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Basic Legal Requirements When Buying/Selling in Buenos Aires Argentina – Real Estate

Three Basic Legal Requirements When Buying/Selling Property in Buenos Aires

Whether you are buying or selling property in Buenos Aires, it is important for you to be aware of some of the legal requirements.

Firstly, whenever a property owner intends to sell a property, or acquire the right to construct on a property, he/she is required to notify the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos – AFIP (federal administration of public income, similar to the Internal Revenue Service in the United States).  The AFIP must be notified only if the transaction will have a value equal to, or greater than, $300,000 Argentine pesos.  The transaction must be completed by the owner or his/her representative by contacting the AFIP by telephone, cell phone or via internet (www.afip.gov.ar).

Secondly, if a real estate broker is going to intervene in the sale, a 90-day contract granting the broker authorization and exclusive rights to sell the property is drawn up between the seller and the broker.   Within 30 days, the AFIP must be notified of the broker’s involvement in the sale.  It is then the broker’s responsibility to notify the AFIP when a deposit is made on the property and when the property title is transferred.

Thirdly, the title transfer must be completed by an escribano publico (notary public).  In Argentina, a notary public is a highly qualified individual with a law degree and additional post-graduate studies. When a property is sold, the escribano publico serves as a public official who guarantees the legality of the property title, the authenticity of the seller, and the legitimate transfer of the property title from seller to buyer.  It is imperative that you ensure you have a qualified escribano publico handling the sale of any property, especially if you are the buyer. *

There are costs associated with these different steps, all based on percentages of the property’s sale price.   A 1.5% property sales tax, known as Impuesto a la Transferencia del Inmueble (ITI), is due if the seller is not reinvesting the proceeds of the sale in the purchase of another property.   The costs of transfering the propery title from seller to buyer runs between 6% and 9%.  The realtor’s commission averages 3% to 4%.

* In Argentina an escribano publico must be registered with his/her local Colegio de Escribanos.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

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Foreign Holding of Rural Lands in Argentina

Millionaire businessmen, magnates and multinational corporations are all buying up huge areas of land in Argentina. Making the most of the cheap prices and lack of restrictions they now own a significant percentage of Argentine soil. A new law is being introduced to help limit the dominance of foreign holding of rural lands buyers.  The new bill is called ‘Protection of National Dominium of Property, Possession or Holding of Rural Lands (in Spanish, Protección al Dominio Nacional sobre la Propiedad, Posesión o Tenencia de las Tierras Rurales). The President Christina Fernández has decided to urgently push this bill through that will impact the investments of foreign magnates.

The law will limit the control of foreign holding of rural lands to 20%. The law will affect rural land that is already been bought by foreign investors. Non-Argentine owners will be given 180 days to report their possessions to the government. A new National Register of Rural Lands will also be created that will keep a record of land ownership and the nationalities of owners. So why should the government defend the ownership of the rural areas? The government argues that land is a non-renewable resource that is different from normal types of investments. Nevertheless, the main reason for introducing such a radical and protectionist law is the sheer number of hectares owned by foreigners in Argentina.

The worst foreign holder of rural land ‘offender’ is Luciano Benetton, owner of the famous Benetton fashion brand, who possesses one million hectares in Patagonia: is the size of a small country. When Benetton bought the land it caused huge controversy and brought the issue to the attention of the Argentine public and media. Another foreign owner of Argentine land is Douglas Tomkins, a multimillionaire American and ecologist. Tomkins owns 350,000 hectares in Corrientes, Santa Cruz, Neuquén and Tierrra del Fuego. He does put the land to good use: implementing areas of preservation and conservation, however many Argentines feel it unfair that a foreigner could have so much dominium in their country.

Other famous foreign owners of Argentina include; Englishman Joe Lewis owns 18,000 hectares in Río Negro and American Ted Turner owns 5,000 hectares in Neuquén and Tierra del Fuego. It isn’t just millionaire individuals buying up rural areas: in recent years, Arab and Asian corporations have also jumped on the bandwagon. For instance, the Chinese corporation Heilongjiang will use 330,000 hectares of land in Río Negro to produce food products for export.

The new law will limit the percentage of ownership and prevent foreigners from buying more than 1000 hectares in any one place. The bill is similar to legislation in force in the UK and USA.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

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Argentina Real Estate Market

The Argentine housing market, along with many other parts of the economy, has seen some interesting ups and downs in the last decade. Following the 2002 crisis, the housing market benefited greatly for two reasons: First, as people had lost their faith in the financial market, the started pouring their financial resources into real estate. Secondly, construction costs that were measured in dollars fell dramatically, due to devaluation.

Unlike the 1990s, when demand was mostly stimulated by mortgages, the early 2000s saw many purchases being made in cash. The buyers and builders came from all sorts of different economic sectors, and they all saw a positive revenue flow as a result.

Today, all of these conditions have, once again, changed dramatically. Not only is Argentina is in the midst of economic and political uncertainty, but the mortgage advertisements have made little to no impact, as that credit simply isn’t available. And given the recession, people are less willing to turn their cash into bricks, preferring to retain liquid assets until the political and economic situations develop further. Many have expected a devaluation of the peso after the election, and, furthermore, nobody can tell how long the recession will last.

If the peso continues to fall, so will the salaries of those working in exportation sectors. However, if the dollar falls, it will become increasingly difficult to put any stock in the current dollar prices that apply to the real estate market.

Currently, the market is hampered because most people won’t accept that their home or property is worth less than they think it is, or less than it should be, which is the case for so many. On the other hand, it is important to remember that the market is what dictates these values, and the real price of assets can fluctuate from day to day, or month to month.

So property owners can maintain that their property is worth, say, USD 500,000, but if there are no buyers, then what can be said of that value? At the same time, those who did buy property in recent years are in a great situation, because they have no mortgage companies urging them to sell. They can hang on to their properties longer, assuming the costs of maintaining that asset don’t change too much (taxes, etc.).

If people do not have the resources to buy a place of their own, then, there is always the option to rent. Costs, however, are not so agreeable, and it is increasingly difficult to find people who can actually afford the asked rent. In short, the Buenos Aires real estate market isn’t dynamic because the prices simply do not meet the demand, both in properties for sale and for rent.

But looking at the near future, we can consider the following: 1) given the lack of money currently circulating and available, we can expect the emergence of mortgages that are actually realistic for potential buyers, which will, in turn, invigorate the market. And 2) an increase in the exchange rate will decrease the price per square meter, again, stimulating the housing market.

So it is important to realize that the market can only truly be unlocked if people are willing to accept that all assets have lost some value in Argentina, and the situation will only change if we look at long-term growth. Unfortunately, many are not willing to look at the long-term situation due to the political and economic uncertainty, but it is absolutely necessary in order to move forward into healthier, more prosperous times.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

Argentina Patent Attorney

Argentina Patent Attorney

An Argentina Patent Attorney at Kier Joffe provides professional legal counsel and extensive experience in many aspects of Trademark, Copyright & Patents law. As a trusted Argentina Patent Attorney defense law firm, Kier Joffe’s highly skilled Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense lawyers have managed a wide variety of Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense claims.

Contact an Experienced Argentina Patent Attorney

A highly skilled Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense lawyer with Kier Joffe will provide more than just legal advice for a Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense case. The Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense lawyers fully embrace each case with the clients’ best interests in mind. Analyzing each case, the firm’s Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense attorney professionals determine the most effective course of action to achieve a favorable resolution. For dedicated Buenos Aires trademarks defense attorneys, trust Kier Joffe to deliver quality representation in the field of Trademark, Copyright & Patents law.

Trustworthy Argentina Patent Attorney

While involved in a Trademark, Copyright & Patents dispute, it is important to seek a highly experienced Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense lawyer with a trustworthy background. The Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense attorneys at Kier Joffe are committed to protecting their clients’ best interests. Kier Joffe’s team of reputable Buenos Aires Trademark, Copyright & Patents defense lawyers carefully analyze trademarks disputes to form sound case strategies in order to resolve the client’s legal matter.

Contact a Proven Argentina Patent Attorney

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

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Argentina Wills, Inheritance Law, Probate, Equity, Estate and Succession Planning Buenos Aires Lawyer attorney law firm

Probing Probate: What You Should Know

Probate is a term that is used in several different ways. Probate can refer to the act of presenting a will to a court officer for filing — such as, to “probate” a will. But in a more general sense, probate refers to the method by which your estate is administered and processed through the legal system after you die.

The probate process helps you transfer your estate in an orderly and supervised manner. Your estate must be dispersed in a certain manner (your debts and taxes paid before your beneficiaries receive their inheritance, for example). Think of the probate process as the “script” that guides the orderly transfer of your estate according to the rules. (For more info, see What’s a Probate Estate All About?)

Many people think that probate applies to you only if you have a will. Wrong! Your estate will be probated whether or not you have a will.

– With a valid will: If you have a valid will, then your will determines how your estate is transferred during probate and to whom.
– Without a valid will: If you don’t have a will, or if you die partially intestate, where only part of your estate is covered by a valid will, the laws where you live specify who gets what parts of your estate.

So read on for a few important points about probate you need to know.

The probate process

Even though you won’t be around when your estate goes through probate (after all, you’ll be dead), you need to understand how the probate process works. At the most basic levels, the probate process involves two steps:

– Pays debts you owe
– Transfers assets to your beneficiaries

A state court called the probate court oversees the probate process.Because probate courts are state courts and not federal courts, the processes they follow may vary from one state to another. Yet despite their differences, these courts all pretty much follow the same basic processes and steps, which typically include:

– Swearing in your personal representative
– Notifying heirs, creditors, and the public that you are, indeed, dead
– Inventorying your property
– Distributing your estate (including paying bills and any taxes)

Swearing in your personal representative

In your will, you name who you want to be your personal representative — that is, the person in charge of your estate after you die. However, the court determines the personal representative for your estate under the following circumstances:

– You die without a will.
– You have a will but for some reason didn’t specify who you want to be your personal representative.
– The person you selected has died or for some reason can’t serve — and you didn’t “bring in someone from the bullpen” to replace your original choice.

A family member, such as your spouse or an adult child, can request that the court appoint him or her as the personal representative for your estate. Regardless of who is finally selected, the court gives your personal representative official rights to handle your estate’s affairs. As evidence that this person has the authority to act on behalf of your estate, the court gives your personal representative a certified document called the Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary.

In either case, the personal representative named in your will or determined by the court has to first be formally appointed by the court before officially entering into office (the term that’s used). Usually this involves that the personal representative take an oath of office, after which he or she will then receive the official documentation showing his or her status (the Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary we mention above).

Your personal representative files a document called a Petition for Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative with the probate court. This petition begins the probate process. If you have a will, the probate court issues an order admitting your will to probate. Basically, the court acknowledges your will’s validity. (Check out Status of Your Will: Testate or Intestate? to get the lowdown on how the law sees your will.)

Notifying creditors and the public

Some state laws require your personal representative to publish a death notice in your local paper. The death notice serves as a public notice of your estate’s probate and enables people who think they have an interest in your estate (such as creditors) to file a claim against your estate within a specified time period.

The notice is part of the process to make the matters of your estate part of the public record. Some people view the general public’s ability to review your private estate matters as one of probate’s disadvantages.

Inventorying your property

The personal representative must inventory the different types of property — real and personal — that make up your estate so that your estate value can be determined. This inventory is important for a couple of reasons:

1. To make sure you left enough to cover your debts and distributions to beneficiaries: If your estate doesn’t meet the monetary obligations of both your estate creditors and your property transfers to your beneficiaries, it’s subject to abatement statutes, meaning that one or more beneficiaries may receive less than you had wanted or even nothing at all.
2. To ensure that all property is accounted for. Your personal representative is in charge of collecting and inventorying your estate’s assets to make sure that all property is available for distributing at the end of the probate process. (Your beneficiaries, of course, will want to know what assets are in your estate.) If property is missing or not in your ownership at the time of your death, ademption statutes become relevant. These statutes determine if a replacement asset or cash equivalent should replace the missing property intended for your beneficiary.

You should already have a pretty good idea of what your estate is worth so that you can make intelligent choices for your estate plan. Obviously, your personal representative needs to know this information, too. So make sure that your personal representative has easy access to the list that shows what your estate includes and what your assets are worth. Even a slightly out-of-date list can serve as a starting point so that your personal representative doesn’t have to create an inventory from scratch. (The Essentials of Marshalling Estate Assets shows you what your representative will have to do after you pass away.)

Distributing the estate

The final step in the probate process is the distribution of your estate property. In other words, everyone (ideally) — both your creditors and your heirs — gets what’s coming to them.

Creditors that have a valid claim are likely to be paid in the following order (though the order varies from state to state):

1. Estate administration costs (legal advertising, appraisal fees, and so on)
2. Family allowances
3. Funeral expenses
4. Taxes and debt
5. All remaining claims

Whatever’s left after your creditors get their money is distributed to your heirs or to the beneficiaries you named in your will. If you died without a will, the laws in your state determine how your property is distributed.

If probate proceeds according to plan and all notices and communications are properly handled, your personal representative is usually protected against any subsequent, late-arriving claims. Your personal representative will be protected after some specified time period expires.

Some complicating factors to the probate process

Some probate processes can be relatively straightforward, while others can be particularly complicated depending on how complicated an estate is. The following sections describe some of the more common complicating factors about probate that you will likely encounter.

What’s probated where: Differences between states

All states have probate, and all the types of property that make up your estate — real and personal — may be part of your estate’s probate. Tangible and intangible personal property, like your collectibles and your stock portfolio, are probated in the state where you live, but your real estate is probated where the property is actually located. So if you live on a farm in Pennsylvania and also have a vacation condo in Florida, you’ll have two probates.

Probate or not: Differences between types of property

Another common misconception is that probate applies to all of your estate. Actually, probate handles the processing of all assets in your probate estate. Your probate estate is made up of all the property that’s distributed through probate; the remaining property is called nonprobate property.

In a general sense, probate assets are those you own alone, while you own nonprobate assets jointly with others and to whom those assets will pass automatically upon your death. Nonprobate assets also include assets that pass to a named beneficiary: a life insurance policy, for example. Because these nonprobate assets pass to someone automatically, there is no need for probate.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina same probate lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe  law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in probate cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in all areas of probate law, including but not limited to probate process in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires probate lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com