August 2017 August 2017 - Page 30

Transferring a share in Spanish property Owners of Spanish property who own in their sole name may for many different reasons wish to transfer a share in their property to a spouse or partner. Each situation is different, but in many cases this is because the owner marries and wishes to enter into joint ownership with his or her spouse or Civil Partner. to the election of a matrimonial regime, which in most regions of Spain is that of community of property. This means that all assets apart from inherited assets and previously acquired assets are jointly shared from the time of the marriage. Although there is no fixed matrimonial regime in the different legal systems of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the general principle is 50/50 if there is a divorce after a lengthy marriage. However, this is not the same as electing a regime to apply to your marriage. The nearest thing that is now more widely recognised, in England particularly, is the existence of a pre-nuptial contract. In Spain, joint ownership is an advantage for these couples in respect of inheritance tax. As inheritance tax is a donee tax in Spain and falls on the person receiving, the receipt of only half of the value of an inherited property can decrease the tax liability. There may also be other considerations, such as having some security over a family home where there are dependent children. In Spain the signing of a notarial deed expressly stating you want Community of Property applied to your assets means the deed can be presented to the Land registry and the transmission of the half of the property is tax free. For UK residents we have successfully presented these deeds, complying with the documentary requirements. It is necessary to provide evidence of English or the relevant law, and to register the deed with the civil registry so it is does have costs and fees attached. In many cases the added security and potential savings in doing this far outweigh the consequences of failing to do so. In order to do this, it is possible to sign a Deed of Community of Property - Escritura de Capitulaciones Matrimoniales. This Deed can be signed prior to marriage, at the time of marriage or at any time thereafter. The concept is not one which exists in Britain, as changing the names on the deeds of a UK property is fairly straightforward. In Spain the concept relates For more information please contact us - see details below. De Cotta Law (De Cotta McKenna y Santafé) Mijas-Costa / Calahonda – Coín – Nerja – Tenerife Nerja Office: Calle Diputación 11, 29780 Nerja Tel: +34 952 527 014 Fax: +34 952 523 428 www.decottalaw.com E-mail: nerja@decottalaw.net 28