Our professionals

Our professionals

Partner

Nicole Najjar

Nicole Najjar
55 11 3147 2827 nicole@mattosfilho.com.br São Paulo – Paulista

Areas of expertise

Experience

Legal advice for individuals and family businesses;
Structuring and implementing asset organization alternatives in Brazil and abroad via a multidisciplinary approach that covers tax, corporate, succession and family matters;
Expertise in corporate governance;
Succession and estate planning;
Advisory and litigation assistance with family and succession law;
Support with relocating abroad and reorganizing international assets.

Education

Bachelor of Laws – Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Master in Tax Law – Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP)
Board member of the Brazilian branch of STEP – Trust and Estate Practitioners since 2020

Recognitions

Chambers High Net Worth – Private Wealth Law (2020 – 2021)
Expert guide – Trust and Estate (2020); Women in Business Law (2020-2021)
Latin Lawyer 250 – Private Wealth (2019 – 2020)
Who’s Who Legal Brazil – Private Client (2019 – 2021)
Who’s who Legal Global – Private Client (2020 – 2021)

Único. The Mattos Filho news portal

Authored publications

Mattos Filho in the media

With Nicole Najjar

Central Bank raises minimum amounts for DCBE and record of transactions in non-resident bank accounts

​On July 30, the Central Bank of Brazil (“BACEN”) published two Resolutions by the National Monetary Council (“CMN”) with relevant changes to both residents in Brazil who own assets abroad and non-residents that hold deposit accounts in Brazil.

With the changes brought by CMN Resolution no. 4,841 of July 30, 2020, the filing of the annual Central Bank return (“DCBE”) is now mandatory only for individuals and legal entities domiciled in Brazil who hold assets abroad in the total amount of US $ 1,000,000.00 (one million American dollars) or more. Until this year, that amount was set at US $ 100,000.00 (one hundred thousand US dollars).

The quarterly DCBE (every three months), in turn, has not changed and it’s still mandatory to individuals and legal entities holding assets abroad that amount to US $ 100,000,000.00 (one hundred million American dollars) or more.

On the other hand, CMN Resolution no. 4,844 of July 30, 2020, changed the rules applicable to non-residents who hold deposit accounts (BRL) in Brazil. With the changes in force, the transactions of BRL 100,000.00 (one hundred thousand Reais) or more are subject to registration in the Central Bank Information System (“Sisbacen”) and supported by specific documentation. Until now, all transactions above BRL 10,000.00 (ten thousand Reais) were subject to registration.

The new Resolutions take effect on September 1, 2020. In practice, they will imply one less obligation for residents in Brazil who invest abroad in small proportions, in addition to simplifying financial transactions carried out by non-residents in Brazil.

We are available for any clarifications if needed.

Areas of expertise

A Common-Law Marriage or a mere Date: in which kind of relationship do you want to be?

The issue of whether or not you are in a common-law marriage (União Estável) in Brazil revolves around the consequences that a common-law marriage has for estate planning, considering that common-law marriage is recognized by Brazilian law as a family. A relationship between two people is deemed to be a common-law marriage if the following four conditions are satisfied: the relationship is public, continuous, lasting and carried out with the intent of forming a family (the “Four Conditions”).

For legal purposes, in Brazil, two people having a relationship that meets the Four Conditions but fail to enter into a common-law marriage agreement are considered common-law marriage partners under the asset regime called community property (Comunhão Parcial). This regime generates the same effects in respect of the division of estate of the two individuals – either in the event of a divorce, or in the event of death of one of them – as if they had been married under the community property regime.

The Four Conditions do not require partners to have common children or to live together and there is no minimum time period established by law in order to entitle partners to claim recognition of a common-law marriage. Accordingly, common-law marriage is a relationship fully based on subjective criteria.

During the first decade after the effectiveness of the new Brazilian Civil Code (“Civil Code”), in 2003, the Brazilian courts took a broad view of common-law marriages, considering common-law marriages to exist in relationships that could, or should, be considered as merely dating. This jurisprudence caused insecurity for partners whose relationships were not superficial, but who were still only getting to know each other before deciding to execute a common-law marriage agreement or to get married.

Legal advisers, at that time, strongly recommended partners to execute a common-law marriage agreement, adopting the most suitable marriage regime for their relationship, which was usually the Full Conventional Separation of Assets (Separação Total). Obviously, raising the topic of marriage agreements between partners at an early stage of a relationship is quite sensitive, and therefore, not many people were willing to follow this advice, which resulted in undesirable consequences for the heirs of some of them.

However, during the last five years, court decisions have evolved and judges have been more flexible when analyzing a relationship by taking into account conditions, other than the Four Conditions, in order to decide whether or not a certain relationship may be deemed to be a common-law marriage. Among such additional conditions, the financial subordination between the partners is certainly one of the most important.

In this more recent scenario, the execution of a “Dating Agreement” (Contrato de Namoro) has emerged in Brazil as an option for couples. The Dating Agreement may be recognized by the courts as evidence that a couple may only wish to benefit from a relationship, which, despite being public, continuous and lasting, does not carry the willingness to form a family. It is, of course, essential that there is no financial support between the partners, because, in the event that one of the partners covers the monthly expenses of the other, the Dating Agreement would simply be disregarded and the judges may consider the couples to be in a common-law marriage.

The Dating Agreement has become an interesting alternative, especially when one of the partners, or both, is/are high net worth individual(s) and seek mechanisms for asset protection. The Dating Agreement is also a good alternative for foreigners who are living in Brazil, such as expats, who may wish to avoid misinterpretation of their relationship.

It must be made clear, however, that the enforcement of a Dating Agreement depends on the analysis of factual elements, at the judge’s discretion, because, for the time being, Dating Agreements are not recognized in our Civil Code or in any other law.

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Areas of expertise

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