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Legal Documents in Spain

documentos legales en España

International Certification, Legalisation and Apostille in Spain

Certificates of Spanish Law are transcriptions, translations or copies of rules, laws or doctrine from Spanish law into other languages.

Certificates of Spanish Law may be required when Spanish law needs to be cited or invoked in a country where Spanish is not the official language. This situation may arise in cases of divorce or separation disputes, or in matters of inheritance.

These are certified translations to be used in judicial proceedings, therefore it is required that the translation is done by certified legal translators and validated by a notary if they are to be used as proof or evidence.

Relevance of Certificates of Spanish Law 

Globalisation and Spain’s active presence in the European Union have led to the interaction and association of Spanish citizens and companies in a variety of countries with different languages and laws.

This has been reflected in the legal sphere, in which different legislations and regulations, almost always written in different languages, are confronted, and where a Spanish law or doctrine can make the difference.

Should a translation of a law be needed to be invoked or relied upon, a precise and reliable translation is required, and it must be done by a translator who is familiar with both the legal language and Spanish Law.

Ideally, the certificate should be bilingual, printed in two columns, with numbered paragraphs so that the original and the translation can be compared and easily located, and it should be signed by two independent lawyers.

When this translation is to be used or submitted to a foreign court, they are likely to require that the translation be notarised and even apostilled. This is a procedure that a Spanish law firm specialising in certifications, legalisations and apostilles can do for you.

  1. Drafting of bilingual versions of contracts in Spanish (Bilingual Versions of Spanish Contracts)

Understanding a contract in a foreign language is always a challenge. Not only do you have to deal with a language that is not your own, but also with a different legal system. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to hire a solicitor to translate a contract for you.

Having a lawyer translate the text has two advantages:

This professional can check the accuracy and legality of the contract.

You will be able to understand the entire content of the contract in a language you are familiar with.

The most common contracts we draft in our law firm are:

Contrato de arras or earnest money contracts in Spain.

When buying or selling a property you will need a deposit contract to fix the sale price of the property. With this agreement, the buyer provides a previously agreed upon down payment and a deadline is set to formalise the purchase. At Savloir we will draft your Earnest Money Deposit Contract for your peace of mind, for either buyer or seller.

Contrato de compraventa or sale and purchase agreement in Spain

A sale and purchase agreement formalises the transfer of a property from one person or entity to another. At Savloir we can prepare the purchase contract for the real estate property you decide to buy or sell.

  1. Getting an affidavit in Spain (Palabra clave: Getting an affidavit in Spain)

Getting an affidavit in Spain is a procedure that usually involves a lawyer and a notary’s office.

An affidavit is a written statement intended to give testimony on a particular subject, voluntarily and truthfully – the Spanish term is declaración jurada.

Affidavit comes from Latin and translates as ‘declaration, oath, testimony’.

An affidavit is a testimony that, due to its nature, may have legal and even criminal consequences were it to be false. This legal procedure is quite common and sometimes we are hardly aware that we are in fact signing an affidavit.

Types of affidavits

There are at least two types of affidavits: simple affidavits and notarial-judicial affidavits. The former is more informal and sometimes done by hand or by filling in a form, such as the affidavits requested by some countries at their borders where travellers who did not carry vaccination certificates had to swear they did not have covid-19.

Since these declarations are not notarised, they give rise to less legal liability. In contrast, notarised-judicial affidavits are done before a notary or a legal representative, and can lead to administrative and legal sanctions if the statements in the affidavit are found to be false.

A notarised affidavit may be issued when a witness is unable to attend court, due to incapacity or because of being abroad, or when he or she is in danger.

Furthermore, a notarised affidavit can be made for different purposes, as will be explained below. However, not all affidavits are made before notaries, as in the case of the declaration of not having covid-19, which was made before officials of the immigration office.

What is the purpose of getting an affidavit in Spain?

An affidavit has several uses and purposes:

  • Affidavit of assets: this is a declaration of material assets (money, real estate, cars, jewellery, etc.), and is commonly filed by civil servants before taking office, or by individuals to justify their assets, or to list their properties.
  • Affidavit of financial solvency: this is a document that can be used to apply for credit, and to state that you have no outstanding debts.
  • Affidavit to register a pareja de hecho or civil partnership: this is a declaration made by a couple stating that they have been living together, as a couple, for a certain period of time (usually one year). This statement is signed by both partners and the signature of witnesses may also be required.
  • Affidavit of copyright or authorship: this is often requested in competitions of works of different genres, or when a publishing or production contract is to be signed.
  • Affidavit of income: this may be requested to civil servants, individuals in divorce or child support litigation, or to justify one’s wealth to the authorities.
  • Affidavit of marital status: this is a declaration stating that you are single and can get married.

How can you get an affidavit in Spain

In order to get an affidavit in Spain, it is best to rely on the knowledge and skills of a solicitor to prepare a declaration that meets your needs.

This document must include the declarant’s personal details, an affirmation that everything that is stated is true, the statement or declaration in as clear and concise a form as possible, and the signature of the declarant and the date on every page.

Once the duly written and notarised affidavit is in place, it can be submitted to the administrative or judicial authority that requested it. An affidavit prepared with a lawyer and filed at a notary’s office can take two to four days.


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