Scotch Plains, NJ asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico

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.

2 Lawyer Answers
Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: 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 property tax exemption, then we could assume that there were no taxes owed until after his passing away.

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Carolina, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Hello and thank you for using JUSTIA. The process of Inheritance in Puerto Rico is as follows;

First a search for a Testament is done in the Wills and Testament office. If one is found then the Probate of said document will be done. If no Testament is found then your uncle's property will be inherited by all of his siblings regardless of whom is alive. If any siblings have passed away prior to your uncle then his nephews and nieces also are inheritors along with your Mother. Thus your maternal cousins will also become part of the inheritors of your uncle's property. The process needed to be done in this matter is known as a Declaration of Inheritors and this will create your uncle's Estate. You will need an original copy of all the birth certificates of his siblings and nephews/nieces, original death certificates of your uncle, his parents and siblings. Once the Estate is created you will then need to file an Inheritance tax return for release. Once the tax release is issued you then will need to register the property in the name of the members of the Estate. The next step is to liquidate the Estate thus the inheritors will receive thier share of the inheritance. The legal costs of this process is about an average of $ 1,500.00.

As for Property taxes, this would Depend on if your uncle had an exemption or not. That can be certified by a search of CRIM records(Centro de Recaudaciones de Ingresos Municipales) on line.

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