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Foreigners using their country’s driver's license may legally drive a vehicle in Panama for up to 90 days. Once a foreigner obtains temporary or permanent residency in Panama he/she may request the homologation of his/her driver's license and obtain a Panamanian driver's license. To do so, it is not necessary to hand over your current driver's license or take any kind of driving test. The Panamanian government contracts a private company called SERTRACEN for the processing of driver's licenses nationwide. Only foreigners with residency status in Panama (either temporary or permanent) are eligi
Foundations are a fantastic tool for estate planning and to structure and administrate your assets, but is a foundation really necessary? The answer to that question is not that simple, as there is no golden rule that is applicable to everyone and everybody. It depends on the type of assets you own and their value. If you purchase titled real estate in Panama you practically have three options: 1. Register the property in your personal name, 2. Register the property in the name of a corporation, 3. Register the property in the name of a foundation. Due to Panamanian inheritance law and it
Rainelda Mata-Kelly gave an interesting and informative talk last Tuesday at the BCP. Among the most interesting things she shared was how there got to be so many lawyers in Panama. According to her, there is about one lawyer for ever 83 people living in Panama. Lawyers don't go to college, just to a trade school right out of high school. Some of the newer schools are all online, essentially diploma mills. There is no such thing as a bar exam in Panama, be the last in your class at the diploma mill and you are fixed for life! There are several bar associations, membership is not req
Tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan 5) my favorite lawyer in all of Chiriqui will be speaking at the BCP Tuesday meeting. I have been a client of Juan Contreras since the day he graduated from law school. I have found Juan to be straightforward, competent, honest, and reasonable in all of his dealings with me. He also seems to know how to think outside the box which they definitely don't seem to teach in law school here. The average Panamanian lawyer knows how to fill in a form and which line in which government office to stand in and not much more. Because Juan is such a good lawyer he has prospered in th