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Organising a Funeral in Spain



Funerals are not something we think about every day, indeed the majority of people have an aversion to the topic. However, organising a funeral in Spain a funeral is something that has to be considered and preferably prepared for, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local customs and regulations.



Planning and Organising a Funeral in Spain

The Spanish system

In Spain, it is a legal requirement in the first instance following a death to contact the Guardia Civil (police) and a doctor. The doctor must issue a temporary death certificate and then either the doctor or the Guardia Civil contact a local funeral director. When the funeral director arrives, he will ask for a signature on a ‘release form’. This is where you need to be careful and need the services of a Spanish speaker: the release form may include a contract for the funeral director’s services without prices. This takes control away from you over the costs. Also, it is wise to be aware that the funeral director may be a relative or friend of the person who called them in. In other words, some kind of ‘arrangement’ is operating.

Funerals also happen very quickly in Spain compared with the UK and some other countries. Spanish law says that Spanish nationals must be buried within 72 hours. Expats don’t have to abide by this law, but you may find that the funeral director tells you that you must comply with it. Remember, you don’t, but you may have to pay hefty fees for the deceased to be kept at the funeral parlour. Most hospitals in Spain don’t have mortuary facilities, so the deceased is always collected immediately after death.

It is best for expats to choose a funeral director in advance if possible and in that way keep control over the costs and the funeral itself.

Get a funeral plan

The best way to avoid this type of practice is to have a funeral plan in place in advance. Having a funeral plan and/or funeral insurance is commonplace in Spain, and it is possible to cover the whole family, including the youngest member.

An insurance plan typically covers all the funeral expenses, which average €5,000 – €6,000 and are on the rise. With an insurance plan, even if you only took it out last week you are still covered. And, some offer added extras such as discounts on medical care. However, insurance can work out more expensive if you live to a ripe old age. Still, the smaller monthly payments are more manageable for many.

The other option is to buy a funeral plan. This usually involves either a lump sum payment, or the payment in instalments for a specified period. With a plan you are buying your funeral at today’s prices and at a set cost, no matter when the funeral happens. However, the sums here can be substantial and not everyone may find this method fits their budget.

Whatever method you choose, the key is always to plan in advance and ensure that your family is not troubled by an unfamiliar process at a time when they are most distressed.

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Organising a Funeral in Spain
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Do you like beaches, or lying by a swimming pool? Do you enjoy being surrounded by stunning scenery and historic buildings? Or are you a lover of good wines and fresh food produce? These are all good reasons to consider retiring to Spain and here are eight of the reasons we’d give for choosing Spain as the place to buy a retirement or holiday home.




A lower cost of living

Your money really can go further here. Spain has the lowest cost of living in Western Europe.

Great healthcare

The World Health Organisation puts Spain’s healthcare system in the Top 10 worldwide, plus there are plenty of private clinics in addition to the public hospitals.

It’s a diverse country

Spain is one of the largest countries in Europe in terms of its land mass and that also means that it has a wildly diverse landscape. There is something for everyone here: from the seaside to the mountains to vibrant cities, you’re sure to find a place that strikes a chord with you.

Great travel hub

It’s pretty easy to get anywhere else in Europe, as well as other parts of the world, when you live in Spain, and travelling within the country is simple as well thanks to its great train service and its motorways.

A choice of climates

Like the scenery, Spain also offers a variety of climates. The sun seekers gravitate to the south and the eastern Costas, but if you prefer something a bit cooler, there’s always Spain’s beautiful north.

It’s filled with culture

Spain’s historical past has been well preserved in its architecture and cultural events. It is packed to the brim with places to explore from north to south, including the majestic Alhambra palace, the Camino de Santiago, Toledo and Segovia, just to mention a very small handful of what you will find here.

Great wines

Sadly, Spain has not marketed its wine to the same extent as the French and Italians, therefore many expats have only heard of ‘rioja’. Spain produces an enormous number of wines that can easily compete with those of its nearest neighbours and spending time here will give you an opportunity to discover them.

Great food and friendly people

Spain’s cuisine is not limited to paella; there are many more dishes to try that all use local ingredients. And on top of that, the Spanish people are known for their generous hospitality, friendliness and respect for people from other countries. Which Spanish region would you choose to live in? At Umuzee we cover most Spanish regions and have some spectacular properties for you to look at. Just do a few searches in the various Spanish regions on our site and you’ll see what we mean!

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Moving to another country is a dream for many people, but once you’ve bought a property and settled in, the chances are that you will need some form of income, unless you are receiving a pension or you’re independently wealthy.



How to create income as an expat

We’ve put together 10 ways to create income as an expat:

1. Teach English

This is one of the surest ways to make money, especially if you’re in a country where young people and business employees need to improve their English. There are multiple opportunities and acquiring the qualifications needed to teach English is relatively inexpensive and courses are short. International House is highly regarded for its CELTA certificates that are accepted worldwide.

2. Get into tourism

Starting a business that is tourist related is another option. One that caters to specific groups are often most successful, whether it is an Irish bar or a naturist B&B. Study the market and look for the gaps.

3. Import & Export

Is there a product that you could sell to your native country, or something from home that you could bring to your new abode? Again, research will guide you.

4. A transportation business

You could become an Uber driver, and this company is expanding in Spain for example. Or start a private airport collection and drop-off service. Many visitors are looking for drivers who speak their language.

5. Can you cook or bake?

Cake making, especially if you can produce special occasion confections, is one idea. Anyone with chef experience will probably find a position quite easily and there are shops serving the expat community who might sell your homemade pies, scones or cupcakes.

6. Drop ship online

By using sites like Amazon or Etsy you can create a business where the products are shipped directly to the customer without you having to bother about that aspect of it.

7. Freelance for a local business

Could you do photography for a real estate company, could you teach yoga at a hotel, or be a local tour guide? There is a multitude of possibilities.

8. Translate

You don’t need to be an ‘official’ translator to help local restaurants and bars translate their menus. Marketing flyers and tourist materials, plus websites are other examples where the language might need a bit of a polish.

9. Start your own business

Do you love animals? You could become a dog walker or provide accommodation for other people’s dogs when they are on holiday. Cleaning, painting, and all those other household tasks are other options, as other expats often feel more comfortable with a person who speaks their language.

10. Private tutor

If you’re in an area where there are international schools and you have a relevant subject degree, or a teaching qualification, there is always a demand for private tutors for all age groups.

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for expats to generate an income in a new country, so don’t let any fears that you won’t have a way to make money stop you from making a move overseas.

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Own a holiday home overseas and make money

Owning a holiday home can be a profitable business as well as a place where you can spend your own vacation. A report in Landlord Today UK magazine revealed that “the average UK holiday property generated annual rental income of £22,281 in 2016,” and this can be much higher if you own a holiday home overseas.

The first step to generating a substantial income from a holiday home overseas is to treat it as a proper business and not as a hobby. You will need to think about a marketing strategy, devise the best systems for ensuring your guests have an excellent experience and efficient ways of maintaining the property’s appearance and cleanliness.

You will also need to consider necessary expenses. Leaving aside the cost of having an agency manage the holiday lettings for you, you will need to build a fund for buildings maintenance and taxation, as well as any other incidental costs such as travelling to the property on occasion. And, if you do decide to use an agency to look after your guests and the property, then a percentage of the income will go to them. All this needs to be worked out so that there are no nasty surprises leaving you out of pocket, or wondering how you are going to pay for any damage to the property, or replacement of white goods or furniture, for example.

Where should you own a holiday home overseas?

The answer to this to some extent depends on whether you as an owner also plan to use the property, in which case it must be in a country and region that you love and want to visit again and again. Spain is obviously the top destination in Europe for British holidaymakers, and a good percentage of other Europeans as well. The demand for holiday properties is rising in Spain, with more tourists preferring to stay in a self-catering apartment or villa rather than a hotel or other type of resort. It certainly makes sense for families, who enjoy greater freedom by renting a holiday home.

Holiday homes for sale in Spain

Within Spain, the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca and Costa Brava are the key coastal areas that attract the largest numbers of visitors. The Balearic Islands are also popular. Of course, you need to consider your budget as well as the area you like, and you will also need to check that the property is sufficiently close to the kind f amenities people want when on holiday. Otherwise you may fail to get the number of bookings you are hoping for. Turkey and Cyprus also offer good value for money and attract large numbers of visitors, primarily to their beach resorts.

Turning a holiday home overseas into business can not only ensure that your second home abroad pays for itself, it can provide you with a lucrative income. For retirees, it can boost income from pensions, and for those who haven’t finished working yet, it offers a way to make financial plans for the future. It might even provide you with enough to buy more holiday homes and expand your business.

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The passport is an essential document; without one you won’t get very far these days. You may be surprised to know that the concept is quite ancient and can even be traced back to the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, possibly written around 450BC.



A history of the British passport

In Britain, the earliest surviving reference to a “safe conduct” document appears during the reign of Henry V, in an Act of Parliament dated 1414. And also in Britain, the use of the word ‘passport’ dates from 1540. From 1794, the office of the Secretary of State took control of issuing passports, a function that the Home Office retains today. Records remain of every British passport granted from this time, although they were written in French until 1858, when the passport first acquired its role as a British identity document. Nevertheless, passports were not generally required for international travel until World War One. You can read a shortened history of the British passport for all the details.

Your passport is powerful and complex

There are few personal documents more powerful than your passport, except for your birth certificate, perhaps. And, it is because it is so powerful that more security features have been added in recent years, because these help prevent the theft of your information through forgery.

Conde Nast Traveler reveals: “Each U.S. passport, for example, is printed with 60 different materials, and has some 30 security features in place.”

The stamp on the front of your passport is one of those security features. Each country has its own seal that is applied using hot foil stamping. It’s quite difficult for forgers to replicate this successfully.

The printing techniques involved are also complex “hat most patterns and text exceed the “resolution available via any other copying, printing or scanning device in the printing industry,” says ID expert Robert Smith in the Keesing Journal of Documents & Identity.

Now, we also have biometric passports with a small chip concealed in them that help to identify you and add a second layer of information, separate to that you can see printed in your passport. Forging chips is costly, which is why more countries are issuing biometric documents.

Passports also have holograms layered with “speciality inks and fine line engravings,” according to Gizmodo, and governments usually hire firms to create proprietary holograms, plus they all use “optically variable inks.” The printing on your passport may look like it is one colour, but closer inspection reveals several colours are used, and some inks show up as another colour when heated or cooled.

And, as for the typefaces used by each country for its passports, these are kept under high security. Some may have intentional imperfections that are difficult to replicate.

There is a lot of work and detail goes into producing your unique passport, which stores your information, that’s why it is so important to keep it safe and report its immediately if it is lost or stolen.

More from Umuzee…
Think you’re ready to buy a house? Here are 4 signs
Spanish airports offer free personal shopping service
Tips to choosing the best real estate agent before buying or renting an apartment

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Organising a Funeral in Spain
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“Am I ready to buy a house, or should I just keep renting?”

It’s one of the questions that we hear most often and something to which first-time homebuyers often spend months, if not years, trying to figure out the answer.


Below are a list of four tell-tale signs that you’re ready to bite the bullet and take the leap into home ownership:


Sign #1: You’re ready to settle down

The first sign that you’re in the right mindset to become a homeowner is that you’re ready to stay put — at least for a little while.

Conventional wisdom states that in order for your purchase to make financial sense, you’ll want to plan on staying put for at least the next five years. When you sit down to think about house hunting, you’ll want to use that timeframe as your reference point.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you see yourself staying at your job for that long, or will you be looking for new opportunities?
  • If the right position came along, would you be willing to move for it?
  • Do you like the area you’re living in, or would you like to explore other options?
  • Do you see your living situation changing soon?
  • Are you planning on moving in with a significant other or expanding your family?

If these questions make you squirmy, the idea of looking five years into the future still feels a little too far ahead for you to grasp, or you still want to see where life life takes you, you may want to consider renting for a bit longer or thinking about a for-a-few-years home vs. a forever home.

2. You’re done living paycheck-to-paycheck

Image result for buy a home

Let’s face it, becoming a homeowner is expensive.

Not only is there a monthly mortgage mortgage payment to consider, which will likely be more than your current rent check, but prospective homebuyers need to be prepared to come up with a sizable down payment, shoulder a portion of the closing costs, and have the dough to take care of any necessary repairs.

Luckily, there is a way that you can prepare for the added financial pressure before the big day comes and understand how much house you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate what a monthly payment could based on the type of home you’re looking to buy. Then, subtract the amount you pay in rent each month, and aim to put the the remainder into savings.

Start by working towards a down payment that could be worth 3%-10% of a home’s sale price, and then move onto a seperate emergency fund.

3. You’re ready for more responsibility

Once you find a home and actually buy it, that’s really where all the fun begins.

Yes, owning a home means that you have a lot more freedom to improve the property as you see fit — whether that means putting in an entirely new kitchen or redoing the hardwood floors.

However, in addition to that creative freedom comes an added layer of responsibility. As the homeowner, you’re the one who is responsible for any necessary maintenance and upkeep on the property.

Think about what you’re like as a tenant now.

Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and help with small tasks or are you relieved to know that you have someone to call? If you’re less handy, you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with common home maintenance tasks before committing to buying anything. It always helps to have a fair idea of what you’re getting into.

4. You know what you’re looking for

Image result for right home

Last but not least, though it may sound self-explanatory, when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’re ready to buy a home, it’s useful to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

You don’t have to have every single detail set in stone. (In fact, it’s preferable if you leave some room to flexibility in your home search.) That said, though, having a basic set of parameters in mind will make the homebuying process go much easier.

Here, you’ll want to think about the most important factors that you absolutely must have in a home. These will be the things that you would not feel comfortable buying a home without. This may include details like your preferred location, an ideal number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a target sale price, or any specific must-have features like that perfect picture window view.

If you have a strong idea of your must-haves and can’t see that changing in the near future, and the above signs sound like you, you may just be ready to take the plunge into home ownership. If not, there’s no shame in the game waiting.

This article originally appeared on OpenListings.

Spanish News and Lifestyle Articles - The Vital Importance of Independent Advice
Spanish News and Lifestyle Articles - Books About Living in Spain
Spanish News and Lifestyle Articles - Moving Abroad
Organising a Funeral in Spain
Spanish News and Lifestyle Articles - Choosing the Perfect Country