We deal with the issues of making a will and will attend outside the office and outside office hours as may be necessary. The office can also provide a document translation and interpretation service if required.
Portuguese wills are different from British wills as they are formally drawn up at the notary with two independent witnesses and a translator if not fluent in the language. This is mandatory by law, and will be the Notary in person to deal with the persons involved and/or the legal representant. The original document will is kept by the notary. Only the will maker has access to a copy of the will, except beneficiaries upon production of a death certificate. The will can only be changed by revoking the current one and a new one being notarised.
Portuguese law recognises wills executed in the UK for UK domiciled residents. However, it will be simpler to avoid the risk of complications by having a Portuguese will.
a) Must be submitted to the Financas (tax office) by cabeca do casal (spouse or beneficiary, normally the eldest child but it can also be the one closest geographically) by the end of the 3rd month following the date of death. Must include a list of assets.
b) Then comes what we cal the “escritura de habilitacao”, at a notary the estate can be divided (what we cal “partilha”) or in common for beneficiaries
c) This can then be registered in the common name of the inheritors for onward sale.
d) The whole probate process is quite complicated and if you are not fluent in Portuguese, and have a reasonable knowledge of the system, we would recommend it is best to have the advice of a lawyer.