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Dying in Panama can be a complicated process and few Expats are prepared for the unique problems that will arise. This is not an easy article for me to write. I been called upon to help families and loved ones collect life insurance proceeds and attend to the final expenses after the death of an Expat in our country.

The one factor the helps the process move with the least amount of pain is having sufficient cash available to cover immediate expenses. Most local companies are prepared to advance a portion of the death benefit to help cover the cost of Hospital/funeral, legal, air plane tickets for family and repatriation of remains. I was once able to obtain a $2,000 advance against a local policy with proof of death from a newspaper article/announcement and a doctors statement. Some companies will also pay “living benefits” after a fatal medical diagnosis, to help offset expenses of the dying.

At the very least, Expats should consider a minimum $25,000 term policy with a local Panama company to provide their family/beneficiaries access to ready cash. If you have policies back in your home country, you should leave instructions to your beneficiaries on how to collect proceeds.

Here is a calculator that may help you with the decision, please consider a minimum policy to cover final expenses.

So, how much life insurance do you need? Well, the answer isn’t really how much life insurance you need… it’s how much investment capital your family will need at the time of your death. Their need for capital — on a gross basis — is really a function of two variables:

1. How much will be needed at death to meet immediate obligations?

2. If you brought your family with you to live in Panama, how much future income is needed to sustain the household?

Carmen and I are standing by to help with quotes. 322-1605 or 6674-1063 or email:

Info needed, sex, date of birth $$$ amount, number of years and if you smoke?

Panama Kevin