Sworn Translation of Wills and Inheritances

In this article we have collected the most important aspects to take into consideration about wills, inheritances and when and how they should be translated. From our company we hope it will be of great help.

Recall that a will is a public deed made before a notary in which the person concerned expresses in writing the use or destinations of their property after their death.

When do I need to translate a Will?

The sworn translation of a will becomes indispensable when you receive an inheritance or a donation and this will is written in a foreign language. In this case the only viable option is to contact a sworn translator certified by the MAEC to perform the transcription and ratify that such translation is reliable.

Types of Wills

The most common way to officialize a will is before a Notary Public to whom the interested party gives a copy of the original which will be effective after the death of the latter. This is known as open will (most common and recommended).

Although it is in disuse it is possible to make a will written by the testator himself adding a signature and the date of creation of the will. This option is normally used by the elderly people and is known as holographic will.

If the testator does not want to reveal the contents of the will to the notary public the solution is to use a closed will. It will be written or typed by the interested party showing the date and the signature in every page. It shall be delivered sealed and will be opened only after the testator’s death.

There are other wills that are not so well known or used and are called special wills. These are granted in extraordinary situations and we list them below:

  1. Military Will: Any person who is part of the military may present his or her will to an officer with the rank of captain or higher. Valid for 4 months after the military campaign.
  2. Maritime Will : a will made on a maritime vessel and presented to the captain or the accountant of the vessel.
  3. Will made on a foreign country : the will outside Spain will have legal validity as long as it is not joint (will of 2 people or more).

Requirements for the Sworn Translation of a Will

In order to be valid, the will must be subject to the laws of the country where it is going to be effective. There must not exist a will with a more recent date by the testator, which would make that last one null and void. Once these requirements are fulfilled, you can request the translation of your will to a sworn translator certified by the corresponding Ministry in the country where it will be effective and then deliver it to the Notary.

If you have any doubts or wish to translate your will, do not hesitate to contact Elbatrad. We have translators with experience in this field that can help you in this process.

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