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  1. Interested parties can review the original thread seeking advice on this topic for my personal status and subsequent public commentary. No apologies for the length of this submission, hopefully some will find it useful. Taking personal responsibilty to effect a clean adios to life without creating a burden was the mission. I've always tried to avoid the avoidable errors of omission and commission. I've completed this task and wish to share what occurred, realizing my experience is just more input for your mental hard drive. I have just read through a couple of existing threads regarding corporations which many use to ease ownership changes, such as those caused by death, minimize tax liabilities and shield assets from litigation. These vehicles are a substitute for a Will and will be addressed first. Regarding S.A.'s : Back in the 1980's every attorney would advise new residents to place real estate and vehicles in an SA. Either a new one was created or one could purchase one from an inventory. They cost around $400. The one for your house/condo was meant to ease the paperwork surrounding the sale and the transfer fees were always less then sales taxes. It was also considered the best way to shield the property from unrelated lawsuits. I heard a couple years ago from a law firm hq'd in the Forum that following changes in regulations, in most cases a sales tax would be collected on homes sold whether inside an SA or not. Also, I would not bet anymore that my property or vehicle inside an SA holding only these assets would be protected from lien if I got involved in a major lawsuit seeking financial damages. Of course, every transaction here seems to follow random legal and tax interpretation. Not a gambler, I am someone unwilling to count on a 'lucky' personally positive outcome when a negative one is possible. I line the ducks up as straight as the river current allows. For that reason, In 2011 or so, when the first rumblings and changes occured, including an annual tax that would be owed even while there was disagreement in defining an 'active' or 'inactive' corporation, even when sala 4 blocked the new reg but allowed collecting taxes that mostly only Gringos paid, I discarded the SA's within a published grace period for the minimum amount. The attorney charged $400 for both, after I 'shopped' the charge. So now what about all those alleged protections I just lost? As stated by others, INS sells a liability- only policy for your vehicle which costs me around $120/6 months for a 2008 Toyota Prada Landcruiser 4x4. It pays up to c100 million per person for death and c300 million per accident. There's medical benefit and property damage coverage. Road assistance is included and is similar to what AAA offers, seemingly a good deal. Newer insured vehicles qualify one to obtain free taxi service to and from the airport inside the GAM by appointment. I've never tried that, however. The policy seems an acceptable substitute for an S.A. When I speed-bump over un borracho sleeping in the middle of the unlit lastre road in the rain and his wife goes after my bank accounts, one should be able to count on this policy. Homeowner's can purchase 'Hogar' insurance from INS on their home , based on value. Just because it seemed 'smart', I had this protection along with the S.A. from 2003-2006 until reading the policy during a night of 'replicas' (after shocks) of the Cinchona terremoto. Comically, my agent had called me that morning advising that this day was the last before my policy expired. Informed by neighbors that structural damage from the quake might be blamed on watery cement or insufficient re-bar, I next realized by reading the policy that my main concern, volcanic ash from any eruptions of Poas, was not covered. I already knew that a clause regarding 'activating' coverage for involved notifying my agent in writing should the house be vacant for more than a week, even just at the beach, and there would not be covering were I gone for a month. Video of contents was unacceptable because one 'could borrow furniture' just for the video. Without original invoices of your contents, not even a depreciated amount would be paid for loss. Houses without barriers to entry normally would not be insured. Maybe the policy is different now, but were I to purchase it again, I would shop for a 'friendly' agent known by others to be 'generous' with claims. Back to S.A.'s, for US tax filers, you will check the box claiming ownership of 'foreign corporations' and submit another form. Not using Turbo-tax? Pay your tax preparer another fee. Even for those innocent of all bad deeds, owning offshore corporations is red meat to the IRS and is best avoided. So for 'protecting' your home from a lawsuit and for sales tax avoidance, consult your atty on whether an S.A. will still accomplish this. For theft protection for a free-standing house not in a gated community, walls, ornamental door and window bars, lights and alarms seem prudent for light sleepers otherwise unarmed living where the police don't answer the phone. As a Comandante told the members of four pueblo Asociacion de Desarollo's last year dealing with an 'infestation' of cocaine dealers, "When a thief has a choice between a house with barriers and one without, which will he choose?" And lastly, for concerns with natural disasters, avoid buying homes downwind from volcanos, at river bottoms, on top of known fault lines, in dengue areas, on mountain tops subject to landslides and lightning strikes, or rent. Last Will - the process. I dismissed the first attorney prior to signing anything or paying a fee. Why? He is a young fifty years old and seemed lazy and incompetent. His third emailed draft in both Spanish and google-translated English was moving even further away from my wishes, which were simple and few. He preferred to be paid in dollars ($300) although the fee table from 'el colegio de abogados' quotes c150,000, now $266. But more important, his recent marriage separation was due to his 'accumulation of cars and quads'. He keeps a drone with a broken rotor on his desk. He claims a large portfolio of attractive properties through out Costa Rica that would benefit were mine included. He wanted to be named beneficiary of one bank account to gain access to funds for the cremation bill while not describing this in the Will. He told me the business of an American neighbor that was none of mine. I had to trust that once dead, he wouldn't unilaterally forge another Will and alter the one in the archives. The bad vibes made me uncomfortable. Another atty was consulted, one I met through a woman, a retired professor, working with the 'Defensora de Habitantes', the CR omsbudsman. This atty, an elderly woman, was a retired judge and one who had impressed me greatly when I sought to file a class-action suit with SUTEL v ICE. The heir for all property in Costa Rica would also be executor. No S.A's are involved. A back-up heir and executor were named in case of our simultaneous demise. No POA was necessary. The heir was made beneficiary for accounts at Scotiabank and Banco Nacional, some of the funds there earmarked to pay for cremation, contact info for 'Jardin de Recuerdos' is in a file with the Will and bank beneficiary forms. While married couples may simplify property transfer by donating their property to someone in the Will following death, this action is permanent, and they lose the ability to sell 'the property', which in the Will could include a vehicle. The Will states that only property in Costa Rica is involved. One must visit the archives in person to change the Will. As an extranero, two 'translators', persons (only Ticos?) able to speak both spanish and English were needed as per code, and three witnesses attended the reading and signing. Where there's a Will, there's a Way. Marsrox
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