Since most of them are retirees, not infrequently, they request information on how to transfer assets to inheritors in a cost-effective and expeditious manner. It is very safe to purchase real estate in Panama, as it is easy to plan your estate under the Panamanian legal system. Several estate planning legal entities used in North America and Europe are available in Panama.
As a foreigner, if you own properties for sale in panama and pass, your inheritors may encounter legal fees and time consuming proceedings, should you not follow some simple rules to ease or avoid probate. When planning your estate you may face several options, for instance, absence of a will, a will, special tenancy, private interest foundations and trusts.
Absence of a will
If you do not have a will, dying intestate -without creating any property transfer method-, entails that property will be distributed according to the law of the relevant jurisdiction. Under Panamanian law, if there is no will and no surviving spouse, the estate is inherited by the children and the closest descendants of the children, if a child has died. If there are no descendants, the parents will inherit. In absence of descendants and parents, the closest ascendants will inherit. On the other hand, if there is a surviving spouse, the estate is inherited by the surviving spouse, the children and the closest descendants of the children, if a child has died. If you there are no relatives at all, who takes it all? Yes, you are right, the government, the municipality of your last Panamanian address, to be specific.
It is not the best choice to die intestate, because property will be distributed according to the civil law, not as you wish. In addition, both your executor and the guardian for your minor children will be appointed by a judge, following the criteria of the law. If no inheritors appear before the judge, the Municipality where your domiciled is located will inherit.
If you have decided to invest in panama then in certain cases a will is advisable as an estate planning tool, i. e., if you do not have the time to engage in a full-scale plan, or if it is very unlikely that you will die in the near future. If you have no assets, but would like to name a personal guardian for your children or donate your organs, a will is an adequate tool. In some cases, if you already have a thorough estate plan such as a set of trusts and private interest foundations, you may want a will, as a back-up will, to dispose of suddenly acquired property.
In some countries, Spain and Colombia to name a few, the freedom to dispose of assets through a will has been limited: part of the estate must be inherited by the closest relatives, another portion must be inherited by any relative and the final portion can be disposed of without any restrictions. Under Panama Civil Laws, there is absolute freedom to dispose of your assets post-mortem; one can leave the whole estate literally to the girl next door, except for the monies owed as alimony to children and/or parents and/or spouse. On the other hand, wills are always revocable; a new will can be written leaving the previous one without legal effects.