21SOLTIMES MARCH 2013www.soltimes.com
LEGAL CORNERWITH MICHAEL DAVIES, ABOGADO/SOLICITORIf you wish us to print an article about a particular topic, please e-mail
Michael Davies is a Spanish Abogado and has been practicing law in Almera since 1993. He is member of the Law societies of Almera and Madrid and has offices in Mojacar and Almeria High Street.
Q: DO I NEED A SPANISH WILLA: YES...and heres why...1. Your estate will be left to the people of your choice and not to those
determined by law2. You can mitigate inheritance tax by planning the distribution of your estate. A will can be the single
most cost-effective document you will sign during your lifetime. 3. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that things are in order for your heirs and that your
heirs will not end up dealing with a complicated and costly procedure in a foreign country. I like the challenge of complicated inheritance work but we will never stop insisting that all our
clients should make a Spanish will.Since setting up office in 1993, I have been surprised by the amount of people who have come to
ask whether it is convenient to make a will in Spain concerning their Spanish assets. The answer to this is most definitely yes. In England if you do not make a will, then the law has rules, which will determine the distribution of your assets. These rules could mean that your assets are distributed in a way very different from what you would have liked. In Spain the situation is the same, with an additional factor. Your heirs will have to deal with a foreign language and legal system. All the more reasons to leave everything as organised as possible. Some people include their Spanish assets in their English will. This is legally binding, but to obtain probate in Spain, it will be necessary for the will to be translated and legalised. This is a long and costly procedure. My advice on the subject is to have two separate wills, one in England for your English assets and one in Spain for your Spanish assets. Drawing up a will in Spain does not take long and is not expensive, and will definitely save your heirs a lot of time, problems and money. Your Lawyer will draw up a rough draft, and then he will make an appointment at the notary to sign the final document. One copy is sent by the notary to the central register in Madrid. He will hold on to the original copy. You will be given a copy that I suggest you inform your heirs and lawyer in England about, and then put it in the bottom drawer, with the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of.
At Davies Solicitors we will listen to your wishes and advise you on the most tax efficient way of dealing with your Spanish estate. We will explain in detail the tax implications of your decisions for your heirs and ways to deal with it. We will prepare a will in both English and Spanish for signature and in general we will provide you the peace of mind of knowing that everything has been left organized for your heirs. Please call or email us for an appointment
It was 1868 when the hunter Modesto Cubillas first discovered the caves and subsequently informed local amateur archaeologist, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, who then began excavations on the floor of the caves entrance chamber in 1879.
During these excavations,
Sautuolas eight year old daughter, Mara, led him to discover the drawings and polychrome rock paintings of animals, human-like masks, and stencilled hands on the walls and ceilings of the caves.
These paintings and other discovered artefacts, dating
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back to the Magdalenean and Solutrean people, have now endorsed the international fame of these caves as the Sistine Chapel of Paleolithic art.
The Altamira caves (Altamira translating to high views in Spanish), in comparison to the other caves in Cantabria, remain well preserved due to the isolation of their deep recesses and galleries from climate and weather affects.
From this preservation, the numerous archeologists that have excavated within the site over time, have been able to decipher the various inhabitants of the cave and their daily activities between 22, 000 and 14, 000 BC - some 40, 000 years ago.
Running in a straight line of around 270 metres long, the Altamira caves sit 158.5 metres above sea level in the upper part of a karst formation on Mount
THE SPAINIAC | AlTAmIrA CAvES | CANdICE PArSoNS Vispieres.
The caves have been attracting more and more visitors since its discovery, and increasingly promoting the tourism of the Cantabria region.
By 1970, it became apparent that the large volumes of visitors to the caves were noticeably damaging its paintings, and was closed to the public by 1977.
The caves reopened in 1982, however with limited access and very few visitors permitted entry per day.
Altamira caves resulted in a three year waiting list for visitors, until Manuel Franquelo and Sven Nebel reproduced a replica cave and museum nearby in 2001, showcasing a more accessible and comfortable
display of the replicated polychrome paintings, as well as sculptures not visible in the actual caves.
Following experts advice that conservation conditions had stabilised since the closure, the Spanish Ministry of Culture made the decision in December 2010 for Altamira caves to remain completely closed to the public.
The replica museum of the Altamira caves, may not feel as wondrous as seeing the paintings and remains of the real caves, yet remains highly impressive in its depictions of humanitys earliest art and cultural traditions, and gives an insightful enlightening of this fascinating assertion of history.
Another ancient wonder to add to
the nations pool of UNESCO World
Heritage sites, the Altamira Caves lie in
northern Spain near the town of Santillana del Mar, nested amongst the mountains of the