San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Seeking Data about Property Inheritance

Can you tell me where to find data on the laws of inheriting property in Costa Rica? Preferably in English. I would like to know if property owned by a person’s father (where the mother is deceased) automatically goes to his living children or to whom? What if the children live in the United States as U.S. citizens? Thank you.

Jorge González

Los Angeles, California

“The Legal Guide to Costa Rica” is a book in English by Roger A. Peterson that addresses many questions about the legal system in Costa Rica, from the structure of the government to contractual obligations. Peterson is an attorney and a member of the Florida Bar and the Costa Rican Bar Association and practices law in San José, Costa Rica.

Chapter eight of his book addresses the laws of succession.

The book says, “When a person dies without a valid will, or when the will does not make a complete disposition of the estate of the deceased, then it is said that the person died intestate and the distribution of that property is governed by the intestacy laws.”

The books goes on to explain that the Civil Code in Costa Rica, which contains the laws of intestacy, says that the estate of the deceased go directly to his or her legitimate heirs. First-degree heirs include the spouse, children and parents of the deceased person.


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