In Message #787 guest editor Lief Simon explained some of the benefits of buying real estate overseas. After reading that essay, Dr. John Wholihan wrote in to ask if there is any advantage to owning international properties as a corporation rather than as an individual. “For example,” he says, “if my family owns the corporation and I die, it seems that there does not need to be an immediate sale or change of title.
If I own property as an individual, then upon my death something probably has to happen — perhaps in an untimely manner.” MMF is not a lawyer, but he asked his MT and this is what he said: “The answer is ‘it depends’ (sorry, but it does) on the country where the land is located. The reason is that if you hold title to property in a corporation, some countries make you pay fees (sometimes expensive fees) to maintain the charter every year.
But if your ultimate objective is to not worry about probate and estate issues, then sure, have a corporation own all of your property. There are ups and down to each method, and the laws of each country need to be examined.”[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]