Have A Backup Plan!
We think that we are smart because we found this near paradise called Panama; by my estimation that is about an 80% correct assumption. On most scales this country rates higher than others. So what is the problem you ask?
Recently a friend's demise caused the brain to kick into over drive:
- What if I die or my spouse dies?
- What if we don't have enough assets to pay the doctors and hospitals if we are sick?
- What if we don't have a will in Panama?
- What if we can't get the medications we need here in Panama?
- What if no one can come to our aide?
- What if we own a vehicle, property and personal property and can't liquidate it?
It is time to think about the realities of life. People die, they get sick, they have accidents and often they are not able to go back to the states for a while or ever. Most people who come to Panama are retirement age; therein the problems lie.
Get hospital insurance right away. Look into life insurance and cancer policies as well. Make sure you have your personal property photographed, marked and noted with make, model and year if they have that available. Take pictures of jewelry and other valuables. Know where your titles and ownership papers are as well. Be sure you have all your documents filed safely. Make a will in Panama in case of your untimely demise. The will must be a Panama Instrument to be legal here. Be sure someone you trust is also listed as your power of attorney in case everything goes south of the life line. Make sure more than one person knows who you have assigned Power of Attorney to and how to contact family or friends in other countries. Have a contact list, a medication and doctor list as well.
Without a will your property is often tied up for years. You can end up making a lawyer richer than he deserves to be by the long process. Get a reliable attorney and know your rights in Panama before you need to know them. There are many insurance companies respected around the world that write in Panama. Do your homework and plan according to your needs. No one ever intends to be victim; and planning ahead can help prevent the worst case scenarios from becoming realities.
Welcome to paradise!