Reno, NV asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Does Puerto Rico have a "Small Estate Affidavit" or equivalent legal document?

I am trying to close out an account a "poor pensioner" friend of mine had with Wells Fargo. He was resident in Puerto Rico when he passed away. He created a Will with a Lawyer their in Puerto Rico and made me the executor and heir of his estate. In the will he disinherited his children with whom he hasn't spoken in 20 years. Total value of the estate is probably around $5k. No real estate, car, or other significant personal assets. Wells Fargo has told me they want a "Small Estate Affidavit" from a probate court. I cannot find that document for Puerto Rico.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Carolina, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Hello and thank you for using JUSTIA. Puerto Rico does not have a Small Estate process. The only way to liquidated assets of the deceased is by probate through the Court. This is done by filing a petition with the Court.

The first step is to get a certified copy of the Will through the ODIN Office. They are whom has the original document registered. The second step is to file the petition with the original Will in the Court. The Court Will validate the Will and give it authourization. The third step is to file an lnheritance tax return with Hacienda (local Tax Office). They will issue a tax release. The fourth step is to take all three documents ( the Will, Court authorization and the Tax Department release) to a Notary Public to create a sworn affidavit (Instancia) explaining the process and requesting the liquidation of the estate. The final process is to send all these documents to Wells Fargo for issuing payment.

The average cost of the entire process is around $ 1,000.00.

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