Will in Portugal

Matt and his wife moved from the UK to sunny Portugal years ago for retirement. They bought a lovely small house, by the sea and enjoyed everything Portugal had to offer. Unfortunately, Matt recently passed away without making his will in Portugal.
Now, their assets are frozen and his wife has no access to them!
Why are their assets locked down? Because there is a conflict of laws between the UK and Portugal. This conflict of laws – relevant to expats from every country means that there is confusion. Which country’s laws will apply to Matt’s estate? Will Portugal law apply, or the law from his home country?
Without a will made in Portugal, until it is determined which law to apply, and what the law of the home country requires, the assets are frozen. The process can take more than a year to unravel with the assets remaining unavailable until it is completed.
If you live in Portugal – even for just part of the year, have a will made. Wills in Portugal are fairly simple, and relatively inexpensive – and having one made will protect you from potential future problems.

This BLOG does not intend to be an exhaustive explanation of the procedures; For more information send us an email HERE.

Condominium

What is a condominium?
A condominium is a common area, where costs are shared between owners.
The best example is an apartment; There are separate units (the property that is individually owned “fracção autónoma”) and there are stairs, elevators, but also roof terraces, pillars, structure of the building, for example, that are common; Common in the sense that there will be maintenance costs (regular ones, such as cleaning) and extra repairs whose responsibility is shared.
In addition to the structural common areas, there can also be other common areas such as gardens, playgrounds, pools, etc. The more common areas, and amenities there are the higher the condominium is likely to cost.
Portugal has a very comprehensive civil law, that defines rights and obligations, management and organisation of the condominium.
Typically, a service company is elected to administrate the condominium. This service company will act upon the mandate and the instructions that the owners give to them, through annual general assembly meeting (AGM) where each owner has a vote and has the right to question matters of common interest, make proposals etc.
The matter is complex and we will continue to discuss it in future posts.

This BLOG does not intend to be an exhaustive explanation of the procedures; For more information send us an email HERE.

Buying a car

Purchasing a new car is a fairly simple process as the registration of the vehicle on behalf of the new owner is usually done by the car dealer.
As part of their customer service, the dealership will also take care of extras in the car that might need a registration such as dark screens on the windows (in Portugal you can only have the back windows screened dark) or an advertisement in your car.
However, buying a second-hand or used car can be tricky.
If you purchase a second-hand car from a dealership, they usually provide a one-year guarantee – but it is always a good idea to have the car looked at by a mechanic you trust;
In addition, the documentation of the second-hand car needs to be carefully verified – as a lot of cars can have hidden charges including debts of previous owners or belong to leasing companies. Always request verification and, if necessary, consult a specialized company or professional.
This BLOG does not intend to be an exhaustive explanation of the procedures; For more information send us an email HERE.

Selling a car

John received a letter from the tax department requesting payment of the registration tax for his Peugeot – the problem was, he sold that Peugeot more than 5 years earlier. Because so much time had passed, he had no idea how to find the car or the person he sold it to.
Selling a car in Portugal, can turn into a nightmare, if you assume you can just do the usual hand-over documents/money/keys.
In Portugal, until the new owner’s name is registered in the Car Registration Office all the liability (including taxes, insurances and everything that comes with the ownership); remains with the previous owner.
Because of this, it is important to remember that if you are selling directly to a private person (and even at a car dealer) you must make sure that your name is out of the registration. It is not sufficient to just sign the forms as they can sit for days, weeks, months, ore more …until someone decides that they are ready to change the registration.
The only secure way to remove your name from the registration and all the liability that entails, is to go with the buyer directly to the Vehicle Registration Office (Conservatória do Registo Automóvel), – there is one in each city – and finalize the forms in person.

This BLOG does not intend to be an exhaustive explanation of the procedures; For more information send us an email HERE.