Living Trust in Colombia


Why Should I have a Living Trust in Colombia? Most importantly the assets placed into a Colombian trust cannot be forced into liquidation in divorces, taxes, or law suits. Trusts also represent an excellent way to reduce taxes for inheritance passed to children or your spouse.  A Living Trust in Colombia is used to protect your home, property, bank accounts, shares in a Colombian company, business establishment, vehicles, pets, jewelry, valuables, and other assets.

Colombia Legal Alert: Couples enter into a common law marriage in just 2 years! Spouses can have rights to percentages as high as 50% on property purchases or profits from rentals and sales which happen during a estate planning in colomiba

living trust (Fideicomiso Civil in Spanish) is a legal document created by a licensed attorney in Colombia through which your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime, and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death or if you become incapacitated. An administrator (trustee) may take control of the assets upon your death, or the beneficiary may also directly receive assets upon death. When children are involved its best to have an administrator oversee the trust for a set period. Once the Living Trust is signed, you transfer ownership of your assets into the trust and you remain in complete control of your property. The trust property can be managed and distributed without going through the probate court.

What is a living trust and how is it different from a last will and testament?
1. Avoid Probate, and Inheritance Taxes - It's a smart way to avoid probate. Keep more money in the family by avoiding potentially lengthy and expensive court proceedings. A will and testament in Colombia is important to keep your wishes clear to cover any items which are not in a trust, such as miscellaneous personal items.

2. Estate Planning - A plan for your family’s future - You set conditions now on how property or money maybe used if something happens to you. Excellent to force financial management of assets for the family if you die, become incapacitated or unable to sign documents. Minors futures are protected. A popular condition for  a trust is to block property sales until a child finishes high school or college. Trusts may also be setup to protect mentally dependent adults. The bottom line is that your family is protected from lengthy and costly processes.

3. Protects Family Assets - Your affairs get handled if you're incapacitated. Avoid going to court by appointing a trustee to take charge of your finances according to your instructions. While you are a live and mentally Capable you maintain complete control of the trust.

Can I transfer property into and out of the trust while I'm alive? Yes. If you have an individual trust, you can transfer property whenever you want. If you have a shared trust, you'll need your co-trustee's consent if you own the property together.

Do I still need a will in Colombia if I have a living trust? Yes, because you may not have transferred your property into your trust before you pass away. It transfers property still in your name alone when you pass away to the trust to be distributed to your beneficiaries. It also lets you name guardians for your minor children. Click here for more information on a will in Colombia.

Aren't living trusts just for the wealthy? Not at all. People of all income levels can set one up to manage their finances in case they become disabled, or to provide for loved ones without going through probate court, which may be required of relatively modest estates.

Keywords for a Living Trust in Colombia:
Living trust is = Fidicomiso Civil or “entre vivos” in Spanish
Traspaso de bienes entre vivos = Transfer of assets between live persons

Time to implement Living Trust:
3 Days to 1 week to prepare and register the living trust.
* Property Title Registration which are moved to the trust usually take about 3 weeks.

Legal Fees:
From $1,500,000 Pesos & Up (500 USD)

Notary Fees:
From $250,000 Pesos & Up (85 USD)

Let us know what you would like in your trust and we can give you an exact quote.

Estate planning in Colombia: A LIVING TRUST is a vital part to legal estate planning which can be complemented by tax planning, a will, and a special power of attorneys for items such as financial, medical, travel, an real estate transactions.

With an estate planning consultation we will help you answer and analyze your concerns so we can prepare the best plan for your specific needs. At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING we have the expertise to put together the most beneficial estate plan, based upon your desires and expectations. Contact us to today to take the next step toward securing your family’s future.


How to Get Married in Colombia


How To Get Married in Colombia

Marriages between Colombians and foreigners are becoming more common every year but the question remains, how to get married in Colombia? Here are some legal issues to considering before planning a Colombian marriage to make the process as easier as possible. For more information see our site dedicated to Colombian marriage visa, (click here).

Please see our short video - Colombia Marriage Video

1. Colombian citizens have a birth certificate which also indicates current marriage or divorce status. Before anyone can marry in Colombia, a judge or notary (Called Notaria in Colombia) will need to verify that the Colombian birth certificates indicate single status. A citizen of Colombia cannot be married in Colombia if their birth certificate shows they are married to another person. In the way, Colombia ensures that Colombian citizens are not married to more than one person at the same time. The Colombian marriage law is very strict on that issue.

2.When a foreigner is getting married in Colombia, they must also prove that they are single, by providing a variety of documents. This proof must be submitted before a marriage license will be approved. Since the documents will most likely be from another country, they must be apostilled, which is a formal authentication performed in the country of origin. Also, if the required documents are not originally drafted in Spanish, they must be translated by an official translator before they will be accepted. we can order birth certificates in Colombia (click here)

3. If either or both parties getting married in Colombia already have children, a judge is required to review the couple’s assets in order to protect the children’s future rights and well-being. The judge must ascertain which assets belonged to which party before they began their relationship. This is accomplished by both people declaring their assets through an attorney. The formal declaration is then reviewed by a judge. A Colombian marriage license will not be issued without a judge’s approval if children are involved.

There are two other options to consider in Colombia:

There are two other options to consider in Colombia to be certified as a Colombian and foreign couple.

A) If you already have a Civil Union from another country, you can certify that relationship (Legalize your civil union in Colombia) instead of going through a traditional marriage in Colombia.

B) Alternatively, you could consider a Common Law Marriage performed in Colombia

Both options are performed by a Notaria in Colombia. The ceremony is held in the Notaria’s office, and not in a religious location. Colombian notaries are similar to a County Clerk or Clerk of Court in the United States.

Large cities like Medellin and Bogota have many notaries and finding one is relatively easy, but you need to be very careful in selecting a reputable one. We have long standing relationships with many trust-worthy notaries and we would be happy to introduce you. Notaries also store many public documents for marriages and divorces in Colombia, including when a Colombian marries a foreigner. The Notary 1 in Bogota registers all marriages to Colombians reported by Colombian consulates overseas. Assistance for ordering and certifying public documents is available. Please contact us if your having problems.

Are you already in a Common Law Marriage without knowing it?

If you live together with your partner for 2 years in Colombia, your relationship automatically qualifies as a common law marriage. Unlike many countries which either don’t recognize common law unions, or set longer time frames to qualify, Colombia makes common law marriage a very appealing alternative. Keep in mind, however, that if you live with someone for 2 years, they will have equal rights to your assets, just as if you were in a traditional marriage.

If you are considering your options in Medellín (Colombia), we highly recommend a Civil Union as opposed to a traditional marriage. First, a Civil Union is much less expensive to perform with a Notaria, and the basic requirements are much simpler, if done correctly. Also, for a Civil Union you need not show a birth certificate and proof of single status. These documents can be difficult to produce, and expensive to legalize in Colombia.

At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S. our Colombian attorneys and staff provide quality legal assistance and will walk you through the Colombian marriage or Colombian civil union process with the utmost care and professionalism. Contact Us today to discuss your specific needs. For more assistance in Spanish please see our spanish website

Articles Related to Colombian Marriages:
Divorces and Liquidations in Colombia
Colombian Prenuptial
Colombian Civil Law
Colombia Marriage Visa
Colombia Translations & Apostilles
Colombia Birth Certificate

how to get married in colombia

Divorce in Colombia


Colombian Divorce

Domestic Divorce

A divorce, or dissolution, is the legal end to a marriage or civil union between two people. There are many issues which need to be resolved in a divorce. This page raises several common topics, but since each situation is different, you should contact COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A. to ensure that your specific concerns are addressed.

Amicable Divorce

Colombia has a process for simple, agreed-upon divorces which can be resolved by the parties to the marriage and at least one attorney. Both parties must be in agreement about all issues, and there cannot be any children involved. These divorces can occur quickly and without judicial intervention. However, if there are children involved, or if there is any disagreement about assets or debts, a judge must be involved.

Common Divorce Issues

When people get married, or form a civil union, or live together for more than two years, certain legal rights arise regarding real estate, assets, debts, and inheritance, along with all of the issues relating to mutual children. Here is a checklist of topics you may need to resolve in a divorce situation:

Ownership of real estate

Division of marital debts

Division of a family business - including the business assets and debts

Allocation of any vehicles

Division of household and personal belongings

Separation of bank accounts or cash assets

Payment of Spousal Support

Payment of a Marital Settlement amount

If children were born during the relationship, these additional issues must be addressed:

Custody of the children

Establishing a visitation schedule

Child support

Insurance coverage and/or medical expenses

Educational expenses

Costs for activities

Estate and Inheritance planning


If the divorcing parties are from different countries, or if one wants to leave the country, and children are involved, custody can become complicated. At cOLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A. we will explain your rights and obligations to help you make the best decisions for your children.

Also, dividing property which is located in a foreign country can also cause difficulties in a divorce situation. We will work with you to clarify all of the options for your specific circumstances.


We know that divorce can be a very difficult time in your life. COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A. is here to provide experienced legal advice to walk you through the many legal steps needed to ensure that your dissolution is resolved as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to discuss your particular divorce needs and issues.

If you have any question about Divorces and Liquidations, please CONTACT US.

Other related services we offer are:


Colombian Prenuptial



You can enter into a prenuptial agreement in Colombia to protect assets which were acquired in the past, and which will be acquired in the future. Prenuptial agreements can be applied to both civil unions and regular marriages. Even if your assets are not in Colombia, they could be in serious jeopardy in the event of a divorce or liquidation of a Civil Union, so you should strongly consider a prenuptial agreement if foreign assets are a concern.

Please note that after only 2 years of living in the same house as your partner in Colombia, your relationship automatically qualifies as a Civil Union and your partner could be legally entitled to your assets, similar to a regular marriage. This also applies to homosexual and lesbian couples. We can assist you with the whole colombian prenuptial agreement process.

Other related services we offer:

Costs for Colombian prenuptial agreements
Legal Services for Colombian prenuptial agreements
$690.000 COP / $300 USD including notary and legal fees.