is a bit complicated to coment on all the articles covered.

If you haven’t made a will  I would  advise you to do so.  There is no harm in taking action now and getting this arranged as this is a definite change.

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Non Residence Tax.

NON RESIDENT TAX RETURNS – if you are a non-resident of Spain then it is that time of year to pay a small tax return by the 31st December for any property owned in the year last year. If you have not yet paid your tax, please contact me if you need assistance.

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Helping 3 kids in India

Giving an education to these kids breaks the poverty on there families and transforms their lives. Without an education they can only get some employment in the fields and never be able get out of that vicious circle of poverty. All this costs money… Can you help?
I have known Chanra Seker, Naveen & Tarun personally since they were small and would love to see them getting a better chance. Please help me to help them.
A small amount of money goes a long way in India.
I have been in India 5 times & will be travelling again in august with my daughter who has just turned 14. If you think you could help then please send me a message or go to Hope community trust India page here on facebook.

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Energy Proficiency Certificate questions.

certificado-de-eficiencia-energetica-murciaRecently I have had a number of people ask me if the Energy Proficiency certificate needs to be Visado.  The answer to this is no, it is not required by law any notary or land registry will verify this to you. Your solicitor should also advise you the same and if they tell you it is needed then you should ask them where it is stated in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) because it is not! A Visado, which is the little blue stamp or now the computerized stamp should appear on any official building plans to be submitted to the town hall for a planning permission license for building a property or extensions but is not required on the energy certificate.  The person issuing the certificate must be a qualified architect or technical architect.

Another question being asked is if the person buying the property state they do not require the certificate, can it be wavered?

There is a exception to the rule, if the property is only going to be used for 4 months of the year them the certificate is not needed. This will have to be declared in the deeds & the new owners will be responsible for this declaration. The notary will warn you in Spanish that the risk of this being checked is quite real and that the fine if found to be untrue is between 600 & 1000€ (a energy certificate should not cost you more than 140€ for a apartment & 180€ for a town house or villa) the way that this is checked is buy looking at the utility bills etc.

The Energy certificate now has to be registered at the Registro de Certificación de Eficencia Energétic de Edificios. This is a process where the registered architect registers the certificate and will need a photocopy of your N.I.E. number and  your written consent to register the certificate. It can be done on line by the Architect but he will need to have his details registered with a digital signature. You can register your own certificate ( but it is a bit of a complicated process as you will have to register yourself as a client and it is all in Spanish. The architect may want to charge you for this service.

We offer this service included in the fee for all our clients wishing to obtain a certificate and free of charge for all our clients who have already obtained a certificate with us.

For more information please contact me on 617354758 or email me

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Energy Performance Certificates: Fully registered EPC Provider


The spanish government recently passed a bill that will require all existing homes in Spain that are for sale or rent to have an “energy performance certificate” from the 1st of June 2013. Once the new regulations have come into force in Spain all homeowners who want to sell or lease their property must make this “energy performance certificate” available to the prospective buyer and/or tenant.
The owner of the home, building, or business premises will be responsible for obtaining and paying for the certificate, which they will need in order to sell or lease their home. In addition to the certificate, each home will also receive a series of recommendations to improve the energy performance of the home and enable it to go up at least one level in the energy efficiency scale.
Expat Solutions has a team of qualified & experienced domestic and commercial EPC Engineers/Architects & technitions who will provide a fully registered and approved EPC – energy performance certificate.
We provide a fast, personal and simple way of obtaining the EPC (energy performance certificate). Just contact me to arrange a convenient day and time.

The BOE (Oficial State Publication) cin be found here:-

This is the law published by the government dictating the conditions to be adhered to.

What is an energy certificate? It is a report that describes how efficient a home is in terms of energy consumption. It assigns an energy rating to each home on a scale which ranges from “A” (the most efficient) to “G” (the least efficient). In most cases properties in Spain will be graded between E & G becuase of the type of building materials used and lack of insulation.

  • Who can issue an energy efficiency certificate? Just Qualified Engineers registered in colledge of Spanish Engineers/architects(Arquitecto Tecnico, Ingeniero or an Ingeniero Tecnico Colegiado).
  • Will the technician need to visit the property? Yes. They have to visit the property to take measurements and collect information about the property before drawing up and certifying the report.
  • How much is the EPC certificate? Depending on the size and type of your property bit aproximatly 140€ for a apartment & 180€ for a town house/ villa.
  • Who needs an EPC certificate?All properties that are being sold or rented out (even short term rentals).
  • How long is the energy certificate valid for? The certificate is valid for 10 years. This means owners will not have to obtain a new certificate during this period unless they renovate or change the property in any way.
  • Can I obtain an EPC before the 1st of June? Yes, however it will not be obligatory until the 1st of June, if your home is on the market to be sold then it is best to have it provided as soon as you can as to prevent any extra stress at the time of the sale.
  • Will I be fined if i do not have an EPC? It has been published that the government will fine all properties listed for sale or rent that do not have an EPC. According to the consumers & users defence law (Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, 16th of november) it will be considered a material infraction.
  • Will a low rating affect the sale of my home? Can I sell it without any problems? You are free to sell your home. The only way it will affect a sale is how the rating influences the buyer.
  • If I want to sell my home and it has a poor energy rating, such as D, E or F, am I obliged to make any improvements? No, you are not obliged to make any improvements even if your property has a low rating. With ther certificate there is added some advice on how to improve the rating.

Excluded buildings

Monumental officially protected buildings and special architectural or historic properties where compliance with the requirements would unacceptably alter their characteristics and appearance. Churches & places of worship and for religious activities; temporary buildings with a limmited time of use of two years or less. Industrial warehouses, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand and nonresidential agricultural buildings which are in use by a sector covered by a national sectoral agreement on energy performance; residentialpropertieswhich were built with the intention to be used less than four months of the year and stand-alone buildings (casitas or farmers tool houses) with a total floor area of less than 50 m2.

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email ( or phone me on 617354758.

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OMIC, The Spanish Ombudsman.

OmicIn the town hall of most towns you will find a Ombudsman. The office or post where he is situated is called the Municipal Office of Consumer Information (OMIC). They are independent legal councilors in each municipality and have the functions of informing, help and guidance to consumers and users for the proper exercise of their rights and, among other things can perform the following activities:
■ Receiving complaints and denunciations with regard to Consumer rights.
■ Inform the consumer of his/her rights.
■ Indication address other public or private organizations which could be of  interest to the consumer.
■ Information campaigns.
■ Inspection of goods and services for consumption or use..
■ Edit publications.
■ Organize and develop training courses for consumers.
■ Arrange activities between the educational system & the consumer.

I have used this service myself and have translated for many clients to bring a resolution with regard to consumer rights.

If you need help locating the Omic office in your locality or if you need a translation service to present your case then please contact me on 617354758 or email me on

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Cheap rate electricity and hour change.

iberdrola-coches-electricosThe hour went forward o last night 30th of March at 2am. If you have a distinction rate contract with iberdrola then the cheap rate electricity comes on at 11pm until 1pm the next day. The more expensive rate is from 1pm until 11pm.

I have changed my meter to get cheap rate electricity in the mornings and with a few changes in lifestyle I have been able to reduce my bill by about a third. if you have a normal rate electricity contract ist is very inexpensive to change over and in my opinion worth while.

Please contact me if you need assistance in changing your electricity supply to cheap rate.

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I provide a Spanish-English-Spanish translation service for almost anything in the area.

Medical, Legal, Notary, Court, Public health, Administrative, Written translations via email, Mechanic, Commercial, simultaneous translations for public speaking and conferences….

I also have a emergency 24 hour service for medical and police related translations.

I also provide long distance translation with pick up and drop off servive if the hospital you need to visit far away. Forward booking is needed for this service.

Please call 617354758 to book appointment.

There is a free service provided by Google where you can get a written translation of any text. It is very unreliable but you can get a idea as to what a text is saying. The web address is the following:-

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Non Residence tax to be paid before the 31st of December.

aaaaaThis is a repeat post.

There has been a lot of publicity and questions about the tax upon owners of homes who do not live in Spain. There is some confusion as to weather this tax is included in the rates tax which it is not.

You must pay for each property:

*Local Taxes (Council Tax, IBI) these are the rates.

These taxes are paid directly to your Town Hall or via the SUMA offices. They are a form of Council Tax or property rates.

*Government taxes (Non residence tax)

Often this tax is referred to as income tax or property income tax which can lead to some confusion as it can be thought that if you don’t have an income in Spain then I don’t have to or should not have to pay it. The non resident tax it a tax for the possibility of using your property for a rental income. You have to pay it if you rent your property out or not. These taxes are paid to the Agencia Tributaria (Tax Authority- Hacienda). They are an income tax on your property. You must pay non residence tax whether you rent out your property or not.

This means that all Spanish holiday home owners should be paying at least 2 taxes. If you try to avoid these there will be a sanction levied against you which will increase the amount to be paid.

How much do I pay?

In this area it is worked out buy 1.1% of the rateable value, then 24% of that amount.

You can find the rateable value on the rates bill; it is normally quite lower than what was paid for the property when purchased.

If the rateable value of your home is 70,000€ then 1.1% is 770€ 24% of that amount is 184.8€

The non residence tax is paid by filling in a modelo 210 tax form which can be down loaded from the internet here

The form once filled in, needs to be taken to the bank, pay the tax.

If you are officially resident inSpainyou do not have to pay this tax and you do not need a fiscal representative.

The form is quite complicated if you do not understand Spanish (and even if you do). You can appoint a fiscal representative (which is a requirement) who can be anyone that can fill the forms in for you and make the payment on your behalf. A Fiscal Representative must be resident inSpain. The tax authorities will send all correspondence relating to your tax affairs inSpaindirectly to your Fiscal Representative. Appointing a Fiscal Representative will ensure that the Spanish tax authorities has a point of contact, so that unnecessary debts or fines can be avoided. The tax office will not send notifications outside ofSpain.

For the individual owner, appointment of a Fiscal Representative is relatively straightforward, requiring the completion of a written Authority nominating the Fiscal Representative and payment of the required fee.

The Spanish Tax Authority have sent out letters to over 300,000 owners of Spanish property who have not made a Spanish tax declaration in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The letter is notification that non-residents who do not make the annual declaration should rectify this in order to avoid further investigation taking place.

Non-residents should be aware that letters will be delivered to their property in Spainand that the deadline for non-resident tax declarations is December 31st .So the tax for 2011 needs to be paid by 31 st of December 2012. If the tax is not paid by the deadline then there will a sanction.

Solicitors normally offer a service of fiscal representation and can cost anything from 100€ to 175€ per person or more. If you would like a cheaper option then please contact me on

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The planning department estimate at least two million euro’s loss to the treasurey of Orihuela caused by the first 208 illegal homes detected in the north of Orihuela.



The planning councilor, Antonio Zapata, appeared today to present the first results of the flyover  that a company is performing over the municipality of Orihuela in order to carry out a the plan of regularization of illegal dwellings that give a solution all these houses and their neighbors. After scrutinizing a small portion of land in the north and 208 unlicensed properties were found that are not registered at the rates office therefore, do not pay property tax. Mr. Zapata has estimated that the loss caused to the town hall by the slackness of the Popular party is between two and six million euro’s which has caused  this urban disaster.

According to the Mayor, the 208 cases for regularization of illegal construction have been identified, including catastral ownership, plot type and construction, property data, if they have been licensed or sanctioned.  Mr. Zapata has declared that between the construction tax and planning discipline sanctions, of these 208 cases the town hall would have been able to raise from at least 1.96 and as much as  of 6.17 million euro’s, according to the acceptance of the claims of the owners.

Regulation will cost between 4000 and 8000 euros.

Because of new urban legislative changes announced by the Regional Territory Minister, Bonig Isabel, who has proposed the creation of an agency to solve the problem of illegal housing, and since the General Urban Plan of Orihuela is still pending & shall be drawn taking into account the results of regularization. Mr. Zapata has announced that “we have volunteered ourselves to be a pilot municipality” in this subject. In any case, it has also been assured, that the Department plans to open a office of regularization to property owners who want to benefit from the process 6 that they may voluntarily provide all their documentation to the planning office. In fact, there are 19 owners of a group of properties in the municipality who have initiated this voluntary procedure.


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