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Puerto Rico Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Upon the death of my father, will my mother be sole heir of her home in PR, although he had kids outside the marriage?

The home was purchased over 20 yrs ago by both for retirement purposes.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Nov 9, 2022

You need to speak with a PR estate planning attorney if the property is in PR as you have stated. Things to consider include, is there a Will, what does the property deed say, is there a Trust? It is possible the property will pass to your mom per PR laws, Will and or other estate planning that is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Father dies and 2 of the 4 sons are dead. He has a surviving spouse. In accordance with Puerto Rico law, what is Law?

How Will the decease’s assets be divided, when some of the children have died?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 2, 2022

This is something that attorneys who work with estates would know better than civil litigation (the posted category) attorneys, but the question remains open for almost a week. I'm sorry for the family's loss. You could repost the question under Puerto Rico (see "show more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: A family member mention that there was some money and it was posted in the newspaper, where do I start?

Mayaquez, PR is where my grandfather resided . Not getting much help from that side of family, was born in the US so not very close to them.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 27, 2022

When a close relative dies, such as the case of your grandfather, the first thing that needs to be done is whether the deceased died having left a Will or not. If no Will exists, a Declaration of Heirs must be petitioned from the Puerto Rico court. Depending on when your grandfather died, the court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom has told me she made a will and my sisters want to make a declaration of heirs. How, where I find my mom's will?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 15, 2022

I'm assuming that the will was granted in Puerto Rico. If that's the case, the Puerto Rico Notary Law demands that an attorney-notary who has authorized a will must notify a certified copy of said will with the Office of Notary Inspection's Registry of Wills. If your sisters wish to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: If both myself and (apparent) sister go before the court for the declaration of heirs, we will both be required to show

a birth certificate, but the apparent sister doesn’t have a birth certificate with my father listed as her father nor does she have DNA results to prove a legal relationship. So what can she do to be eligible to receive my father’s inheritance? Can her and I perform a sibling dna test? Will... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 5, 2022

The test results only present a probability of kinship between 2 sisters, especially when related by only one parent. Photo comparison with grandparents and other relatives also help. How and under what circumstances DID your father recognize her as his daughter?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father died in 2021. His known descendant is me (his biological daughter). However, he claimed another young

lady as his daughter too, that I don’t think is biologically his. Will this young lady have to provide proof that she is indeed an offspring of my father’s to inherit a portion of his estate?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 5, 2022

You don’t state what form did your dad’s recognition of your (apparent) sister take. If your dad recognized her as his legal daughter in a Last Will & Testament, she would only need to provide proof of identity. With no Will, you’d both need to go before the court for a Declaration of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My abuelos passed they own 6 acres, an acre to each child how do we claim the forced heir.?

my grandparents left 6 acres 1 to each child. My mother was one of the children she passed away in 2019. I would like to claim her portion how can I do that? there are still 3 living heirs one still lives on the property in the house that is there. And the other is trying to get the property all... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 24, 2022

There are many questions yet to be answered in your request. Did either grandparent leave a will? were declaration of heirs petitions brought before the Puerto Rico courts? were their estates liquidated during your deceased mother's lifetime? Do you have any siblings from your mom? How many... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Four friends, two of which are a married couple, own property in Puerto Rico. Would a real estate trust be beneficial?

Upon death of one co-owner, it is deisred that the decedents share(s) pass only to the surviving partners.

This is the primary residence for the majority of co-owners.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 19, 2022

Puerto Rico Civil Code does not allow for donations to be made which may be perjudicial to an heir's share, should the donor die. That being said, a legitimate scenario would be for the two married couples incorporate or establish a commercial society, and transfer the property to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandmother is 94y old, of sound mind, PR resident. What is the average cost of drafting & filing a Living Will?

She is in the process of selling her home. In the event she passes before home is sold, the proceeds of the sale would go to the heirs.

At which time then, the heirs would need to file to obtain these funds. Is there a way to avoid the legalities later, by drafting & filing documents... Read more »

Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Elaine Shay
answered on Aug 18, 2022

Since your grandmother resides in Puerto Rico, your question would be better directed to attorneys in Puerto Rico instead of New York. However, regardless of the jurisdiction, a living will does not address the disposition of property but merely the care of someone who may become incapacitated.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandfather passed away in Puerto Rico and left money in a account. How does does 1 child become sole beneficiary?

Moving this over somewhere else. Sorry

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Aug 16, 2022

This is not a Family Law question and is not in New York. This should be posted in the estates catagory and in Puerto Rico.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I know I'm a beneficiary. Grandpa lived and died in Bayamon, PR. I don't have the will or know who the executor is. ?

So I repeat. No will. No death certificate. I'm a grand child so apparently not entitled to one. How do I find out who the executor is?

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Aug 15, 2022

An attorney should be able to get you the death certificate and find out who the executor is if indeed you appear as the beneficiary on the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: i need my fathers will from arecibo puerto rico
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 15, 2022

In order to procure your father's will, you first need to procure or provide his death certificate. With the certificate, we request a certification of will from the Office of Notary Inspections. Said certification will identify whether your father was testate upon his death, the will's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I looked up how to get my grandpa's death certificate, but everything says I can't be a grandchild. what do i do?

I know i am a beneficairy, but I don't have the will, and It says i am not entitled to the death certificate. I just want to reach the executor of my grandfather's estate cause they know I am a beneficiary and will tell me what I need to know. How do I find out who it is?

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Aug 12, 2022

If the person passed away in Puerto Rico and you are a beneficiary, an attorney should be able to obtain the death certificate for you, as well as a copy of the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: how do I get a copy of my grandfather's will in puerto rico

he died and everyone said he left money for all his grand children, but my mother wont share a copy of the will. People are saying she stole my inheritence.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 25, 2022

I'm assuming that your grandfather died in Puerto Rico and that he granted his Last Will & Testament in Puerto Rico. As such, the first step would be to procure a copy of his death certificate from the Demographics Registry. With the certificate in hand, a request for certification would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can you remove someone from an inherited property that's been living there without paying rent.

The party living there is the son of 1 of the 5 inherited people. They also have a son who is autistic and lives there as well. Will that affect any decision made by a judge in a court of law

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 20, 2022

First off, in an estate where the heirs have been registered as the new owners of the real estate property, the other co-owners may require the heir (or son of the heir) to pay rent to the community. This, however, would be prospective, as of the date on which a formal letter is sent to the party... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I'm married and the asset in my name, if i set up a trust for my children to inherit, will my spouse have any rights?

Will my spouse's children from his first marriage have any rights to the asset if placed in a trust?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

After November 28, 2020, a new Puerto Rico Civil Code came into effect. One of the primary changes regarding successions (probate law) has to do with the fact that the spouse is now as much a legal heir as the rest of your children. The Puerto Rico Civil Code also states that a person can donate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom wants to gift her PR home to me (her only heir). What tax/other issues should I be aware of?

My mother is a PR resident (I am not), and wants to gift her home to me before she remarries or dies. She also said she may want to still live in the home after she gifts it to me. She said she would gift the title, but still have it enscribed in her name. I want to accept her kind gift, but I am... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

First off, unless your mother donates the property to you by way of a deed the Property Registry would still register the real estate in her name. Once she transfers the property in fee simple to you, it needs to be inscribed in your name by filing a certified copy of the donation deed and of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is my Will/Trust where I reside valid in Puerto Rico or do I need a Puerto Rico Will/Trust for PR property?

All other assets are in and our permanent residence is in FL. The House in Puerto Rico is owned Jointly (JTWRS) with my wife. Per the FL will/revocable trust, my wife will inherit everything but if/when she passes, our three kids will inherit the assets equally, including the PR house. We... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Mar 21, 2022

Typically, inheritance or probate norms vary depending on where the real estate assets are located. In the case of Puerto Rico, specific inheritance laws are in effect. You need to have a PR-licensed attorney look into your estate, given that we have what is called "forced heirs". The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: I thank you in advance for your time.This is regarding a home in Puerto Rico which my parents left to five siblings.

Outside of issuing an addiction notice , We have been in litigation for the last six years the 4 siblings have incurred legal and court fees that’s been a financial burden! Does PR Law support a civil case to recoup financial loses towards the sibling that refuse the sale of the home.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 21, 2022

To answer your question, I'd need to know what sort of litigation has been going on between you and your siblings. Upon the passing of parents who may or may not have granted their last will and testament, Puerto Rico Rule of Law provides heirs the chance to arrive at some form of agreement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom passed on 12/11/21 in Massachusetts and married. Dad and Mom own house in PR, are the kids entitled to anything?

My mother and father were legally married at the time of my mother's passing. They own a home in PR but both have children from previous marriages. What are my mother's children entitled to? Can we ask that her husband pay us her half of the home's value if he is unwilling to sell the home?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 17, 2022

Pursuant to Puerto Rico’s Civil Code, all of your late mother’s children have an hereditary interest in her entire estate.

Assuming that your parents did not have a prenup in place during their marriage, their house in Puerto Rico was jointly owned by both under a legal joint community...
Read more »

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