skip to Main Content
  • English
  • Español

Will and Life Insurance in Costa Rica 2023

Why You Need a Will and Life Insurance in Costa Rica

Are you planning to move to Costa Rica? If so, remember the importance of estate planning. When you move to a new country, estate planning is crucial because you acquire new assets and debts. This article will discuss the importance of having a will and life insurance in Costa Rica and how CRIE, our sister company, can help you with Will and Life Insurance in Costa Rica.

Does My Foreign Will and Life Insurance in Costa Rica work?

The laws in Costa Rica differ from what you are familiar with back home. Your will from another country is only valid through a recognition act called “exequatur.” However, this cumbersome process can take 2-3 years or longer. To make your foreign will work in Costa Rica, you will need to obtain a judgment from the probate court in the country where the will was issued, have the foreign court judgment apostilled for use in Costa Rica, have the documents officially translated into Spanish and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and hire an attorney to file for the recognition process before the First Chamber of the Supreme Court.

An Example of an American Borrower

To illustrate the importance of estate planning, we had an American borrower who passed away naturally, leaving behind a wife and two children. In Costa Rica, joint bank accounts are not allowed, so only one owner is allowed with the spouse as a signatory on the account. When the borrower’s husband passed away, the bank immediately shut down the account, leaving the wife penniless until she settled the estate. If the borrower had life insurance, the interest payments on the loan would have still been made, ensuring that the family is not left with a huge debt burden.

Moreover, if the interest is not paid on the loan, it goes into arrears, and the foreclosure process starts. Even if the lender gives you a little more time, they can only wait so long for the borrower’s spouse to figure out a solution. The lack of a will makes it harder to sell the property until it goes through a lengthy probate process, adding to the interest and late fees that accumulate. This can leave one with few options except to sell the house at a meager price to cover these costs.

What We Can Do For You

CRIE understands the importance of estate planning, and they will help you avoid scenarios like the one above. They have enlisted the expertise of a Chartered Financial Planner with many years of experience residing in Costa Rica. A representative will contact all of our borrowers to help them with estate planning. If you are a lender and want to get the Costa Rican part of your estate in order, don’t hesitate to contact CRIE. They will tailor-made a plan for your Will and Life Insurance in Costa Rica


Estate planning is crucial when you move to a new country. Having a will and life insurance in Costa Rica will alleviate the burden on your loved ones and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Don’t hesitate to contact CRIE for expert advice and guidance on estate planning.

-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of Grupo Gap)



*Loan Request Form

    Your Information

    How Did You Hear About Us?


    Referral Name:

    Your Name:

    Your Email Address:

    Your Phone (if possible, include both home and mobile numbers)

    Loan Request

    Amount Requested:


    Use of Funds:

    Collateral Property Details

    Property Location: Please include Province, Town, and District

    Approx. Land Area: (pick square meters or square feet)

    Approx. Construction Area M2: (pick square meters or square feet)

    Property Value:


    Property Description: Please include the age and condition of the property

    What is/are your Land Survey (plano catastrado) or Lot number(s)? (optional)


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I need a will if I have life insurance?

    Yes, having a will in place is still important to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Life insurance only provides financial support for your loved ones but does not dictate how your assets will be distributed.

    What happens if I don’t have a will in Costa Rica?

    If you pass away without a will in Costa Rica, your assets will be distributed according to the country’s intestacy laws. This may not align with your wishes and can cause disputes among family members.

    Can I have my will created in English for use in Costa Rica?

    Yes, you can create a will in English, but it must go through the recognition process mentioned earlier to be valid in Costa Rica.

    Can I update my will after it has been recognized in Costa Rica?

    Yes, you can always change your will and life insurance in Costa Rica by making a new one or making changes to the one you already have. But it will have to go through the process of being recognized again.

    What type of life insurance should I get in Costa Rica?

    It depends on your individual needs and financial situation. Term life insurance covers a set period, while whole life insurance covers your entire life and has an investment component.

    Can I name a beneficiary for my life insurance policy in Costa Rica?

    Yes, you can name a beneficiary for your life insurance policy in Costa Rica. This will ensure that the proceeds go directly to the person you choose, bypassing the probate process.

    How much does it cost to recognize a foreign will in Costa Rica?

    The cost will vary depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney you hire. It is best to consult with a Costa Rican attorney to get an estimate.

    How can CRIE help me with my will and life insurance in Costa Rica?

    CRIE can provide expert advice on wills and life insurance in Costa Rica and help you create a tailor-made plan for your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free initial consultation.



     Contact us for more information, or fill out a loan request now!




    Need Residency status in Costa Rica? – Click HERE.
    Looking for Real Estate? – Click HERE.
    Want to invest? – Click HERE.

    Back To Top