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Living In Spain

Local Information

British Consulate address in Alicante:
28-30 Rambla de Mendez Nunez (6th floor),
Tel: 965 216 022
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08.30 to 13.30.
Consulate web site
here

How to report a lost or stolen passport...
Download the official loss report form here

Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

Books About Spain

Costa Blanca - one of the healthiest climates in the world.

WHO (World Health Organisation) has described the Costa Blanca as the area with the healthiest climate in Europe and one of the healthiest living environments in the world with an average 320 days of sunshine a year.
Summers are hot and sunny, but not normally uncomfortable with average temperatures 32ºC in July and August with gentle offshore breezes.
Winters are exceptionally mild, protected by surrounding mountains to the north and west with average temperatures of 17ºC even in January.

The northern part of the region with a curtain of mountains that runs parallel to the sea is relatively green and peppered with groves of orange and olive trees along with colourful orchards of almonds and cherries.
The southern end of the Costa is much flatter and drier and famous for having the biggest palm gardens and salt flats in the whole of Europe. Beaches with sand dunes and backdrops of beautiful palm, pine and eucalyptus trees.

STROKE RECOGNITION: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

Neurologist state that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medical treatment within 3 hours.

Remember the 3 steps, S.T.R.... Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke .

It is said that anyone can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
T - Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE  (i.e. It is sunny out there today)
R - Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, take them to hospital or call for an ambulance.

Another indication of a possible Stroke -------- Ask the person to stick out  their tongue, if the tongue is 'crooked', or if it goes to one side, this is also an indication of a stroke.


What will Brexit mean for me...
The question that concerns British expats living here is Spain is will the Spanish government reflect the same approach as Britain regarding EU citizens from other countries already lawfully resident and living in the UK. There are an estimated 3 million EU citizens living in the UK, the majority of which are Irish, Polish, and German. Outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron made this statement on the day of the referendum when he said "I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks. I would also reassure Brits living in European countries, and European citizens living here, that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold. We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union".

Quitting the EU has to be negotiated, it is not any overnight thing. Even if the UK government invokes Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, it will take at least two years before the exit is agreed by the other Member States of the EU.

The most immediate effect for EU citizens working in the UK who send money back to their home countries, will be a fall in the value of their sterling income when they exchange it into their home country’s currency.

During the campaign the Vote To Leave group made a clear declaration about EU expats living in the UK, which should help to calm some concerns:
“…there will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”
“…there will be no change for Irish citizens. The right of Irish citizens to enter, reside and work in the UK is already enshrined in our law. This will be entirely unaffected by a vote to leave on 23 June.”


The importance of making a Spanish Will:

The European Regulation 650/2012, ratified by Spain and many other countries, will enter into force on the 17th of August 2015. As per this regulation, the applicable law to an inheritance or succession will be (in principle) the Law of the country in which the testator has his /her habitual residence at the time of death.
However, it is possible for the testator or testatrix to opt for the laws of their own country, to be the applicable one applied regarding the distribution of their assets. Many people have been informed and advised that all Spanish Wills made before must be changed, but this is not correct, it will depend on each case, since Regulation 650/2012 has foreseen some transitional provisions relating to Wills made before the 17th of August 2015. Therefore, you should know that if you have your habitual residency in Spain, and if you have not made a Will in Spain for your assets based here (this includes your main residence), your succession and inheritance in Spain will be intestate (without a will), and according to the new European Regulation, Spanish law will apply, being the law of the country of your habitual residency at the time of death, and the following would inherit:

1. First the children and descendants (grandchildren, etc.), and failing that,
2. Secondly, parents and ancestors (grandparents, etc.), failing that,
3. Thirdly, the spouse.

However, a spouse will have the right usufruct (the use of the assets for his/her lifetime, without the right of ownership) of 1/3 or 1/2 of the estate (to include the main residence of the deceased).

So, if you are habitually resident in Spain and do not want intestacy Spanish rules to apply (preferring a different national law to apply), or perhaps because you want your wife or husband to have more rights over other family members, or simply because you do not like how the assets are distributed as per Spanish law, it is vital and essential that you make a Will in Spain regarding your assets and properties in Spain.

Regarding a property that you own in Spain that want to leave to your children, it is possible to leave it to them as an official "gift", as stated and outlined in your Will, and the tax liability will be dependent on the value of the property and the minimum tax value (the minimum value that the tax authorities will consider acceptable). If your children are living within the European Union this can be a very tax efficient way to leave a property to children. They will benefit from the tax reductions of the gift tax law of the Valencian region which currently is a reduction of 100,000 for each child (for the year 2015) on the value of assets donated, and a discount of 75% on the gift tax to be paid, in many cases negating any tax liability.

European Court of Justice has ruled Spanish inheritance laws were illegal against non Spanish residents.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has passed a Judgment declaring the Spanish inheritance tax laws as discriminatory towards non-residents and against the EU Treaty. Spanish Legal Reclaims S.L., a EU tax specialistd law firm is helping claimants to receiving their money back from the Spanish Tax Authorities (100% success rate). The average refund size currently stands at €25,000. However as many as 100,000 Britons could be affected and entitled to reclaim. The action group Spanish Legal Reclaims (SLR) recently launched a dedicated website to inform possible claimants how to file a claim www.spanishlegalreclaims.com .

SLR helped 1,000´s of clients recover the overcharged taxes they paid in Capital Gains Tax and they are now successfully recovering the inheritance and donation tax for non-Spanish residents under a No Win, No Fee agreement.

Mr. Luis Cuervo, states “Once again, we were right predicting that the ECJ’s ruling would be positive, but the most important fact is that we have already started to receive inheritance tax refunds for our first 25 clients three weeks ago (100% success rate). Winning the first cases is crucial as it is clear now that our strategy, the legal procedure chosen, and our legal arguments are the correct ones. Facing a legal procedure like this requires not only expertise but also deep analysis and knowledge. As anyone who has been affected by this illegal tax can only claim once, we strongly recommend that file their claims with an experienced expert in EU tax law as there will be no second chance”.

Mr. Cuervo added, “Claimants could recover their money within 8 months, plus up to 4% compound interest. Many Spanish and UK/EU lawyers are cooperating with us to help their own clients, once they understand the legal process requires deep analysis and expertise. We urge anyone else who believes they have been affected by this tax discrimination to come forward. Taking quick action is important as the right to make a reclaim may expire”.

For more information, and details of how to register your interest, visit:

www.spanishlegalreclaims.com
Spanish Legal Reclaims Helpline : UK 0845 680 3849 +34 936 804 563
Email Enquiries: info@spanishlegalreclaims.com

Caritas - The Official Charity For Poor People

The Caritas official records which show there are two groups in the main that are vulnerable to hardship, large families and single mothers. There is a shift from the necessity to provide food, the priority now is to provide medicines and vaccines for the family. The Caritas charity is referred to on the official San Fulgencio Ayuntamiento web site. Volunteers needed to help Caritas and the families dependent upon them. Please visit their web site here.

The Social Services in San Fulgencio supports its registered poor people through the Caritas charity. This nationally supported charity works with the Social Services to provide help to poor people within the municipality.


Before you donate money or food items that you wish to be used to help poor people please ask if they will be given to the Caritas charity. There is another charity based in La Marina urbanisation that appeals for cash and food and donations for poor and needy people, however, none of the food items or donations they receive go to Caritas or to help families that need medical assistance.

The registered office for Caritas charity is in San Fulgencio next door to the church, food donations for Caritas can be dropped there. For more information or to appeal for help with food provisions please visit the Social Services office at CENTRO CÍVICO, 1ª PLANTA C/ LEPANTO Nº 9, SAN FULGENCIO. Open weekdays from 11.00 to 1400.

 
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