Why is it important to have a testament? There are many types of testaments in Spain. In this article we explain the different types of testaments and the importance of having it properly drawn up.

Having a properly drawn up testament is of extreme importance as last will and testament is a document whereby a person indicates what is to be done with their assets after their death. It is the tool used to express different wills, like what needs to be done with the body or how to distribute assets. We can also appoint guardians for our children in case of death at the time when there are minors in the family, or in case they have been declared legally incapacitated in court.

Advance healthcare directive

This document enables a person to state their wishes regarding the care and medical treatment they want to receive or, upon death, the destination of their body or organs.

This document comes into force when the person is declared incapacitated or when communication fails due to adverse health conditions. Advance healthcare directive must be registered in the corresponding registry and in the medical history of the person before it becomes effective. This will enable doctors to access it so that it can be revoked or modified.

Open testament

Open testament means voluntary declaration of a person regarding the destination of their assets following their death.

It is the most common type of testament. It is recorded in the register of testaments (State level) and it can be read after fifteen days as of the death of the deceased.

will and testaments in Spain

Closed testament

The testator declares the existence of the last will and testament before two witnesses and gives his last will and testament to the notary public, but he does not reveal its content. This ensures greater security, as the document is recorded. Furthermore, the document is kept secret and therefore it is not registered.

Handwritten testament

This document is written directly by the testator and he does not need to mention about the drawing up of the document to anyone. In addition, the testament is not recorded in any registry because it is not kept by a notary public. Subsequently it is completely secret. The main disadvantage is that it could be easily eliminated.

How to amend a testament

Testaments are not always immovable. Bear in mind it is never too soon to draw up your last will and testament. Also, you must know it is possible to amend it once it has been drawn up.

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