Trusts do not exist in Spain

An owner can not order the destiny of their assets for an indefinite period after their death other than by ordering a so called “sustitución fideicomisaria”, which can rule the destiny of the assets for a period up to no more than two generations after the death of the testator or in favour of persons alive at the time of the death of the testator.

The Sustitución Fideicomisaria means that in the testament, an inheritor (Fiduciario) is named for a first period ( his own lifetime or some other period of time) and after him a second inheritor (the Fideicomisario) is named.

The first inheritor will be the actual owner during the established period, ( his lifetime or some other period) , but he is not allowed to dispose of the assets, because those assets are reserved for the second inheritor, the fideicomisario. More than two successive callings can be ordered assuming the person named is within two generations remove from the testator, or is alive at the time of the testator’s death.

The testator can establish the rules to administer the assets during the time of ownership of the fiduciario, or the first fideicomisario ( there can be more than one if they are already alive at the time of the death of the testator).

The testator can even order that the fiduciario has the right to dispose of all the assets or of some individual assets, so the call to the second inheritor or fideicomisario will only concern the remaining assets ( fideicomiso de residuo).