Jersey City, NJ asked in Intellectual Property, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico

Q: My dad has property in Puerto Rico. He is now in a nursing home in NJ. Will we lose the property? What can I do to claim

I would like to know if notorized letter is signed in NJ will it help with changing name on property in PR. Not sure, what I need to do as my father is now in a nursing home. He never fixed the right papers to leave me the property. I don't know if the property will be lost?

2 Lawyer Answers

A: No, a notarized letter is not sufficient to transfer real property. You need a properly drafted deed signed and notarized by your father. First you'll need to determine the ramifications of a transfer. Will this effect medicaid /medicare, will it be a taxable gift, does he have an estate plan, would you receive the property under the plan or if no plan under intestate law. These are a few of the questions that need to be answered before transfer.

I highly suggest retaining a local attorney prior to any generational transfer of significant assets, especially real property where the grantor is elderly. There are really large estate, gov. benefit, and tax issues to review.

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

A: Hello and thank you for using JUSTIA. A notarized letter is not capable of transfering real property in Puerto Rico. No you Will not lose the property due to him being in a nursing home in New Jersey.

The property is not capable of being gifted since it will affect the inheritance of his children unless he has other assets in Puerto Rico of equal value that will garantee the inheritance of the remaining children. All children must receive equal amounts of inheritance unless your Father makes a Testament where by which he can leave two-thirds to one child and an equal part of the last third divided among all the children.

You should advise your Father to make a Testament mentioning his last wishes of how to distribute his assets among his children. This can be done in Puerto Rico by having your Father makes a list of his assets, all his children, how to distribute his assets and any other wishes he may desire. An Attorney in Puerto Rico will create the Testament and send it to your Father for him to approve. He then will sign it infront of a Notary Public in New Jersey and return the signed document to the Attorney in Puerto Rico for the Exequatur process to legalize the Testament under the laws of Puerto Rico. Thus said property and assets Will be distributed as per his instructions once he passes and his Estate is probated. The entire cost of the process including the probating of the Estate is $2,500.00.

If you need additional information feel free to contact me directly.

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