Types of wills: last-will models

Making a will can be a difficult process, but it will give you the peace of mind to know that everything will be taken care of according to your desires if the worst happens. The will is a legal document containing your last will and deals with your assets, rights and personal relationships. 

This document appoints executors to manage your affairs, tutors for your children, legacies for your relatives and decides what will happen to the rest of your estate. There are different types of will, we explain their characteristics.

Who can make a will

You can make the will as a general rule:
  • Who has the capacity to act. 
  • From the age of 14, depending on the type of will.
  • Who has not been judicially incapacitated for that purpose. 
  • That the law does not expressly forbid it.

When should I make a will?

Use the will if:
  • You have a clear mind and you want to decide how your goods and rights will be cared for in the future. 
  • You expect that you will lose capacity and will not be able to make decisions for yourself.
  • Your health is limited and you prefer to record, in life, your desires.
  • You are going to embark on a journey with uncertain destiny where you can take risks.

How do you make a will and what does it contain?

The inheritance comprises all the patrimony and rights that one wishes to transmit in portions to direct relatives like couple, children, parents, brothers, etc. On the other hand, it can be tested by legacy, this are donations made by the testator, in favor of a person who is not attributed the quality of heir, giving a specific good.
The last-will document shall record your desire to transmit rights and property between:
  • Your spouse or domestic partner. 
  • Your children. 
  • Other beneficiaries (legatees) leaving specific gifts, including amounts of money.

Content of the will

In the will, apart from dividing your heritage among your loved ones, you can:
  • Designate a tutor for your children. 
  • Appoint an administrator of your personal properties or companies.
  • Other personal desires such as:
1. Formalities of your burial. 

2. Donate organs or limit your time of life artificially in the event of a serious illness. 

3. Transmission of rights with specific conditions.

  • An inventory of heritage assets is a fundamental part of making the inheritance’s subsequent partition. These inventories must be drafted by professionals and registered in the property registry for validity.
We can find different types of will, which we will explain in detail below. Consult your lawyer if:
  • You have properties abroad. 
  • Personal property valued at more than €122,606.47
  • You have any commercial interests, actions of a private company or if you are a member of the board/administrator of a company. 
  • You want to leave your estate to the beneficiaries of the inheritance in unequal parts (especially family).

Models: What types of wills can I do?

Our civil legislation contemplates the difference between two types of wills: the Common ones (holograph, open, closed) and the special ones (military, maritime and abroad). Let’s see its characteristics to allow you to decide which one you prefer to record your will:


  • It is the made by the letter of the testator, at any time or place. 
  • Must be written in full by the testator, containing his signature and the date on which it is granted. 
  • Is valid only if it is written by a person over the age of 18.
Since the death of the testator is known, the person in charge of the document must present it in the Court of first instance of the domicile of the deceased before the deadline of 10 days, being responsible for the damages caused by the delay.
The judge shall be in charge of opening the will and summoning the witnesses to proceed with the partitioning and adjudication of the inheritance.


It is granted directly to the notary, who will be responsible for preserving the original document preventing the danger of being destroyed or lost, and will be in charge of calling the heirs and Legatees after knowing the news of the death, avoiding delays On the partition.

It will be necessary for two witnesses to intervene if the notary considers their presence necessary.


It is the one in which the testator declares his last will, without being revealed to the interested parties. The will shall be contained in a “statement” detailing your wishes in writing, and submitted before a notary, who must authorize the Act and preserve the document. Therefore it will be:
  • Written by the testator himself of his fist and handwriting, as well as signed. 
  • Must leave evidence in the notary where the spread is. 
  • The paper contained in the will must go into a closed, sealed cover so that the testament cannot be removed without breaking it.

The notary will be the manager, as in the Open Testament, of the call to the heirs and the opening of the inheritance at the precise moment.

Specials: Military, maritime, abroad

Within the different types of wills we can also find the specials. Among them we distinguish the following:
  1. Military: In war situations, any person in the service of the army is allowed to give a will to an officer or Doctor who assists him if he is ill.
  2. Maritime : Open or closed that is granted during a sea trip, by anyone on board.
  3. Abroad: The Spaniards can grant will in any of the legal forms known according to the rules of the country in which it is found.

How to modify the will

If you decide you want to change something in your will, you can revoke or modify parts of it, as long as you are in full capacity. There is no more requirement than to go to the place where it is (if you are in a notary) or write a new one (to be holograph), following the rules of formality that we have explained.
The newest testament will prevail. Note that the recognition of a child made in a previous testament does not lose its effectiveness even if the will is revoked.
Want to know more about the types of wills? Consult with our expert lawyers and we will answer all your questions.