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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I am a newbie requiring some advice please.
My parents have owned a property in Spain for over 30 years. They had Spanish wills drawn up in 1993 of which I have copies and title deeds. We are probably looking to sell the property at some stage.
All utilities are being paid from their Spanish bank account - I can access this online and see that my Mum is a signatory but not the holder of the account.

I have been to the Spanish lawyers and handed over all the necessary paperwork - my father was quite organised that way. I have been advised to open another Spanish account in case the current one gets frozen.

Can anybody please give me some advice on my way forward?
 

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I think the advice about getting your own account is good. At some point you will receive a property and later some money when you decide to sell. To maintain the property you're going to need an account that's under your control and in your name (to avoid potential issues with using an account in someone else's name).

Later, when you sell the property you will have a large sum. What you shouldn't do is immediately transfer it the the UK. Whether it's in an account in your name, or in your solicitor's account, you won't get the best exchange rate. Have your own account where you can leave the cash while you identify the most cost efficient way of getting it over to the UK, if that's what you aim to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. My father wanted to keep this property out of the UK estate - hence the Spanish wills.
Looking into how to open a Spanish bank a/c quickly and see that I require an NIE. Being asked for names of both my parents in order to get this done asap but nervous the authorities will check up and freeze their a/c.
Any advice welcome - thanks in advance.
 

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Thank you for your response. My father wanted to keep this property out of the UK estate - hence the Spanish wills.
Looking into how to open a Spanish bank a/c quickly and see that I require an NIE. Being asked for names of both my parents in order to get this done asap but nervous the authorities will check up and freeze their a/c.
Any advice welcome - thanks in advance.
:welcome:

why would they freeze the account?
 

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I don't think you're supposed to use an account if the account owners are deceased. As soon as the bank is aware that the owner has died it will be blocked to a degree although standing orders and debits, etc. are allowed. This is in the UK at least.

We have a couple of accounts that are in my name only, and I've told my wife that should anything happen, withdraw lots of cash before advising the bank, because it might be weeks or months before she gets access again.
 

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I don't think you're supposed to use an account if the account owners are deceased. As soon as the bank is aware that the owner has died it will be blocked to a degree although standing orders and debits, etc. are allowed. This is in the UK at least.

We have a couple of accounts that are in my name only, and I've told my wife that should anything happen, withdraw lots of cash before advising the bank, because it might be weeks or months before she gets access again.
yes that's correct

but unless the OP's parents are already deceased, him just applying for a NIE won't freeze any accounts
 

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Thank you for your response. My father wanted to keep this property out of the UK estate - hence the Spanish wills.
Looking into how to open a Spanish bank a/c quickly and see that I require an NIE. Being asked for names of both my parents in order to get this done asap but nervous the authorities will check up and freeze their a/c.
Any advice welcome - thanks in advance.
Having a Spanish will will not keep it out of the UK estate In regard to inheritance tax.
I think your father is mistaken.
All the wills do is define to whom you want to leave your assets.
Whether you have a UK will, Spanish will, or both, the surviving spouse will have to pay IHT on the deceased worldwide assets, and may end up paying in both countries, as there is no DTT on inheritance tax.
 

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I think the advice about getting your own account is good. At some point you will receive a property and later some money when you decide to sell. To maintain the property you're going to need an account that's under your control and in your name (to avoid potential issues with using an account in someone else's name).

Later, when you sell the property you will have a large sum. What you shouldn't do is immediately transfer it the the UK. Whether it's in an account in your name, or in your solicitor's account, you won't get the best exchange rate. Have your own account where you can leave the cash while you identify the most cost efficient way of getting it over to the UK, if that's what you aim to do.
So, how long can you wait?
The way things are going, the pound will get stronger.
If you sell your house and have to get the money back to the UK to buy another one you haven't much choice.
Sure, if you're loaded you can afford to hang around and wait for the day when the rate is more favourable, but most of us can't do that
 

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He will also have to pay the inheritance tax upfront so he will be changing into Euro first. A no win situation. Plus the authorities may declare the house is worth more than it actually is. Many Spanish are turning down inheritances for these reasons.
 

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yes that's correct

but unless the OP's parents are already deceased, him just applying for a NIE won't freeze any accounts
Ah. Maybe I was taking a leap in thinking they both are. Certainly Ops father is, that's clear from the post. His mother's status is not so clear but she is not the holder of the account.

You probably need to make that clear Op so people can take it account when offering advice.

Sorry if I misunderstood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What a great forum and thanks for all the advice!

To confirm - my father has passed away last year and I am trying to organise stuff from now on.
 

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Thank you for your response. My father wanted to keep this property out of the UK estate - hence the Spanish wills.
Looking into how to open a Spanish bank a/c quickly and see that I require an NIE. Being asked for names of both my parents in order to get this done asap but nervous the authorities will check up and freeze their a/c.
Any advice welcome - thanks in advance.
I don't know about the situation in Spain but in the UK using the bank account of someone who is deceased is illegal and is both misappropriation and fraud. I suspect it is the same in Spain. Using cash from an estate that has not been legally probated is also illegal if the estate is valued at over a certain amount which, if there is a house involved, then it is. You cannot take ownership of any assets before probate is proved. You may wish to leave dealing with the house until later but I would look seriously into the bank account if you are accessing it to with draw cash other than standing orders that were set up by the deceased before their death and are being used to continued payments until the estate is settled. Once you have to prove ownership of the estate the date of death will be known from certificates and this will be evidence of any illegal activities. This relates to the UK
 

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Plus the authorities may declare the house is worth more than it actually is. Many Spanish are turning down inheritances for these reasons.
I don't wish to hijack this thread but this line caught my eye and I need to know a bit more about it. My mother-in-law is in the advanced stages of alzheimer's and the family was hit hard with IHT when her husband died 10 years ago and they are still paying off the loan they took out to pay it. Could you point me in the direction of what we should be doing to avoid a similar problem occurring when the inevitable day comes.

PM if it takes this thread too far off track.

Thanks
 
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