Information Worth Passing On

I have a good friend that is experiencing difficulties, with Panama bank accounts, following the death of a spouse. My friend said that I could share the experience with others in hopes that it might prevent them from having similar problems.

Here was the information that the individual sent me.

We have two bank accounts (savings) with a local bank, signed with the principles’ name and authorized person. The problem lies in the fact that one was signed with “or” which is fine, the other signed with “and” which has presented a problem in the fact that the one signed “and” now has to go probate, which I have been told to not expect any results for a year.

I should clarify this situation happens after a death of the principle individual. I find it hard to believe we did this, but am sure there are others that may want to be aware and check their accounts and how they are set up.

I have been told that the banks do have a beneficiary form that can possibly alleviate this problem.

I was previously aware of this type of problem. Lilliam has told me that having lawyers and wills tied to bank accounts also leads to similar problems because the legal fees to free up accounts usually take a huge portion of the assets. The bank beneficiary form solves the problem with little, if any expense.

11 thoughts on “Information Worth Passing On

  1. This question may be answered somewhere else on your site, but I, and several of my friends researching living outside the US wonder about bank accounts. May we utilize the banking system in Panama? Or must we keep money in US banks? Thank you in advance for answering this question for us.


  2. It is getting tougher for US citizens to open bank accounts in Panama. Many banks in Panama don’t want the hassle of having to deal with all the required paperwork that the US forces upon them.

    However, there are banks in Panama that will take you and it is legal for a no Panamanian to have bank accounts here.

    My bank account is in the US.

  3. Our credit cards were hacked into May and June of last year so I went to a bank and wanted to open an account here in Panama but they told me we needed $5,000 to open an account…Moved to Panama because of limited income and thought it would be better, but, now, , mass confusion on paperwork, mass confusion on all…Maybe I am just living tooo long and can’t understand paperwork. Everyone I talk to has separate ‘INSTRUCTIONS” and then the next don’t know what they can tell me. . The groceries I am buying suck. I have my certification for cooking at ALF’S from FL, but, a lot I am trying to buy I would not give to anyone or anything. I bought bread from Super 99 and when I opened it, it was a little bit green, but, on the counter, when I wanted to return the next day, it was GREEN MOLDY ALL.. I bought Progresso bread crumbs from El Rey and, when I opened the pkg, the moths came out and webs in the can…DUH. I can’t complain because I don’t speak spanish but lost $$ again. Could not cook what I wanted. Please check all and open up the can so the moths can fly out at the counter..and don’t leave the bread on the counter to return…DUH..

  4. The banking system in panama is one the biggest in the world. it is safe. Even in the Us if you signed AND, there will be a problem if the peson dies and did not assigned a beneficary. Long time ago, (25 yrs or so) people started signinng and naming a beneficiary. I worked with Chase manhattan bank for 12 years back then.
    Now, I understand that the person alive owns 50% of the funds and can claim 50%. The other 50% was owned by the deceased and has to be claimed by the husband and children. it has to go to” juicio de sucesion”. If you have a will or testament, you just take to the bank and they will release the funds. Of course this has a process but it is not a year.

    My daughter is the manager of a local bank. I will ask her exactly what the process is and will write about it.

    Mark and I have our bank acounts signed OR and I have him as my beneficiary. I also have a will, so he won{t have any problems cashing out.

    When we opened our accounts and we have 3 different banks, they all asked if we wanted to name a beneficiary. Actually they show you the form. Most likely because of language barrier, we miss the opportunity.

    I constantly hear americans complaining about everything everywhere, a change in attitude will work wonders. If we act humblly we get more. Just an example: I went to mcdonalds and while being helped at the register, and american was being served next to me. the cashier was in trainning and wasnt english spoken (they dont have to be. this is their country). She asked for help, but the person was busy with another customer, so I kindly offered my help to the american fellow and he declined help saying I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!
    so i went back to my business. His spanish was so crooked that the girl didnt understand, a word. so i told her what he wanted and she placed the order. then she spoke in spanish to him because he wanted, but he didnt understand fluent spanish. pride and arrogance and sins. instead of accepting help and being thankful, he said to the girl YOURE STUPID or what? this is not acceptable. who is the stupid here? i see this every day and i cant stand it. First, because I have both citizenships and as a panamian dont appreciate this. second, as an american if feel shame when i see this behavior and comments.

    In regards to bad food. I have neve had a problem. Only one time I bought queso nacional and it was bad, so I went to el REY the next morning and told the cashier and they asked me if i wanted another cheese, or another item or my money back. I took another cheese of course because i love this cheese Don joaquin,.

    my suggestion; Lets get out of our own world and be part of the world we live in. Ask ques
    tions, investigate, be nice. Panamanians are well known for going the extra mile when asked for help. But, on the other hand don{t mess up with them.

    It is not my intention to upset anybody, on the contrary i am trying to be helpful and at the same time give justice to this country and its people.

    jiust for reference, there was a situation caused by a foreigner the day before yesterday, go to RISTORANTE MILANOs site and youll see a video of the owner apologizing for the bad behavior of the cooks wife and making the statment that both the cook and his wife are no related to the restaurant except for the fact that he is the cook.
    This lady, a venezuelan, worte in a social media this; You panamanians are nothing without us foreigners. You are a bunch of monkeys who eat bananas up in the trees. You are descendants of africans brought by the french to build the canal.

    What an example of being grateful to the country who opened the door for you because you left venezuela last year because your country is not safe.

  5. My daughter said that when the account is and, it means that the funds are 50% person a and 50 % for person b. If a or b dies then the prrson alive gets his 50% any time. The deceased 50% goes to probate. Unless the deceased appointed a beneficiary or left a will. It really does not take a year unless there are ither survivors claiming in which case the judge rules according to the law. Panama is a commonwealth marriage so thischelps the husband. The law also helps the kids. Depending on each case that 50% can go completely to the husband or split with the deceased children.

  6. Noris, yo no lo hubiera dicho mejor,si todos los extranjeros, q llegan a mi pais, tuvieran, la misma acctitud positivas ,. Soy panameña, americana,descendiente de africa, o no, nadie tiene amarrado a nadie, en cuanto a la venezola, que no sea ignorante, que haces en un pais de monos, que salga por donde entro, yo no te invite, a mi pais, dale pa tu tierra.

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