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Questions Answered by Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do i find out if my mother had a Will in Puerto Rico

My m9ther passed away in march and im in fl and can not travel (due to Covid)or get a hold of her attorney down there to see if she had a Will. She was with me in Fl when she got sick and passed. I cant get anyone to speak with us until i find this out.

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jun 1, 2020

An attorney can place a search at the Registry of Wills of Puerto Rico to find out if your mother left a will on the island. It is highly recommended that it is done via an attorney since he/she will know how to go about through that process while making sure to include all the necessary requisites... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: can i find out if my dad owned anything when he passed away?

My father lived in Puerto Rico along with my 3 siblings. I live in New York. He recently passed away and I went to Puerto Rico to see if he had a will I received a notice from the court that there was no will. I know the next step would be to go to court and establish that I am an heir however I... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jun 1, 2020

You can hire an attorney to do a real estate property search, via a title search study. As well, that same attorney could search within the local banks for any accounts left by your dad. In any case, you would have to do a Declaration of Heirs, via an attorney as well, so that the courts can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Selling a home in Puerto Rico.

My mom passed a away a few months ago. She owned a property in Puerto Rico that I would like to sell. She didn't create a will since I am her only heir. What steps do I need to take to sell the home. I live in Pennsylvania, so it's hard getting information. I do have the escritura, but... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on May 7, 2020

Before an heir can sell a property, it is mandatory that the inheritance process has finished. Therefore, the first step is to hire an attorney who you can work with. Currently, there are a number of lawyers working remotely so being in the USA is not a problem. Here is a summary of the steps... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: My uncle has passed away in PR. A female has been staying there rent free. The heirs want her to vacate. Please advise.

We dont want to create unnecessary duress for either parties.

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Apr 9, 2020

Hi CT. In order to first claim ownership of the property, the inheritance process has to be done, via an attorney. This includes several steps, in a nutshell: Declaration of Heirs (via the courts), filing of an Inheritance Estate Form (via the PR Treasury Department), transfer of ownership at the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My parents passed away 28 yrs ago. My siblings and I never claimed the house. How do we claim the house? Is it too late?

We went and saw the house several years ago and no one has lived in it since they passed away. It does however, have lots of damage. We live in the states and not in PR making it difficult to keep up with it. We would like to sell it. What are the steps, if it's not too late, to claim the... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Dec 23, 2019

You can still claim ownership but you should speed up since property taxes will accrue and you don´t want someone to occupy it since after a number of years they could later begin a process to transfer the title to their names.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I was left a house in Puerto Rico from my mother. I have no documents pertaining to the house.

How can I go about getting the deed and other papers I need to sell?

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Dec 17, 2019

First, you have to make sure that the inheritance paperwork was finished so that the house is officially under your name. This can take time and effort and should only be done by an attorney. If you were "left a house" then we would assume it was via a will, which has to be validated... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mother passed away 1 year ago and has property in Puerto Rico. I live in the US . What steps do I need for inheritan

My father still lives in puerto rico. I have a brother out there that can not trust. I cant go to Puerto rico but need to transfer the land to my name. Can I do it from the us? I dont have anyone I can trust

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Dec 12, 2019

You can do it from the USA but, just in case, you will need an attorney based in Puerto Rico. On the other hand, unless your mother left a will, any real estate assets left will be jointly split among her children, with a small portion going to your father, if they were still married.

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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Uncle passed away and had no children. Only surviving relative is my mom. Is she the owner of his property now?

No known will is in place. And we don't know if annual taxes have been paid on property.

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Aug 31, 2019

If the property is located in PR and his parents are no longer alive, and he did not leave a will, then the heir will be your mom but the inheritance process will have to be done in order for her to formally become the owner. If the property was his principal residence and he had obtained full... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Bought property from my mom and dad in Puerto Rico. What do I need to transfer the property under my name.

I already have a written agreement by a lawyer and signed by all parties with the purchase agreement. What additional paperwork would I need to make this official.

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jul 22, 2019

1. Sales deed to be prepared by an attorney with both parties appearing (sellers and buyers)

2. Transfer at the Property Registry

3. Transfer at the property tax agency (CRIM)

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I have a house in Puerto Rico ther for sale and have buyer interest to purchase it. Do I have to go for any closing?

Or can everything been done over the internet. Such as providing documents that the house is mine. Signing the house over to the buyer? If so how do I get my money. Does the bank wire me the money?

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jun 9, 2019

You can designate someone via a Power of Attorney with the advice of a lawyer based in PR. As to the bank, they could wire the money or send a check, depending on their policies, or the designated representative can just mail it to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can I, please be directed where in Puerto Rico I may get an answer whether a case for inheritance has been filed?

Our mother died, followed by stepfather, youngest 1/2 sibling has hinted he has attorney for inheritance who has filed and brother claims it is all his and other 1/2 siblings (step-father's children). He has not been forthcoming with any other info., nor has his attorney. I would like to... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jun 7, 2019

Normally, the case could be searched under the heir filing the case.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Are all living children responsible for inherited property taxes even if some have given up their claim?

There are 5 living children who inherited land from deceased parents. 4 of the kids are giving up their share. Are all the kids still responsible for the payment of property taxes whether or not the property is sold, or if the government takes control of the property and demolishes the house on... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on May 16, 2019

If they haven´t actually received the inheritance yet, they should resign it by subscribing a deed through an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I put a house for sale in P.R. after getting heir of declaration certified through court?
Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Feb 27, 2019

No. You need to now obtain a waiver or clearance from the PR Treasury Department by filing an Inheritance Form, also called an Estate Tax Form. Then, there needs to be the transfer of the property rights to the heirs via the Property Registry of PR.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can my brother change the deed of my mom to his name and not notify us of his doing? Do we loose everything?

Mom dead, need to change deed of land to her children names, can a brother change the deed for himself. We all live on US not Puerto Rico

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Sep 10, 2018

No, he can’t.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: For a will, Must the parent include all the children in the will
Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Sep 6, 2018

In PR, children are considered to be "forced heirs". That is, for them to be "disinherited" in a will, there must be a specific valid reason under one of the causes provided by law. Make sure that this is done via a local attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do all parties have to be present at a house closing in PR? Can someone stateside have documents mailed?

We live in New Mexico & are buying a house in PR. The agent says we must come back down for the closing. What about Docusign or FedExing the documents?

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Sep 4, 2018

You could always have a Power of Attorney be prepared by a local attorney in PR, who will know what to include in such document. However, the POA will have to name a local representative to be present at the sale.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Mom and dad are on the deed of a house my dad passed away and my mom wants to sell, what portion of the sale is hers?

The house is paid off and there are a total of nine children.

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Aug 25, 2018

If they were married without a pre-nuptial agreement, then her stake would normally be 50% plus what is called in Puerto Rico the "cuota viudal usufructuaria" ("surviving spouse's usufructuary portion"), which is a percentage calculated by a special formula according to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: if my dad creates a will in Puerto Rico and leaves his house to me is that the final say even though I have 2 other

Sisters? Or is there other steps that need to be taken so that the house is left to just me?

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jul 31, 2018

If that is the only property he has, it cannot be done unless he specifically disinherits your 2 sisters, making sure that it is due to the reasons stated by law. In Puerto Rico, the children are what is called "forced heirs", so their inheritance could only be voided as specified by law.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Need a legal aid dept. that can assist w/Declaratorio de Herederos in for senior collecting social security in PR

My sister is a widowed senior, owns a home in PR, wants to make arrangements for her siblings for the future according to the Puerto Rico laws & requirements/above documents, or Affidavits? Three living children, two live in NJ, one lives with her in the home in PR. Thank you. Any advice... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on May 10, 2018

Your sister would need to write a will so that she can designate her beneficiaries according to her wishes while making sure to follow the local laws of PR. An inheritance or probate attorney can help her with that.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can my bother in PR obtain "legal ownership" of the property portion he rents out (it was my deceased parents' home?

My brother lives & owns the first floor of my deceased parents' home, but rents the 2nd floor, which was occupied by my parents before they died "intestate"; all the surviving siblings live in both PR and NJ. What steps are required to obtain legal ownership of the rental?... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on May 10, 2018

If the property was located it PR, a Declaration of Heirs has to be filed at the court system so that the "forced heirs" (i.e., the children of the deceased) can be officially declared as the heirs. Also, an Estate Tax Form ("Planilla de Caudal Relicto") has to be filed at the... Read more »

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