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Living Wills in Spain

Spain is home to one of the biggest expatriate communities in Europe, many of whom are property owners of retirement age. While it is common knowledge that foreign property owners ought to make a separate Spanish Will for their Spanish assets, this being a topic discussed in previous articles, many people are unaware of the advantages of registering their Last Wishes in the “Andalusian Registry of Living Wills”.

What exactly is a Living Will?

A Living Will, also known as an Advance Healthcare Directive, is a written statement made by a person who, consciously and freely expresses the options and instructions in health matters that must be respected in the event of clinical circumstances in which they cannot personally express their will. This statement is then entered into the Registry of Living Wills.

Imagine, for example, the situation where a person whose terminal illness has left them in a vegetative state, preventing them from speaking. With this declaration, the patient would have left clear instructions to their doctor regarding the actions to be taken while the patient cannot express themselves.

All persons over legal age, and also those underage if they are legally emancipated, can make this declaration. The Registry also allows them to name a representative, who may decide for them when and if they are in a situation in which they are no longer able to express their wishes. They may also choose a second representative in case the first one can no longer act on their behalf.

In order to make the declaration, it is necessary to have a NIE, an application for registration, a documento expressing your wishes and the acceptance of your first and second representatives (if you want to name them). There are example documents available, which can be used as inspiration for the final documents.

Once the necessary documents are prepared, it will be a case of making an appointment and bringing the necessary documentation. If everything is in order, the Living Will will be registered in the National Registry of Living Wills and an identification icon will be placed on the patient´s healthcare records in the Andalusian Public Health System. Future doctors will then know to check the patient´s Living Wills when they are in hospital.

Lexland Lawyers has great experience in all matters relating to Last Wills and Testaments and would be happy to assist you with all the procedures related to registering your Living Will in the Andalusian Registry. Contact us for a free first consultation.