While It Is On My Mind

Yesterday a gringo in David was discovered murdered in his house. He lived alone. This reminded me that many of us have moved to Panama from other parts of the world. Some of us live alone as this individual did, some live with new adopted families and blood family in our place of origin and some with family here and abroad.

No one ever wants to think about what needs to happen in case of one’s death or other emergency situations such as an accident causing coma, etc. However, it is much better to plan ahead, especially if this isn’t your native birthplace.

If your only family is outside of Panama, then you need to consider the Panamanian laws and what non-Panamanians are going to have to do in case of death or emergency.

Here are some things to think about.

  1. Do you have people who know who to contact in case of emergency? I recommend registering with your Embassy, but if you do not want to register with your Embassy, you should at least have others that can and will notify the proper people. Remember that that person needs to be able to speak the same language as those they need to contact.
  2. Know what is required related to property rights and ownership in Panama in the case of death.
  3. Preparing a body, following death, will not take place without guidance from next of kin and authorization.
  4. It is wise to have a good lawyer in Panama that can assist your family that live outside of Panama.

There are many more things that should go on the list, but maybe this will get you started thinking. If you know of a high priority item that I didn’t mention and should not be omitted, feel free to leave it in a comment.

Recently, I posted that there was an opening for the Warden position in David. I submitted my forms as did others. I was contacted by the Embassy that I would be a David representative. At the next Gringos of David meeting, I will be there to discuss what I have learned about the Warden’s duties.

In the meantime, If you need to get in touch with me, feel free to contact me via the contact tab above.

UPDATE:
I just talked to the US Embassy and found out that there will be at least one other Warden in David. What a relief. I don’t have that person’s name at the moment.

14 thoughts on “While It Is On My Mind

  1. Congratulations on becoming our warden.

    No one enjoys thinking about death but, it will happen to all of us.
    My wife & I are putting our property in a foundation to take care of the inheritance issue. We have a lawyer who we can work with. We know what the other wants / doesn’t want after death. We have short contact list which is in the computer address book. Just write a short note, select that group to send & it is done.
    We do need to find out the dead body laws here.

  2. Don,
    Bought us a real dog a few weeks ago. He’ll be weaned in about 3 weeks. Nice German Sheperd(sp?). Different people spell Sheperd in different ways. Pastor Aleman, that’s easier.
    Also, I don’t care what anybody thinks.. I still need 1 or 2 firearms. People are getting rolled just like everywhere and in my mind a gun is just a tool, like a hammer that you can throw very accurately and with great force! Heck, we always had arms in the States, even when we were kids. Anyhow, we’ll have 3 dogs in total soon. Two 25lb mutts and one real. We treat all our animals well and I do not want any reader to get the wrong impression with my use of the word ‘mutt’!
    Later,
    KK

  3. Hi Don: Congratulations on your designation as warden!!! Wish you the best on these new duties.
    Lilia and Mama Rosa

  4. Hi Don,
    Congratz on your new appointment. You have the qualities needed and the heart to help others. Wishing you the best.

  5. I would strongly suggest having a panamanian will drawn up to be left with a responsible person or attorney. Also leave a copy of a U.S. will in the same place. It is very difficult and can take forever for family members to take control of the situation without this.
    If you are going away, let a trust worthy neighbor or friend know when you expect to be back. If you should be unfortunate enough to die from an accident, plane wreck or whatever, who is to know you are missing? If you have a will, either mail or scan and e mail to family members in your original country and let them know who is a contact in Panama.
    Some may say, “I’m gone. What do I care”. Just consider those left behind.

  6. don, congratulation i know you will do a great job.
    your #4 “find a good lawyer” i’ve heard that compared to finding a $3.00 bill.
    if you’re a single retired male and you are obsessed in chasing the young ladies be careful, you could end up like charles…

  7. Hi Don,

    I am a US citizen of Peruvian origin who will be moving to David, Chiriquí with my chiricana wife and my US daughters (11 and 5). My wife is moving this September to enroll my youngest daughter in Kindergarten and my 11 year old in sixth grade. I will be joining them permanently next year after I become eligible for retirement. We will be traveling to Chiriqui next week September 20.

    I understand you are the US warden in Chiriqui. Could you explain your duties and how you could be of help to any newcomer to Chiriquí? What other general advice can you provide? I would appreciate it.

    Ricardo

  8. My primary duties are to stay in communication with the US Embassy and post any information that the US Embassy needs communicated to US Citizens living in this area. I am just one of the wardens living in Chiriqui.

    These posts have the TAG ACS Messages in my blog.

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