INHERITESTATE.COM: INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF INHERITANCE ATTORNEYS & PROBATE LAWYERS

Below please find a few of the many frequently asked questions that we receive from our customers on a worldwide basis. Should you have a question that is not included in our FAQS please feel free to contact us here.

WHAT SERVICES DOES INHERITESTATE PROVIDE?

InheritEstate is a network of inheritance attorneys independently licensed in South, Central, and Latin America, who work together providing Inheritance Services or Inheritances As A Service. Our lawyers have their legal office, with their own independent management. However, the network has a professional agreement of international cooperation. This allows the network to provide its customers with many diverse services ranging from obtaining a birth or a death certificate to assisting an heir with its inheritance needs wherever they inherited. InheritEstate was born after its founder realized that there was a need for an international network of inheritance lawyers working together for the English speaking community -or more precisely- for those who do not speak Spanish- so that the process of inheriting in Spanish-speaking countries became something less painless.

IN WHICH COUNTRIES DOES INHERITESTATE OPERATE?

InheritEstate operates in the following countries: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

WHAT IS AN INHERITANCE?

In general, inheritance applies to everything a person receives upon the death of a relative. The distribution of the deceased person’s estate is either by the laws of descent or by a will or trust.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTESTATE SUCCESSION/INHERITANCE AND A SUCCESSION/INHERITANCE WITH A WILL/TESTAMENT DRAFTED BY THE DECEDENT OR DECEASED PERSON?

Indeed. According to the law of inheritance, if someone dies without a valid will, his/her estate shall be distributed among the heirs by intestate succession/inheritance. Individual state laws prescribe the distribution method of the deceased person’s property. Conversely, the distribution of the deceased person’s estate shall be in accordance with his/her will.

IF I AM INHERITING ONLY THE DECEASED PERSON’S DEBTS, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

By law, heirs are not obliged to accept the inheritance for the benefit of the inventory. In fact, in several cases, heirs do not take into account that there may be debts involved. Therefore, after the death of the deceased person, heirs automatically proceed to accept the inheritance, ignoring the responsibility they assume with such an act, which is that they would have to pay for the hereditary debts.

 

It is important to take into account that a person’s inheritance includes all property and rights but also the unpaid debts, burdens, and obligations. Hence, the deceased person’s assets and debts should be accepted together. Accepting the inheritance for the benefit of the inventory should be made by the heir before a Notary Public.

 

This statement should include an inventory also made by the heir, listing all of the assets and liabilities of the inheritance. The time limit for submitting said statement is peremptory. This would depend if the heir already took possession of the assets of the inheritance (or part of them). If so, the period is thirty days from the date on which the heir is formally notified. Otherwise, the period is also thirty calendar days, but after the deadline to accept or waive said inheritance.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF INVENTORYING AN INHERITANCE?

In general, the appointed executor/executrix will be in charge of filing an inventory before the probate court. A probate inventory is a listing of all the property owned by the deceased person. Unless stated otherwise, there is a general period of six months to file an inventory.

WHAT ASSETS CAN BE PART OF AN INHERITANCE?

An inheritance may include movable and immovable property. There is a vast range of assets that can be part of a deceased person’s estate. From real property and any type of vehicles up to bank accounts, art collections, intellectual property, and insurance policies.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU INHERITED PROPERTY?

Above all, you should ask the appointed executor/executrix for all the paperwork related to the property you just inherit. For example, utility bills, taxes, property land records, and bank records in order to determine if there are pending liens or mortgage payments on the property. Next, you should hire a house inspector and an appraiser. After gathering all this information, you will be able to determine if the property is subject to inheritance taxes.

HOW SOON CAN I INITIATE A PROBATE CASE AFTER THE DECEDENT HAS PASSED AWAY?

In general, a probate case begins after submitting a petition before the corresponding court of law to open the probate of an estate or to admit a will.

WHAT IS A TESTAMENT?

A testament –also known as last will- is a legal statement by which a person -the testator/testatrix- appoints one person (or more) to manage their estate. It provides for the transfer of their property at death. There are several types of wills: written holographic will, sealed will, and public will.

WHAT IS INTESTACY?

Intestacy applies to the estate of a person who dies without a will. It also refers to the statutory rules that govern the administration and distribution of the deceased person’s estate.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF INHERITING INTERNATIONALLY / OVERSEAS / ABROAD?

First of all, you need to retain an international attorney that is duly licensed in the country where the estate is located in order to represent you properly.

IF THE DECEDENT HAS ASSETS OR REAL PROPERTY IN MORE THAN ONE COUNTRY, WHERE SHOULD THE ESTATE/PROBATE BE FILED?

This specific situation requires the filing of an international ancillary probate. In fact, international estate issues and inheritance taxation vary according to the country where the assets or real property are located.

REPATRIATION OF FUNDS INHERITED FROM AN INTESTATE OR TESTAMENTARY ESTATE/PROBATE/SUCCESSION/ FROM ABROAD/OVERSEAS/ A FOREIGN COUNTRY

The repatriation of inherited funds is subject to specific rules and restrictions, which may vary according to the country where the funds are located. First, it is very important to be aware of any possible tax implications. Our certified tax accountants are highly qualified to provide you with a clear overview of this matter. This may also include other aspects such as currency exchange rates, money transfer costs, applicable transaction reports, and investment options.

INHERITANCE TAXES

Unlike estate taxes, inheritance taxes are based on the value of individual bequests received from a deceased person’s estate. Unless otherwise stated in the will, the heirs and beneficiaries are liable for these taxes.

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