• Generally, the Spanish court or the Spanish Authority (e.g.. Land Registry) will have jurisdiction to rule on the succession when the deceased had his or her last habitual residence in Spain.
  • If there are assets located in Spain and the deceased’s last residence was in a non-member state, the Spanish authority will have jurisdiction to rule on the succession as a whole in so far as:

    a.- The deceased was Spanish or, failing that

    b.- The deceased had his or her former habitual residence in Spain, provided that a period of not more than five years has passed since the court is seised.

  • Independent of the previous requirements, Spanish courts will only have jurisdiction over the assets located in Spain if the courts of no other member state have jurisdiction.

    There are some peculiarities regarding jurisdiction in cases when the chosen law is that of a member state.

    If the applicable law is not Spanish law, but the law of another Member State chosen by the testator, all the parties concerned can agree that the courts of that Member State are to have exclusive jurisdiction to rule on any succession matter.

    Also, the Spanish court seised may, at the request of one of the parties, decline jurisdiction if it considers that the courts of the Member State of the chosen law are better placed to rule on the succession, taking into account the practical circumstances such as the habitual residence of the parties or the location of the assets.

    Finally, the court of the Member State whose law has been chosen, will have jurisdiction if the court is seised and the parties to the proceeding have expressly accepted the jurisdiction of the court seised.

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