No Comments

Estate Planning in Costa Rica – Testamento

“Da tua dum tua sunt, post mortem tunc tua non sunt”.
(Give that which is yours while it is yours; after death, it is not yours).

Executing a testamentary disposition or a will, in Costa Rica called “testamento”,can be one of the most reliable alternatives in estate planning.

The “testamento” is the legal instrument, executed in accordance to formalities established by CR Law, that allows a person, testator, to determine how his or her assets will be managed and distributed at the time of death as well as to appoint the executor of his estate.

In the event that a person dies without a valid “testamento”, either by absence or invalidity, the person is considered to have died “intestate” and the distribution of his assets will be governed by the intestacy laws of CR, which determines that the estate of the deceased will be transferred to the “legitimate heirs” according to a previously determined hierarchy who, although blood relatives, might be people the testatordislikes or with whom he is unacquainted.

The “testamento” can be limited to disposition of assets within Costa Rica only and has no legal effects until the person’s death. Previous to that moment, the “testamento” can also be revoked or modified.

If you are considering buying any real estate in Costa Rica or already did, you should get proper advice from a CR real estate attorney, who will help to properly set up your CR estate planning and further explain the restrictions or limitations upon the freedom of testators, the requirements and types of “testamentos”, and how to avoid inconsistencies with any testamentary dispositions granted in another country.

Credit to GMAttorneys

No Comments

2020 Municipal Elections

Evidence of Costa Rica´s solid Democracy

Last Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 local government elections were held in Costa Rica. Such local administrative units are known as Municipalities. The mayor of a total of eighty-two Municipalities as well as other political positions within them, were elected by direct voting of citizens living in each territorial subdivision known as ¨Cantones¨.

This was the fifth election process since a legal reform launched in 1998 which granted more responsibility and direct control over territorial, political and administrative matters to local governments. The process was a success.
Historically, since the Spanish colonial period, local governments were important administrative entities throughout Latin America. In Costa Rica, within most of the twentieth century, the tendency evolved into a centralized government based in the Central Valley. Politicians in the late 1990´s realized that territories far away from the country´s capital city of San José, and with such heterogeneous characteristics among them, demanded that several administrative matters were handled inhouse.

The decision proved to be the right way to go. Even though Costa Rica does not have an enormous extension or population, the eighty-two ¨Cantones¨ have such a varied geographical, economical, and demographic reality, that it makes a lot of sense that they are administered locally. Some are urban, densely populated, others are rural with different agricultural activities going on, some have coastline, ports, airports, important infrastructure facilities, boundary with neighboring countries, industries, etc.

Perhaps the main highlight is that these elections, just like the national elections held every four years, are a benchmark of democratic processes, just like Costa Rica is an example itself as one out of two or three of the longest continuous democracies along Latin America. Everything related to the elections is transparent and closely supervised. Every actor handles its role with responsibility: from the media that covers and informs the population about the process itself and the political alternative voters have prior to election day, up to the citizens that volunteer that day to do the leg work assuring a fair and organized event.

The results delivered a few hours after ballot boxes were closed by the electoral authority (Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones) were very diverse. Some mayors were reelected (eight out of the eleven Cantones in Guanacaste for example), traditional nation-wide parties won most Cantones, and even new and local parties were successful in specific Municipalities. Santa Cruz, Tamarindo´s local administrative government will have as new mayor Jorge Arturo Alfaro from the local party Auténtico Santacruceño.

The new representatives will be holding office starting May 1st, 2020 for four years. This could be a new beginning for the communities, where the recently elected governments have the responsibility to prove themselves worthy to the voters that elected them by performing well.

No Comments

What about schools?

 

Escuelas, Schulen, Ecoles, Scuole, Escolas

This is one of the most frequently asked questions made by our clients interested in purchasing real estate in the Tamarindo / Gold Coast area who want to move the family. We get it, as a parent making the decision to move to another country, schools are a top priority. Luckily nowadays the Tamarindo area has the best selection outside of the capital city.Whether you are looking for a smaller school that can accommodate to your schedule or a more rigorous lesson plan, there are many options to choose from, each of which provide a different yet rewarding education.

Not only will your children receive a quality education, they will also be able to learn another language, experience new cultures and make friends with other students from all over the world. An amazing gift a parent can give to their child in this growing multicultural world. We are proud to have such great options available.

Click on the links below for more information on each of the respective schools.

CRIA

A U.S. accredited college preparatory school serving a diverse international community.

LA PAZ COMMUNITY SCHOOL

International bilingual private school with a curriculum based on International Baccalaureate

EDUCARTE

Spanish and English bilingual school accredited by MEP (Ministerio de Educacion Publica – Ministry of Public Education)

TIDE ACADEMY

Offering long and short-term programs for students or online curriculum as an alternative for students with non-traditional lifestyles. Accreditation through partnership schools Global Village School or Northern Atlantic Regional High School

GUANACASTE WALDORF SCHOOL

Bilingual school based on the Waldorf curriculum in a natural setting

JOURNEY SCHOOL TAMARINDO

Bilingual school based on project based learning

No Comments

Important: Mandatory Shareholders Registry

Mandatory Shareholders Registry with the Central Bank of Costa Rica

BCCR

As you know, with the approval of law #9416 and its regulations, you must proceed with the mandatory disclosure for corporations and legal entities, submitting the requested records to the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR). Scheduled of submission deadlines for the corporations for this first submission:

2019-08-30 16_44_05-Reminder_ Mandatory Shareholders Registry with the Central Bank of Costa Rica -

To obtain a digital signature card, “firma digital”, interested parties must make an appointment at any of the offices that issue these certificates, authorized by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. Information on the cost, opening hours, geographical location and telephone numbers are available in the Services section, Digital Signature, of the Central Bank’s website, see following link:

https://www.bccr.fi.cr/seccion-firma-digital/firma-digital/oficinas-de-registro
However, the “Firma Digital”is only available for Costa Rican citizens or legal residents with a valid DIMEX, residency ID.If you are the legal representative and you cannot obtain the “Firma Digital”,you must opt for: Granting a Power of Attorney (POA) to a third party that you trust that has or can obtain the “Firma Digital”to do the registration on behalf your corporation. The POA needs to be executed as “public deed” (poder otorgado en escritura publica) before a CR Notary Public, with all the formalities.
Once the issue of the “Firma Digital” is resolved, then it will follow to register the legal representative or POA holder into the database:

https://www.centraldirecto.fi.cr.

As soon as the legal representative or POA holder is duly registered, following the instructions provided in the indicated website, they can fill out the registration form disclosing the information about the corporation and its shareholders.

If the CR corporation(s) ownership is under or held by a foreign Corporation or a Trust, according with the law, it will be required to provide the following documentation to comply with the disclosure:

Articles of incorporation or
Trust agreement
The documents must be a certificated copy and must be duly apostilled.
(Attached you could find brief about the apostille and how to obtain it).

See enclosed link about “What is an apostille”.
Please consider that the certified and apostille documents/certifications cannot have more than 60 days of being issued.

The non-compliance with the law, will carry hefty fines.

On 2020 and on, the mandatory disclosure submission will be within the month of April, as well as, when it is any corporate ownership transfer that represents 15% or more of the capital stock.

Therefore, seeking proper legal advice is highly advisable to avoid the big fines and penalties

Credit to: GM Attorneys. A premium boutique Law Firm with offices in Flamingo Beach, Tamarindo, Nosara and San Jose. http://www.gmattorneyscr.com

No Comments

195 Aniversary of the ¨Anexión del Partido de Nicoya¨: Guanacaste Then and Now

Iglesia-colonial-de-Nicoya

By Federico Fernández

Last July 25th the 195th anniversary of what is called ¨Anexión del Partido de Nicoya¨ took place. This basically celebrates the decision of the inhabitants of what is now the province of Guanacaste of being part of Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua, being independent. Such event took place less than three years after Costa Rica, along with the rest of Central America, became independent from its colonizer: Spain.

Costa Rica has been ever since a privileged country, not only due to its geography, natural resources, climate, but also in terms of politics. Costa Ricans have decided along the decades to live in peace and deal with social, economical and any other national situation in a civilized way. Did you know that, along with Puerto Rico, Costa Rica is one out of two Latin American Republics that have an uninterrupted democracy since 1948? And what happened in 1948 was a revolution that ended up abolishing the army, assigning that cost into investment in education and returning immediately to democracy. This speaks very good about the stability of this beautiful nation.

The province of Guanacaste itself is a particular region within Costa Rica that holds a lot of its treasures. It has most of the plains and traditionally held the extensive agricultural activities with products like sugar cane, rice and later melons and watermelons. This provides the Hacienda lifestyle with a lot of folklore that is even a touristic feature of certain areas in the province nowadays. Other natural tourist attractions the province offers include volcanoes and of course a lot of beach sites and its related water activities.

But today, Guanacaste not only represents opportunities and development related to its natural resources and tourism. The central government has invested in valuable infrastructure along the last decade. Economical actors have identified the opportunities and incentives to start bringing in even industrial activities formerly nonexistent to the region. That is why the Liberia International Airport, the second of importance in the country increases its traffic year after year not only with passenger flights but now with a freight terminal. National Route #1, the Interamerican Highway that crosses from north to south in the province, is currently being expanded with more lanes in a concrete construction with all the relevant safety features. The positive business environment convinced Coca Cola, one of the biggest worldwide corporations to establish the most modern plant they have in the city of Liberia. It will start production in 2020.

Evidence of all sorts of social and economical improvement can be recognized by permanent residents like us. Without a doubt, we can recommend that Guanacaste is perhaps the best area to invest in our God blessed nation.

No Comments

The future looks black!

May 2018 Article PICTURE

Finalmente!!! The road work to Playa Langosta has started in mid-April and the part from Mono Loco hotel to the Y intersection was paved. Plus, the part from Ex-Villa Alegre to the Occidental Hotel. Now the rest has to follow after the missing drainage’s and an additional compacted base was installed. Jose Carlos from ADI Tamarindo kindly provided this information and mentioned that all the work has been done as planned so far and within the assigned budget. We expect that the work will continue the latest in November 2018 to have the Langosta road completed by the beginning of 2019.

Credits to: Jogi

No Comments

Listing your property at the right price

Picture for April 2018 FINAL

We live in a beautiful coastal area with a low density of population compared to living in a city. Even though there are no huge residential developments around, there is always someone willing to sell his/her property for different reasons. In the real estate business, there are good opportunities to perform as Tamarindo and its surrounding areas are a popular destination.

Some sellers have a well-thought sales price pretension. It might be arbitrary, based on what the property cost them, on neighboring properties they´ve seen sold or on their motivation to sell. Every case is particular and I have run into all sorts of sellers. Some are very stiff on the price they consider their property is worth, others are very motivated to sell soon hence are very flexible. I have even had clients wanting to jack up their prices when there are several buyer prospects and potential offers to come with the argument that ¨they don´t really want to sell¨ unless someone pays their capricious asking price. Others have no idea what their properties are worth and seek advice about it.

Because our line of business consists in putting together buyer and seller and generating these transactions is our main and perhaps the only goal, we want to make sure the properties we list have a right price and our seller´s expectations are satisfied along the process.

As said before, without a high density of urban development and with the heterogeneous offer of properties available in our area, such task of assigning a fair market value to properties is not that easy. Our real estate market is not as structured as the one in your area. Identifying comps and getting reference prices requires expertise that not all actors in our market have.

Luckily, ABC Real Estate´s team has years and years of combined experience and local knowledge. We have a vast database that includes information of properties up and down the coast around Tamarindo. Frequently we surprise people with what we know or can pull out from our files. There are pieces of information we have that are over two decades old. We also run an ongoing data collection that we fed with our listings and those of Real Estate companies all throughout the region. This is a fantastic tool we use both to assess our seller clients and to provide buyers with complete and thorough information of options.

In our daily activities, we frequently interact with colleagues and other professionals and actors in the Real Estate industry. We get from builders and contractors reference on what current building costs are. We know about the status of different condominiums, buildings, developments by our contacts with local property managers. We are up to date with relevant legal situations when we deal with reputable local legal advisors. All these keeps us up to date with the behavior of the market.

All of us here at ABC Real Estate are well-trained professionals. Considering that, our high business ethics and great reputation frequently results in sellers choosing us and trusting our judgment in the management of their listed properties. Colleagues in the area know that as well and reach us when they have buyers because they know we have the good listings and can trust us in the event of a co-brokerage deal.  Hence, we are completely capable of giving you as a seller an assessment of the strategies and decisions while listing.

If you are considering in selling your property, please come by. Our doors are open and you will be thrilled with our performance as hundreds of sellers have been over the years.

Credits to: Federico Fernandez