EXPATS WILLS, new regulations.

European Union New Regulations about Inheritance, in force since August 2015, are meant to “organize” the Inheritance regulations in all EU countries in order to avoid the previous confusions when a foreigner, resident in one of our countries but born in another, as a UK citizen resident in Spain can be, dies with no Will, or without a proper Will in the country of residence.
In accordance to the new Law, Inheritance of your country of residence assets (in this case, your Spanish assets) can be ruled with your motherland Inheritance rules, however, it can be also ruled with the country of residence regulation; you have to decide and declare it when making your Will.
But this decision has to be clear and with no room for any ambiguity because in case of any ambiguity regarding the wording of the Will then and from the EU new regulations, the Country of Residence Law will apply.
And surely, you will not want the Spanish Inheritance rules of compulsory heirs to apply if you are an UK national living in Spain
In Spain, almost all the marriages share the ownership of the estate they have in common. Private estate, i.e., estate that has been inherited or owned before the marriage, stays in the private ownership of the spouse that has received it/owned it, but, everything bought or got during the marriage will be shared, half and half, by each spouse.
If someone dies with no Will in Spain (or if the Will is not properly done and Spanish Law applies) then, ownership of all his estate (100% of his private estate and 50% of the marriage estate) will be transferred to his children, and if no children will go to his parents, or sisters and brothers….The other spouse will only get the life use of the other spouse estate but will not get the ownership at all.
But following the UK example, the rule that applies is the Free Will or Free Disposition of estate. The UK Law allows a wife to leave her Spanish estate to her husband, Spanish Law as you can see does not.
Therefore, if you want your motherland to rule your inheritance in Spain please, get sure that your Spanish Will has been properly done.
In case you have any doubts about the text of your Wills please, send it to us and we will inform you whether it needs to be remade or not free of costs and with no further obligation.

Send your Wills to: info@rhv-lawfirm.com or iganga@rhv-lawfirm.com.

Ignacio Ganga – Lawyer & Barrister at Alicante Solicitor > Raymundo & Hopman.

February 2016.

Time limits to bring personal actions to Court have been shortened, be careful.

The new regulation of the Spanish civil Act and the new law 42/2015, in particular the amendment of our section number 1964, have considerably shortened the time limits for civil lawsuits, something to consider, especially if you need to bring actions in court for anything you may believe is owed to you or for any other different matter.
The deadline until recently, and if no different law was providing otherwise, was fifteen years to claim in a civil court, but since January 1, 2016, this period has been reduced to only five years, so, if someone owes you money from 2008 then, with the previous act, you were having until 2023 to sue him, now, you would be able to sue them only until the 1st of January 2021.
This new time limit also applies to any other previous ongoing action, by example, if someone is having a pending decision from January 2009 that in theory should last until 2024 (as a demolition order) will now be enforceable only until January 2021 when thereafter it will definitively have expired.
Therefore, any legal issue happening after that date (January 1, 2016 ), have a five year time limit for Court action, and those possible actions before January 16th will no longer be enforceable from1st January 2021.
So please, be careful with these new Court action deadlines, because although they are right, if you take so long preparing your case then time may run out and you can loose your opportunity to sue. Anyway, if you have any doubt as to any particular time limit, do not hesitate to contact us (info@rhv-lawfirm.com), and we will be delighted to help you in order to avoid unpleasant surprises to you.

Roberto Fernández – Civil & Tax Lawyer at Alicante Solicitors > Raymundo & Hopman. 

Banks found responsible for the purchasers off-plan money loss.

Recently, the Courts of Alicante have produced a sentence forcing a Bank to give back the
deposits that clients made to promoters to buy houses off-plan and that sadly, were never
built. This is a topic of great interest for the British community as in many cases the buyers were citizens of the islands and were left defenceless when losing their savings.
It seems now to be some light at the end of the tunnel since the local courts are
beginning to follow the line that the Supreme Court initiated, punishing banks
where the money was deposited to return these payments that buyers gave to
promoters as they should have been safeguarding it, as provided in the old Law
passed on 1968.
This is an important step forward as until now, although many Petitions were
brought to Court and won against promoters or builders who were leaving
purchasers with no house and no money and as usual putting the blame on the
estate market crisis, while they claim to be penniless.
Although it would be necessary to study each case in particular, this can be a
very interesting and justice restoring route for those that were left defenceless
and abandoned, also, a realistic opportunity to get their money back.

Roberto Sanchez, Civil and Tax Lawyer at Raymundo & Hopman Abogados.