Our Private Clients & Estate Planning team has prepared the following question and answer guide to provide information about the aspects to consider in estate planning and the particularities of Costa Rican inheritance legislation.
- What is estate planning?
It is the process of organizing one’s assets and defining how and to whom they should be distributed in case of death or inability to manage such assets due to health conditions.
- Is a large estate required to structure estate planning?
No. Regardless of the size or value of an estate, designing a succession plan in advance is always advisable.
- Is a testator obliged to bequeath to certain individuals?
Although there may be certain limitations, the testator can designate anyone he wishes as an heir.
- What if a person passes away without an estate planning structure in place?
Costa Rican legislation provides succession rules for such cases. However, applicable laws may not match the intentions of the deceased and may involve a lengthy, costly legal process.
- Are the contents of a will necessarily public?
No. Although the existence of a closed will may become public knowledge, its contents will not be.
- Is it possible to modify a will?
Yes. As long as the testator has full use of his capacities, he may change/revoke his will as many times as he wishes.
- Is it possible to make use of foreign vehicles for succession planning?
Yes. Some jurisdictions contemplate innovative and flexible vehicles that allow the design of succession plans, regardless of whether such plans pertain to Costa Rican or foreign persons.