Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile



Heirs, Testamentary Attorneys, Inheritance Lawyers. Probate Law Firm. Real Estate Planning.

To begin with, these are the cities in Chile where Inherit Estate offers legal services:



First, Santiago is the capital and largest city in Chile and was founded in 1541. Also, the city is home to a great deal of historic culture which can be seen in its many preserved buildings. For example, museums, churches, theaters, and numerous public buildings and palaces. In fact, Santiago is a very popular destination not only for its great food, culture, and bustling center. In addition, there are many tourists attractions such as ski resorts, vineyards, and other wilderness areas.

Viña del Mar

Home to beautiful beaches and their luxurious resorts, as well as many other famous attractions, Viña del Mar is definitely an important stop during your trip to Chile. This city was established in the late 1800s and is now home to popular parks, plazas, botanical gardens, and various city landmarks.


While Valparaíso is the most important port in Chile, it has also become one of the most significant cultural cities as well. Furthermore, the historic center of the city has actually been declared a World Heritage Site and has been preserved to perfection. Moreover, visitors will enjoy many historical sights including both the historic sector as well the modern bustling areas as well.

San Pedro de Atacama

Indeed, this city is the main tourist center in the Atacama Desert and is located on the edge of an enormous salt flat. In other words, the city is relatively simple with unpaved roads and adobe structures. For example, San Pedro is also an archaeological hotspot with a popular museum housing ancient artifacts and mummies. Also, this area is a popular starting point for many different tours and excursions into the surrounding regions.


This city became an important port in the nineteenth century and has flourished, especially with the growing popularity of tourists. Iquique is home to various antique buildings and structures such as the former customs house and other buildings such as the casino and various elegant mansions. Also, Iquique offers visitors many different options for excursions and tours to the surrounding regions.


This city is known for its moderate climate and is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Additionally, Arica is surrounded by various national parks and reserves and is the starting point for various tours including a visit to the museum or an archaeological excursion. Other attractions include the immense Surire Salt Lake and some nearby natural hot springs.

Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas

These two towns are located in the lake district of Chile. Puerto Montt is actually on the ocean coast while Puerto Varas is located along the Llanquihue Lake. Also, both have a strong German flare which can be seen in the nineteenth-century architecture. Because of the central location, both towns are a great starting point to explore the natural setting that surrounds them. In addition, visitors may enjoy excursions to national parks with waterfalls, river rafting, volcanoes, and much more.

Punta Arenas

This mid-nineteenth-century town is the southernmost continental town in the world. Once an important port for transporting goods around the world, Punta Arenas is now more famous for its various passenger cruises that depart from this area to visit the surrounding islands and waters. On the other hand, visitors may take a tour of the city itself or join in on an excursion to see the local wildlife such as the penguins that nest in this area from October to March.

Puerto Natales

This small town is the popular meeting spot for all tours into the famous Torres del Paine National Park, one of Chile’s important world heritage sites. In general, this port offers visitors a wide variety of elegant accommodations from simple bed and breakfast style inns to luxurious hotels.



This article will look at international probate and international estate planning and what constitutes both fields of law. Also, it will look at the legal professionals in those fields—what they do, the scope of services, etc.

Introduction: An International Estate Planning Attorney’s Perspective

Estate Planning

First of all, estate planning is the process of helping a client plan what to do with their estate after they die. In general, it avoids the complications and costs of probate, and to reduce taxes and other expenses associated with the disposal of the estate.

Similarly, a person’s estate represents their net worth. Also, it is the total of their assets, including financial accounts, legal rights, land, property, interests, and entitlements. In estate planning, a beneficiary is appointed for tangible and intangible assets by means of wills or trusts.

International estate planning is necessary for assets in a foreign country. Sometimes, people hire an attorney in that country to manage their assets. However, it is generally better to retain an international estate planning attorney in a person’s country of citizenship. In addition, an attorney should be knowledgeable about foreign ownership, inheritance, and taxes both in that country and overseas.


Indeed, probate is the legal process of proving a will in a court of law. During probate, all claims on a person’s estate are resolved and the estate is distributed according to the wishes set down in the will.
Probate courts (sometimes called surrogate courts) ensure that a will is properly executed. Therefore, they enforce the provisions of a will and prevent injurious actions of estate administrators and executors. Additionally, probate courts oversee the assets of people who die without a valid will (a status called intestate) and ensure that the assets are distributed equitably.
However, if a will is contested, a probate court determines will authenticity, decides how the deceased person’s property will be distributed and identifies the proper heirs and beneficiaries.
Thus, international probate comes into play when a deceased person has assets abroad—property or bank accounts or other tangible or intangible assets.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

International probate lawyers (known as international probate solicitors in the United Kingdom) are experienced in dealing with different countries’ laws and tax rules, and they have expertise in helping people whose deceased loved ones owned assets abroad.
In addition, they streamline the probate process by being a single point of contact for clients.
Now we will look more closely at estate planning and probate and the particulars of the fields as they occur in the international arena.

Inherit Real Estate in Chile

Inherit Real Estate in Chile

International estate planning attorneys

Above all, the international estate planning attorney definition is the legal professional—the attorney or solicitor—who understands the multiple complex issues surrounding estate planning for people with international ties and who represents his or her client in planning and executing arrangements.
But, what does an estate planning attorney do? First of all, international estate planning lawyers usually work with the international tax and corporate law branches of their firms to plan and execute the arrangements that meet their clients’ needs.

Planning services

International estate planning needs for clients vary widely, depending on the client and case. Additionally, a situation may involve, among others, a citizen living overseas, a citizen with a foreign citizen spouse, or a citizen living abroad.
Typical international estate planning services by foreign attorneys include:
For example, Estate planning for people with family and assets in other countries
Also, Advising about transfer taxes
Moreover, Pre-immigration and expatriate tax planning
Additionally, Minimizing taxes on cross-border gratuitous wealth transfers
Last, Advising on information reporting requirements that pertain to foreign accounts, assets, and interests

Estate and gift tax planning for citizens with foreign spouses

International estate planning has also become an increasing need for foreigners, who, over the last twenty years, have been emigrating in increasing numbers. Millions of foreigners now live abroad; their top destinations include countries in Latin America and Argentina.
Foreign citizens have bought businesses and homes in their adopted countries while also maintaining properties and accounts in other countries. An international estate planning attorney is important for Foreigners in this situation.
The most popular countries of residence are Argentina, Latin America in general, Australia, Spain, the United States, and Canada.
Obviously, we live in a mobile world where barriers to the movement have largely disappeared and people from all countries are adopting other countries as their homes, purchasing properties and businesses in those countries, and engaging in investments across borders.

Inherit Real Estate in Chile

Inherit Real Estate in Chile

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Estate planning attorney fees vary from firm to firm and are determined by the scope of the cases being handled. Taxation in the context of international estate planning
Individuals and families with high net worth and with assets in multiple countries need international estate planning legal services to navigate the complex tax issues that accompany this kind of scenario. Advanced international tax planning is necessary so that unnecessary tax burden is avoided at the time when the property is distributed.
Foreign citizens are taxed on their income worldwide. This means that many citizens must report income that they earn overseas. Sometimes that income is also subject to Medicare and Social Security taxes. However, there are credits and exclusions available that, when claimed, can drastically reduce the amount of taxes owed.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

There are certain reporting requirements for foreign citizens that own assets and hold accounts and interests in other countries. These are fairly stringent; people who do not comply with these requirements can find themselves subject to stiff civil penalties. They can even experience criminal penalties if their failure to report is considered deliberate and intentional.
For these reasons, foreign citizens must make sure that they meet all reporting requirements for their foreign-held assets and that they take advantage of all possible credits and income exclusions.
Argentines and citizens of other countries are behooved to engage international estate planning solicitors/lawyers to help them navigate reporting requirements, tax credits and exclusions pertinent to their own locations.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Double taxation is an issue that arises around a foreign-held property.
Double taxation can occur when a foreign-held property or asset is transferred and the owner is taxed both by their home country and also by the country in which the property was held.
Some countries have what are called tax treaties with other countries.
These treaties allow the country where the city owns the property to tax that property. If Argentina taxes the estate, then it has to provide a credit to the estate owner to cover the amount of the property taxation by the country where the property is located.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Taxation on gifts to heirs is another area of regard when it comes to international estate planning. The amount of gift taxation can vary according to the closeness of the relationship between the donor and the recipient. Property given to a spouse or siblings is taxed at a lower rate (in civil law countries, which includes most of Europe, and Latin America,) than if it is given to a more remotely-related heir like a cousin.
An international estate planning attorney provides crucial help in understanding how a host country’s concepts of citizenship, residency, and domicile impact expatriates and their taxable status.
In many countries, for example, a person is established as a resident for income tax purposes if they are present in the country for a specific number of days of the tax year.


Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Residency carries different implications than domiciliary, which is tied to transfer taxes. Acquiring domicile status comes about through living in a country without the intention of ever leaving it. Residency status bestows latitude for a person to stay in a country indefinitely or to leave it.
In many cases, there are three residence statuses that can be claimed: resident, domiciliary, or deemed domiciliary. The status claimed determines income and transfer tax consequences, which can vary significantly.

Multiple Wills or Multi-jurisdiction Wills

People who own property in more than one country typically have multiple single-jurisdiction wills or a single multi-jurisdiction will.  Single-jurisdiction will apply to properties in one location (one will per country).
Single-jurisdiction wills are less complex and faster to draft than multi-jurisdiction wills, so they involve fewer attorney fees. However, in the long run, multi-jurisdiction wills are often a better idea because they can avoid the confusion that can arise out of multiple single-jurisdiction wills and the resulting expenses that occur in sorting out the confusion.
If a single-jurisdiction will is not crystal clear about which property it refers to, it will give rise to the confusion that must be resolved before distribution of the estate can occur. Multiple single-jurisdiction wills can sometimes be in conflict with each other. This leads to necessary and expensive litigation to sort out the conflict and resolve the administration of the estate.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

The worst-case scenario is if one single-jurisdiction will actually revoke another single-jurisdiction will. This can result in property or assets actually going into intestacy, which is the same thing that happens when someone dies without leaving a will. In intestacy, government laws and not the person’s will determine the distribution of assets. This is obviously undesirable for the person who has gone to lengths to draft wills and record their desires for the distribution of their estate.

Foreign Property

An additional possible problem is when a foreign property is not listed in any will. This can happen when a person drafts a will, then buys a property or asset and does not update the will to include the purchase.
This puts the property into intestacy, as in the example above.
If used, single-jurisdiction wills must be very carefully drafted. Usually, it is best if all attorneys drafting separate single-jurisdiction will work together to coordinate the drafts and use consistent language so as to completely remove the possibility of ambiguity and confusion later on.

International Wills

International wills came into being when the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law held a convention with the purpose of creating an international will that would make international estate planning easier and less complex.



Must be the disposition of only one person
Must be in writing; can be handwritten or typed
Must be signed in front of two witnesses and an attorney
Must be signed by the two witnesses and the attorney
Signatures must all be located at the end of the will
Multiple-page wills must be numbered by page and each page signed by the testator
If the testator can’t sign, the reason must be stated on the will
A certificate must be attached at the end of the wall attesting to the fact that an authorized person (attorney; not a notary) has met the requirements for drafting an international will
An international will is valid in all jurisdictions that signed the 1973 Washington Convention.

International Estate Planning Treatises and Resources

Online resources are available for those looking for an education in the area of international estate planning.
For example, an International Estate Planning Treatise is an online subscription called International Estate Planning. Also, it addresses the tax and non-tax property transfers of foreign clients.
Indeed, this particular treatise looks at income and wealth transfer taxes as they relate to several issues. For example, cross-border planning; foreign death taxes, and strategies for planning for taxes on estates. Also, gifts, and generation-skipping transfers, and cross-border planning. Additionally, domestic and offshore trusts; information reporting requirements; and others issues.

Topics covered in the treatise include

First, Planning for citizens with assets in other countries
Second, Income tax planning for citizens residing abroad
Third, Planning for foreign nationals who own assets
Fourth, Social Security considerations
Fifth, Investments by foreign clients
Sixth, Tax rules, and foreign grantor and non-grantor trusts, foreign estates, and foreign beneficiaries of trusts and estates
Seventh, “resident” status for estate tax purposes and income tax purposes
Eight, Techniques for using lifetime gift tax planning in cross-border planning, including powers of appointment and discounting strategies

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

In general, gift and estate tax planning with spouses who are foreign citizens
income and transfer tax planning for non-resident aliens
Additional resources can be found online or at international estate planning institutes and international estate planning conferences.
International Estate Planning as a Career
Thinking about an estate planning attorney career? Estate planners come from a range of careers, including financial advisors, CPAs, insurance producers, and lawyers. Also, degrees in accounting, business, finance, law, economics, and insurance are good foundational educational tracks when pursuing a vocation as an estate planning attorney.
For example, an estate planning attorney job description is a lawyer that guides clients in selecting the right strategies for maintaining their estate after they die or in the case they are unable to manage it or make decisions.

International Probate
Probate Administration and Services

First, the international probate process begins when a person who owned properties and assets in a foreign country dies. Additionally, law firms that offer international probate services employ attorneys with expertise and experience in the international probate field.
In fact, international probate firms are generally similar to domestic probate firms in that they seek to streamline the probate process, knowing that the time period following a loved one’s death is emotional and stressful for the client.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

The stress increases exponentially when foreign properties and assets are subject to probate to sort out the distribution of the estate.
Indeed, clients of international probate firms include estate executors and beneficiaries; family members; other lawyers who lack expertise in the area of international probate; accountants involved in the distribution and administration of the estate and in inheritance tax matters; estate representatives responsible for the sale of the foreign-held property; and wealth management companies and financial advisers.

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

International probate firm lawyers handle a broad spectrum of tasks and responsibilities relating to an estate’s distribution. These include:
First, Advising clients on inheritance taxation and planning
Second, Advising clients on property tax changes in the countries where the clients own property
Third, Instructions/recommendations on inheritance and international probate matters
Fourth, Transferring securities and bank funds to heirs and beneficiaries
Fifth, Handling the administration of public deeds and the transfer of inherited holdings
Sixth, Representing heirs who are not of legal age to represent themselves
Seventh, Handling foreign law affidavits and document notarizations

Inheriting Real Estate in Chile

Handling combative probate and inheritance situations
International Probate Services and Will Writing
Indeed, many law firms have international will writing services. Also, our expert international probate lawyers and solicitors will ensure the protection of our clients’ multi-jurisdictional properties and assets.
In other words, individuals who own assets in foreign countries but do not have an international will subject their families and loved ones to potentially years of costly legal probate work. Consequently, probate laws vary from country to country, and a client’s foreign property is subject to the laws of the country in which it is located.
For instance, law firms that offer international will writing employ writers and foreign property lawyers who take a client’s wishes and detailed instructions and craft them into a customized international will. In general, legal professionals to ensure the fulfillment of all the requirements of a valid international will.

Costs and fees

Above all, the costs and fees of any legal proceeding depend on the magnitude and complexity of the case.
While probate lawyers fees can be costly, there also some options for low-income individuals. For instance, Probate Lawyers, Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Lawyers can also be an option.
Additionally, this is a program for low-income individuals who need pro-bono assistance with probate court matters.
Also, this program is designed to help those with probate court situations such as guardianships, conservatorships, informal and formal probates, and trust litigation. Similarly, it consists of attorneys who volunteer half-hour consultations to answer legal questions and provide advice.

International Probate Disputes

First, since it governs contested wills and deals with the division of assets between legal heirs, probate law often gets into contentious waters.
Second, a contested will is a will that is challenged by one or more heirs.
These heirs may challenge the will because they have not received an inventory of the property.

Third, they may claim that the deceased was under someone’s extraordinary influence that caused them to frame the will in a manner inconsistent with their known desires or convictions.

Last, they may believe that another heir is getting more than is rightfully theirs.

International Estate Planning and International Probate Law Firms

Nevertheless, not all law firms offer services in the areas of international estate planning and international probate.
However, Inherit Estate offers services in a range of fields. For example, Business and Commercial Law; Wealth Management; International Tax and Business Entities; Personal Injury; Wrongful Death; and Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, and Probate.

To sum up, our attorneys and legal staff in several countries are uniquely qualified to represent clients in all aspects of international estate planning and international probate.

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