What is a will?
It is a document in which a person sets forth his
or her intentions with regard to who inherits their property at
To prevent future problems it is helpful to seek
the advice of an attorney regarding the most appropriate type of
will to make and its content, in addition to the issues described
below, as applicable to each individual case.
:: Types of
- The holographic will
This is a handwritten will, written by the testator.
- The open will
Unlike a sealed will, the open will is signed in the presence
of a Notary Public, who then keeps a copy of the original document,
thus eliminating the risk of its destruction or loss.
- 2 witnesses are required to intervene if the testator:
- Does not know how to or cannot sign the will;
- Is blind;
- Does not know how to or cannot read the will for him/herself;
- Whenever the Notary so requests.
- The sealed will
In this type of will, the testator does not reveal his/her
last will, but rather states that such desire is contained within
a sealed “document” which he/she submits to the
It may be written:
- By hand: The testator must sign the document at the end.
- Typewritten or written by a third party: The testator must
sign each sheet of the document. If he/she cannot personally
sign it, he/she must indicate the reason and identify the person
that he/she wishes to sign it on his/her behalf.
A sealed will cannot be made by a person who is blind or
who cannot read, for whatever reason.
The military testament
In situations of war, any soldier or staff member in
the service of the army may make a will in the presence of
an officer with a minimum rank of Captain, the chaplain or
the doctor treating him/her if he/she is ill.
The maritime testament
This is an open or sealed will that is made while at
sea by anyone on board the vessel.
- The will made abroad
Spanish citizens can make their wills outside Spain in
line with the regulations that apply in the country in which
such will is signed. Such testaments may be holographic, open
or sealed, without the joint testament being valid in Spain.
They may also make a will in the presence of any Spanish diplomat
who may be performing notarial duties abroad.
REVOCATION OF THE TESTAMENT: The final testament
revokes all previous wills or testaments.