West Palm Beach, FL asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico

Q: Can a notary in Puerto Rico write up a will or does it have to be done by an attorney?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL

A: Was it a notary public or a civil law notary? Apparently Puerto Rico, although a U.S. possession, does have civil law notaries, who can write wills.

But the important question is whether the will is effective. You have posted this question in the Florida law section, so I am assuming you want to know if the will can be admitted to probate in Florida. If it was executed with the formalities required of wills in Florida, yes, it probably can.

Robert A. Velez-Montes
Robert A. Velez-Montes
  • Guayama, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: In Puerto Rico we have Civil Law notary system. All notaries in PR must be attorneys first. An attorney that does not have a notary license can not make a will. Also a will in PR have very strict and specific formalities necessary to be valid (for example we have "forced heirship") not existent in the States (with exception, to some extend, Louisiana, who also has a Civil Law system).

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