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Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Old Feb 7th 2013, 8:06 pm
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Default Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I am in need of some impartial advice before I proceed with probate in Portugal if necessary in my current situation.

My husband has recently died in Portugal. I realise it may be too soon to be asking questions but I need to ensure that my son and I can still be able to take of ourselves and buy food and pay the bills and carry on a normal life under the sad circumstances.

We have lived in Portugal for 6 years. It is/has been the family primary residence for the last 6 years.
He did not leave a Portuguese Will but has assets in Portugal. Property (house) and motor vehicle in his name.

He only had a UK Will. There are no assets in the UK.

Myself, my husband and son are Irish Nationals.

My husband purchased the Portugal house property in 2005. My name is on the property documents under the 'regime of separation of property'.

We have 3 bank accounts in Portugal (Joint accounts - both with equal access to the accounts - my husband Titular 1 and me Titular 2). I haven't yet notified the banks of his death. How do I approach this? We each had on-line access and a debit card each associated with each account. I am afraid they may freeze the accounts. I can't let this happen as I still need funds to pay day to day bills, food, fuel, etc.

I was given information by an official at the Junta de Freguesia that it was possible for me to take all the necessary property documents, fiscals, death certificate, etc. to the Financas and they would be able to apply to have my name transferred to the property.
And, also I was given the information that the car registration documents could be changed to my name by the Conservatoria do Registo Civil/Predial and then subsequently the car insurance paperwork.

I am aware that I have until the end of the 3rd month following his death to initiate probate in Portugal.

I am not certain what action is needed at present in order for my son and I to still be able to live accordingly and also to avoid unnecessary costs/fees.

Can you please advise.

At this stage I do not wish to disclose names, addresses and location in Portugal as I am only requesting impartial advice as to how I should proceed.
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Old Feb 8th 2013, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I would open a new account in your own name and transfer the money out of the joint account (what you need for the time being) and then notify the bank as they will freeze the account until everything is settled.

I believe that as you were married (In Ireland?) and have the property under the separacao de bens then the property will transfer to your name. This would need to be dealt with at the Financas.

You will probably need a solicitor involved to sort the paperwork out as it is pretty complicated, you also have the issue of bills etc needing to be transferred to your name but this is not urgent, you will need a death certificate for everything (Certidao de Obito) though as they will want proof even at edp.

You will have to pay to transfer the car into your name, I think it is around 50 euros.

G
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Old Feb 9th 2013, 8:53 am
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Supremegermalene, thanks for your reply.

I was in contact with a solicitor yesterday and she advised me to open an account in my name and then transfer some funds from the joint and just leave a small balance in the joint account for bills, etc.

Yes, I agree I don't think I will be able to deal with the Notary and Financas.

The solicitor will need to obtain a Deed of Entitlement of heirs at the Notary and also a Certificate of irish Law.
Then inform Financas of death and I have to give a list of assets.
Only then can the property be registered in the name of heir and then transfer vehicle, bills, etc.

I feel a bit more positive as to how to deal with all this under these sad circumstances.
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Old Feb 9th 2013, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I tried to help a friend out in similar (not identical) circumstances - all parties were UK. I speak competent Portuguese but the financas (in Faro) were determinedly unhelpful. (Come back next time with this paper. Now we need this document from your bank. The bank, of course, say they cannot issue this...)

You will see Portuguese bureaucracy at its worst. You probably need to bite the bullet and pay for a (recommended) solicitor/lawyer to do it all.
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Old Feb 9th 2013, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

nigel.b

I 100% agree. I have definitely decided to let a probate lawyer handle this. There is no way I am going to try and attempt this situation.
I have already been in contact with a lawyer so I will proceed in the next week.
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I think I am right in saying that the house and car will now pass to both you and your son (different from Uk, but I don't know how it is in Ireland) So something will have to be done to have the car only in your name. The house I believe will be 75% for you and 25% for your son.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Perhaps not very appropriate here but 2 things I read about PT that struck me as odd but also great:
1. Most people in PT don't have wills as the spouse inherits all assets automatically and upon the death of both, the offspring inherits equal shares in the assets.
One only needs a will if there are complications.
2. Everyone residing in PT are organ donors unless specified otherwise in writing.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
Perhaps not very appropriate here but 2 things I read about PT that struck me as odd but also great:
1. Most people in PT don't have wills as the spouse inherits all assets automatically and upon the death of both, the offspring inherits equal shares in the assets.
One only needs a will if there are complications.
2. Everyone residing in PT are organ donors unless specified otherwise in writing.
The organ donor bit I don't think is right, my mother in law passed away in 2008 and we were asked if we wanted to donate her organs, she was Portuguese not English. And my brother in law also passed away in 2004 in a motorbike accident and there was no mention of organ donation and he didn't donate any as far as I'm aware.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
Perhaps not very appropriate here but 2 things I read about PT that struck me as odd but also great:
1. Most people in PT don't have wills as the spouse inherits all assets automatically and upon the death of both, the offspring inherits equal shares in the assets.
One only needs a will if there are complications.
2. Everyone residing in PT are organ donors unless specified otherwise in writing.
Regarding 1 above, I understood from a PT lawyer that with no will the spouse inherits 50%, the next generation down has the other 50% divided between them. If you want grandchildern to inherit it requires a clearly defined will.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Originally Posted by Supremegermalene View Post
The organ donor bit I don't think is right, my mother in law passed away in 2008 and we were asked if we wanted to donate her organs, she was Portuguese not English. And my brother in law also passed away in 2004 in a motorbike accident and there was no mention of organ donation and he didn't donate any as far as I'm aware.
In the EU, there are 24 countries that have an Opt Out system for organ donation. Spain and Portugal are 2 of them.
Portuguese legislation is based on the concept of ‘presumed donation’. This means that a person is always an organ donor from the moment he/she is born, unless they declare otherwise.

You might not be aware that organs have been removed and they might not tell you as they think it is "normal".
If only more countries will adopt this method then it will greatly shorten the "waiting list".
I must apologize to the OP for this post and wish her strength during her bereavement.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Spain and Portugal: Spanish and Portuguese nationals have to leave certain portions of their estate to their children and other relatives but, fortunately, allow citizens of England and Wales to leave all their estate to whoever they like. Your will works here in passing your Spanish and Portuguese assets to your spouse.

If intestate then a portion goes to the children. Normally 50%.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I'm sorry but I cannot agree, we were definitely asked with my MIL and had to make the decision and it was quite an issue within the family.

If it is law then they don't uphold it as I just asked my PT colleague and she said don't be ridiculous!

G
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

I googled it and Copied and Pasted it. It is not my words.

You are actually correct. Even though this law has been passed, it is human nature to ask the bereaving family for permission to go ahead.
Had the family not been at the hospital at the time of death, then they would have harvested.
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Old Feb 18th 2013, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Probate in Portugal...necessary or not?

Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
Spain and Portugal: Spanish and Portuguese nationals have to leave certain portions of their estate to their children and other relatives but, fortunately, allow citizens of England and Wales to leave all their estate to whoever they like. Your will works here in passing your Spanish and Portuguese assets to your spouse.

If intestate then a portion goes to the children. Normally 50%.
I forgot to add. The children only take possession of the 50% upon the death of the surviving spouse and not immediately. The surviving spouses 50% will then be added to the children's 50%.
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