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Coronavirus pandemic has activated and rescued the article 701 of the Spanish Civil Code from oblivion for the first time after 131 years.


This article allows granting Wills before 3 witnesses, even at the hospital, in the event of a pandemic (regardless the testator is affected or not) without doing so before a Public Notary.


  • How must I do it?

There are some requirements so that the Will is valid:

  • It must be signed by 3 witnesses over 16 years old with full legal capacity and speaking the same language as the testator. The witnesses must also personally know the testator and being able to judge is s/he is sound of mind and memory to grant the Will. Those to be named heirs or legatees cannot be the witnesses, nor their spouses or relatives to the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity.


  • It must be written, preferably by the testator or if this is not feasible, by any of the witnesses. However, if this in not possible, it would be enough with the memory of the witnesses, or through analogic or digital means where the last will of the testator may be recorded for its later playback. It would be also possible to grant the Will by providing the witnesses with a note or memory of his/her last Will.


  • This Will must be eventually formalised in a Public Deed before a Public Notary so that it is fully valid. For that, the testator’s death certificate as well as any document proving there are no later Wills granted must be provided.


  • Is the Will valid forever?
  • It will be valid is this is formalised in a Public Deed within 3 months after the testator’s death (even if the death is not caused by the pandemic).
  • It will remain ineffective 2 months after the risk of death or the pandemic have ceased.