leaving Nicaraguan property to someone

Does anyone know how a norteamericano would leave their property in Nicaragua to a specific person? Would a will executed in the United States be effective to transfer title to property in Nicaragua? Does it make any difference if the beneficiary is not Nicaraguan? Would it be better to execute a will in Nicaragua? Is there a specific type of deed in Nicaragua that would transfer title to your property after you check out? etc. Any info/thoughts/experiences much appreciated.

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Some clients wrote me asking about a Nicaliving art, or question, in my opinion it´s could be useful if I had this general answer:

According to Nicaraguan Civil Law, anybody can leave properties through a Public Deed called a Testamento, prepared with a Nicaraguan Notary. It is the equivalent of a will in the USA, but with more solemnity. It is necessary to do it in front of three legal witnesses. In the Testamento the owner of the property can appoint the heir or heiress. It could be a Nicaraguan, American, or any other nationality. The person is going to express his or her last will or desire.

On the other hand a will from USA, or any other country, is legal in Nicaragua, but it is necessary to do the proper authentications, translations and registration in Nicaragua. For that reason, it could be more useful, cheaper and easier for the heiress have a Nicaraguan Testamento, for the properties in Nicaragua.

Good Luck and Best Regards,

Paul Tiffer Rodríguez Abogado y Notario Público Tiffer & Asociados Hospital Militar 1c al Lago, 1 c abajo. Telf: 2668622; Cel.: 8841652 Managua, Nicaragua ptiffer@cablenet.com.ni

Mil Gracias, Paul

thanks for the information!



Thanks Paul for taking the time to give us the answer from a person who knows.

What you can do

is deed the property to whomever you want but give the use of it for your lifetime to yourself. You need to do it in Nicaragua with a lawyer. Well, thats one way that I know of. and it works very well.

Canta no LLores


then you would not be able to sell the property or give it to someone else. This solution would work only under circumstances in which you did not want to own the property.

One good option

This is a good option. Another is to simply give it or sell it cheaply to your claimed heir now, while you are still alive, assuming that doenst cause any embarrassment or destroy any surprise or whatever one wanted attached to the post life gift. Involving the U.S. does not always make it easier and complicates many things. I know people who have left U.S. life insurance policy payouts to Latins and the alleged payout of less than 90 days actually took 3-5 years to be handled once two governments were involved. Sometimes, when you leave the U.S. it is best to leave it is many regards.

Transfer on Death

Some US states have enacted a version of the uniform transfer on death act, which allows the owner of the property to prepare a deed providing for immediate transfer to the heir on death of the owner. The owner has full ownership rights while alive, can sell or encumber the property and can deed it to someone else if appropriate. Does anyone know if Nicaragua has an equivalent law??

Our experience

The lawyer who handled our purchase of real estate in Nica advised that a US will would be recognized in Nicaragua, but it first would have to be translated and would be subject to a lot of bureaucratic fol-de-rol. He recommended we execute local wills in Nica dealing with the disposition of our Nica property only, which we did. We made our Nica wills consistent with our US wills to avoid any confusion as to our intentions.


I was told by a Nicaraguan attorney that having a Nica will to dispose of property would be best.

When you say you made your wills consistent with your US ones, what do you mean by that? I had wondered if my US will should include reference to my land in Nica, and to have a copy of that kept in Nicaragua, so that there's no doubt how I want my land and future house passed on.

Mind saying who your Nica lawyer is/was?


I like this option best. Your US will would provide that you bequeath your Nicaraguan property to X, and your Nicaraguan will would also leave it to X. I would include a provision in the US will stating that I may (or had, if already done)execute a will in Nicaragua specifying that I was leaving the property to X to facilitate the transfer.

Hey, are there any Nicaraguan lawyers on this site? Speak up, y'all

leaving out of country property

Be sure that the will is registered in the Departmento that the property is in. Your US will should state all facts about the Nica will. The selling of property to heirs is a good idea and then buying back what is called a life estate in the US. I do not know if their is a simular provision in Nicaragua.

knowledge is power

All important

is what happens here. U.S. wills and testaments do not count.

Canta no LLores


sounds like good advice.