Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Preparing to die

We had a will written in the UK years and years ago. A really tall, avuncular chap did it for us. His office was like something from Dickens with big ticking clocks, overstuffed chairs, a leather trimmed desk and legal documents tied with ribbons. Leeds Day in St Ives.

Spanish inheritance law is quite keen on blood. Distant relatives outrank unmarried partners by miles. For years, several years, we have been going to get a Spanish will.

Last week we finally got to a solicitor, un abogado. The chap who talked to us wore jeans and a T shirt and looked significantly younger than some of the clothes I was wearing. There were no ticking clocks. "We're more your juvenle delinquent and petty thief office," said the boy lawyer. "One of our colleagues down in Alicante can come up and help you write a will but why don't you try the noatary? If your will isn't tricky they can do the job faster and cheaper than us."

Notary sounds really old fashioned to me. Like scriveners. Something to do with Guilds and quill pens. Notaries are busy people in Spain though. Their services are used all the time. The notary's office in Pinoso never seems to have sufficient waiting space and people lean against the walls clutching sheaves of paper.

We waded through the waiting throng and spoke above the insistent telephone to get ourselves an appointment. We didn't need the notary apparently. It was the notary's secretary for us. She started by asking for various ID documents. The rest was very strange. I think she described to us, though we may have given her some clues, more or less exactly what we had written down in our notes. We apparently want just about the most basic and straightforward will imaginable.

Our notarial representative said that she'd give us a bell when she had a first draft ready. I have high hopes that all we'll have to do is correct some of the spellings of the names and we will finally be rid of at least one of those recurring summer jobs.

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