My husband owns a condominium in Vietnam which he just bought last November. He has just passed away recently leaving a will giving me and my children 100% share in the property. How do I get the property transferred into our names? My children are aged 8 and 9 respectively. We are residents in the United States.
According to Article 767 in Vietnam’s
Civil Code 2005, it can be inferred that the inheritance law must comply with the laws of the countries of which the estate leavers bear the nationalities before their death.
It is not specified if your husband is of American nationality or just a resident. Assuming that your whole family are American nationals, you must ensure that the legal entitlement of you and your children to his will is legitimate in accordance with American laws.
Once this is in order, the inheritance rights to the condominium in Vietnam must comply with the laws in Vietnam where the property is located. Should you and your children be eligible to own property in Vietnam in accordance to the current Law on Residential Housing 2014, you will be allowed to inherit the property and be granted an ownership certificate for that property in Vietnam. There are no income taxes levied on the portion of the property inherited by your children since the relationship of the deceased to them is of parent and child, but you will have to pay a 10% tax on income for your portion of inheritance on the property (based on the value of your share on the property).
However, if you do not meet the requirement on foreign ownership of residential property in Vietnam, then the property must be sold and you and your children can only inherit an amount of money equivalent to the value of the property. In this case, there will be a tax on income of 10% applied.
Assuming that the heirs satisfy all the legal conditions for the inheritance of the condominium in Vietnam, they are able to take over the remaining leasehold over the property and enjoy the respective rights on the use of the property. You are required to assist your children as they are considered minors (below 15 years of age) in initiating the procedure to claim inheritance of the property. The procedures to be followed will be generally as follows:
Prepare a dossier of documents as required according to Vietnamese laws. This is to be done in Vietnam. Should the heirs not be able to travel to Vietnam personally, they can also appoint a third party to prepare the documents via a power of attorney.
Be present personally at the relevant government authority offices to complete and sign the necessary documents to finish the transaction (this step cannot be bypassed because the Vietnamese government will need the heirs’ passport with Vietnam’s immigration stamp on them as proof of valid entry in order to grant a property Ownership Certificate).
The dossier should include documents such as: A copy of the deceased death declaration from America, documents to prove the relationship between the deceased and heirs, passport of the heirs, all relevant documentary proof of the property and the will. Please note that all foreign documents must be notarised in their country of origin and translated into the Vietnamese language by a notary public in Vietnam.
This article only serves to inform and guide. It is by no means professional legal advice from a lawyer, as I am a professional in the field of real estate. My advice is to appoint a Vietnamese lawyer for a more accurate advisory. I am not responsible for any repercussions as a result of this article.