Saturday, November 17, 2007

Legal fees for probate cases

> 1) Regarding wills in Panama, I recently heard that a lawyer who
> administers a will for someone can legally receive a percentage of the
estate - 15 percent of an estate valued at less than $50,000 and 10
> percent of an estate with a value of more than $50,000. GASP!!! Is
> this true? (I am also told that a holographic will - without a lawyer
> - is legal in Panama, but that's the subject for another discussion.)
Legally he can ONLY IF no other fee arrangement has been previously made.
That is the rate set in the 2001 Schedule of Fees in for 4. PROCESO DE SUCESIÓN TESTAMENTARIA O INTESTADA (probate litigation). Unfortunately, nobody has bothered to translate this document into English.
However, hourly fees from US$50 or up may be PREVIOUSLY arranged IN WRITING as listed in CONSULTAS Y CONCEPTOS SOLICITADAS A ABOGADOS O FIRMAS DE ABOGADOS., as well as other rates.
Lawyers also can recommend asset protection arrangements such as foundations and trusts which, when properly made, can help you avoid the cost of probate. Well-drafted documents are specially important when transferring real estate and bank accounts to the next generation, since government or bank officials may have to act according to the documents as they are written.

No comments: