Puerta Vides - Spanish lawyers/solicitors & accountants in Marbella, Estepona, Casares, Manilva and the Costa del Sol


Our legal team comprises English speaking Spanish lawyers and an English Solicitor with 4 years experience of practising in Spain. Our aim is to provide a high quality personal service tailored to meet your needs. We offer clearly explained legal advice and assistance across a range of civil and commercial matters.


Property services

We will fully guide you through the process of purchasing or selling a property, undertaking thorough legal checks at an early stage and concluding with dealing with post completion matters such as registration at the Land Registry and transfer of utilities. At all stages our advice will be independent – we will act only in your best interests.

Our property services include:

  • Full conveyancing service including thorough legal checks on property, negotiating terms of sale/purchase, attending completion at notary, ensuring registration with Land Registry and handover of utilities
  • Planning/Legalisation Issues
  • Dealing with embargoes
  • Advice on mortgage documentation
  • Advising on and negotiating rental contracts for commercial and residential property
  • Actions against developers for breach of contract
  • Advice in relation to Communities of Owners (Law of Horizontal Property)
  • Eviction proceedings

See related guide to purchasing a property in Spain.

Wills, Probate and Inheritance

Foreign nationals should have a Spanish will to cover any property and assets in Spain – regardless of any foreign will. We are experienced in drafting wills for foreigners relating to assets in Spain. We can assist in obtaining probate in relation to assets situated in Spain whether or not there is a will covering those assets.

Our services include:

  • Drafting wills and execution at notary
  • Carrying out will search
  • Dealing with Intestacy
  • Obtaining probate and completing transfer of legacies
  • Inheritance tax

Read Related Article

Spanish Inheritance Law

Spanish inheritance laws are different to those in the UK and provide that 2/3 of the estate must be left to “compulsory heirs”, primarily children and surviving spouse.This runs contrary to the principles of many foreign countries which allow the testator to freely dispose of his assets according to his wishes.

What then is the position of foreign nationals owning property in Spain?

The Spanish Civil Code allows the assets of the deceased to be distributed in accordance with the law of his home country. This means that a will drawn up by a foreigner in Spain in accordance with his home law will be valid. This allows foreign nationals to draw up a will disposing of their Spanish property freely without following the Spanish law of compulsory heirs.

Does a will relating to Spanish property need to be drawn up in Spain to be valid?

A foreign will can be recognised in Spain but a number of legal formalities are needed all of which make the process very lengthy. In addition to legalising the foreign Grant of Probate and will, all relevant documentation will need to be translated by a certified translator. All these steps can be complicated, very time consuming and costly for the heirs, particularly if they are not based in Spain.

It is therefore advisable to draw up a Spanish will relating to any property and assets in Spain. Administration of a deceased person´s estate in Spain is a relatively straightforward step if a Spanish will is in place.

What is the procedure for drawing up a Spanish will?

The most common form of will and the most convenient form for the testator is the”open will”. This is will is drawn up before a notary and is drafted in accordance with the desires of the testator as previously discussed with a lawyer. It can be drafted in two columns, one in Spanish and one in the testator´s own language. There is no need to appoint executors. A separate will should be drawn up in relation to assets outside Spain.

Once the will has been signed at the notary, it will be sent and stored at the Central Wills Registry in Madrid, although a copy will be kept on file by the Notary. This Central Wills Register can be consulted at any time by anyone wishing to know whether the deceased had made a will.

What will happen to Spanish property where a foreign owner dies intestate?

If a foreigner property owner dies without having a valid will in any country, it will usually suffice for a certificate of Law to be obtained from the deceased´s home country confirming who the beneficiaries would be in the circumstances. This Certificate would need to be legalised and translated into Spanish.

Inheritance Tax

It should be noted that whilst a foreign will may be applicable to Spanish property and assets, Spanish inheritance tax cannot be avoided. There is no general spouse exemption as in many other countries. The potential liability for inheritance tax can be large especially where the deceased/beneficiary are not official residents of Spain.

It would be advisable to take advice on inheritance tax at the time of drawing up the will as there are ways in which the potential tax liability can be vastly reduced.

Our Services

In summary, anyone owning property in Spain is advised to consult a lawyer and draw up a will in Spain to avoid complicating, time consuming and costly procedures at a distressing time. Our team of English speaking lawyers are experienced in drafting wills for foreigners with property in Spain.

Family Law

We can assist in matters concerning divorce, separation and custody/maintenance agreements. Where possible we shall seek to conclude a mutual agreement which can then be rubber sealed by the Courts.We can assist in such matters where one party is non resident.

  • Divorce/separation
  • Child custody/visitation rights
  • Maintenance payments

Maritime Law

Francisco Puerta who holds a Masters Degree in Maritime Law (LLM) is well placed to advise on matters of maritime law. We provide advice on all types of marine law matters. Our services in this aspect include:

  • Yacht sale and purchase contracts
  • Registration of Yachts in Spain
  • Advice on Marine regulations and procedure in Spain
  • Advice on Spanish taxation on yachts and vessels in Spain
  • Sale / Purchase of mooring contracts in Spain
  • Spanish Marine construction contracts
  • Marine Litigation e.g. collisions, actions against or by boat builders / yards, actions against insurance companies, or acting for marine insurance companies investigating claims


We are experienced in a full range of commercial matters from company formation tobusiness restructuring. We give practical quality advice tailored to suit your business requirements. We also have ample experience in the drafting of commercial agreements to protect your business interests.

Our Company services include:

  • Advice on business start up
  • Company formation
  • Drafting and negotiating business contracts
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Company restructuring
  • “Due diligence” regarding proposed mergers or acquisitions
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Ongoing accountancy services

Intellectual Property Rights/Competition Law

We appreciate that to some businesses and individuals protection of intellectual property is vital. We can draft agreements to suit your requirements, ensuring that ownership of such rights is protected. We advise on the following:

  • Copyright, Design and Patents
  • Artistic and literary copyright
  • Registration of Trademarks and Brands
  • Software and Information Technology contracts
  • Data Protection Law
  • Competition Law


We act for individuals and companies alike in the settlement of disputes. We are also instructed by insurance companies/Solicitors from other jurisdictions to deal with claims. Where possible we seek to avoid costly disputes by seeking early settlement of the matter, often negotiating a successful conclusion with insurance companies.

In any proposed legal action we will give advice at an early stage on the prospects of success and any likely compensation to be obtained. We also give a costs estimate at the outset of any matter.

Civil Litigation

  • Actions against developers
  • Lease proceedings – eviction, action for non payment of rent etc
  • Road Traffic accidents
  • Holiday accident claims
  • Personal injury
  • Debt recovery
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Divorce/Child custody and maintenance issues
  • Acting as agent for foreign law firms in relation to
    • service of proceedings
    • enforcement of foreign judgements
    • providing certificates of Spanish Law

 Commercial Litigation

  • Recovery of commercial debts
  • Termination of contracts
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Shareholder/Partnership disputes
  • Breach of intellectual property rights

A flow chart of the major stages in the Spanish property conveyancing process designed by the Spanish lawyers and Solicitors of Puerta Vides SL, in Marbella Spain



All the Spanish Lawyers of the Spanish Marbella law firm Puerta Vides SL
are members of and regulated by the Malaga Law Society (Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Malaga).