In Spain, we have a centralised register of wills called the Register of Last Will and Testaments, in which the different wills that we sign during our lifetime are registered, so that there is proof of their existence in the future, i.e., after the death of the person who made the will.
Certificates of last will and testament are those certificates that establish when and where the will was signed, and for inheritance purposes, only the last will signed must be taken into account.
In order to be able to request the certificates of last will and testament, two conditions must be met:
- The person must be deceased, as such certificates cannot be requested without the corresponding death certificate.
- At least 15 days must have passed since the death.
Once these requirements have been met, any person can request these certificates, either in person or online.
The certificates are issued in the Territorial Offices of the Ministry of Justice of the Autonomous Communities (with the exception of Madrid) and the certificate, once the relevant documentation has been presented, is usually obtained at the same time.
It should be noted that it is essential to have this certificate in order to carry out any inheritance procedure in Spain, as it will establish the manner in which this procedure is carried out, either as a testate or intestate succession.