About #Estate Planning

Author:Ms Ainex Diaz Alba
Profession:CLD Legal

At some point in our lives we have heard our parents, grandparents or closest relatives say "I will always be with you. I will never leave you. Even after my death, I will always take care of you" but, if we do a thorough examination that goes beyond the infinite feelings that these words entail, is this really true? Is it true that we are doing everything within our means to care for and protect our children or loved ones when we are gone?

In Panama, most of the successions that reach the municipal and civil courts are intestate, that is, that the deceased has not established his will or made other arrangements. There are also cases where people with the right to inherit the assets of the deceased do not show to court, hence, the legacy is transferred to the Municipality where the deceased maintained his last domicile.

This translates into that that loved one "who we were always going to take care of" will not feel the support that was promised and for which we worked all our lives. When you pass away you will leave behind a problem. Your successors will not even have access to your assets. To achieve a solution, they will have to retain a lawyer, start a process of intestate succession, and everything in between, until they are declared universal heirs. We are talking about a minimum of 6 months plus legal expenses and, in some cases, dealing with claims from third parties that show interest in part of the inheritance that may very well delay the process.

Going back to our initial question, is it true that we are doing everything within our means to care...

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