Home Costa Rica Legal TopicsCorporate Law Navigating the Probate Process for Shares of Stock in Costa Rican Companies

Navigating the Probate Process for Shares of Stock in Costa Rican Companies

by fiverrtech

When a shareholder of a Costa Rican company passes away, transferring their shares to heirs or beneficiaries involves a specialized legal process known as probate. In Costa Rica, this process can be handled through a Notary Probate Process, which is a streamlined procedure that allows for the efficient transfer of assets without the need for a court intervention. Understanding how to navigate this process is crucial for ensuring that the shares are transferred according to the deceased’s wishes and in compliance with Costa Rican law.

Understanding the Costa Rican Notary Probate Process

In Costa Rica, the Notary Probate Process is a popular choice for settling estates, including the transfer of shares in a company. This process is facilitated by a notary public, who in Costa Rica has extensive legal powers, including the ability to handle non-contentious probate proceedings. The process involves several steps, from validating the will (if one exists) to transferring the assets to the designated beneficiaries.

Step 1: Gathering Necessary Documents

The first step in the probate process involves gathering all necessary documents. This includes the deceased’s will, death certificate, and documentation related to the shares of the company, such as share certificates and the company’s articles of incorporation, and company corporate books. If the deceased did not leave a will, the process would proceed according to Costa Rican intestacy laws.

Step 2: Notary Selection and Initial Assessment

Choosing a notary with experience in probate matters is crucial. Once selected, the notary will conduct an initial assessment to determine the assets within the estate, including the shares of the Costa Rican company. The notary will also identify the legal heirs or beneficiaries according to the will or, in the absence of a will, based on Costa Rican succession laws.

Step 3: Notification of Interested Parties

The notary is responsible for notifying all interested parties, including heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors, about the probate process. This notification process ensures that all parties have the opportunity to present claims against the estate or contest the will if necessary.

Step 4: Inventory and Valuation

An inventory and valuation of the deceased’s assets, including the shares of the Costa Rican company, are conducted under the notary’s supervision. This step is essential for determining the estate’s value and the corresponding inheritance taxes, if applicable.

Step 5: Payment of Debts and Taxes

Before distributing the assets, any outstanding debts and taxes of the estate must be settled.

Step 7: Closing the Probate Process

Once all assets have been transferred, and all legal requirements have been met, the notary finalizes the probate process. This involves preparing a final report detailing the probate proceedings and distributing all the assets to all the legally recognized heirs of the estate.   


The Notary Probate Process in Costa Rica offers a relatively straightforward and efficient way to transfer shares of stock in a Costa Rican company following the death of a shareholder. By understanding and carefully following the steps outlined above, beneficiaries can ensure a smooth transition of ownership in compliance with Costa Rican legal requirements. It’s advisable to seek the guidance of a legal professional experienced in Costa Rican probate law to navigate this process effectively, ensuring that the deceased’s wishes are honored and legal obligations are met.

Related Articles