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 that's it. Thank you!
A: 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 needed to do the inheritance: Declaration of Heirs (if there was no will), Inheritance Estate Form (via the Treasury Dept.), transfer at the Puerto Rico Property Registry, change of ownership at the "CRIM" (property tax agency) and, finally, filing an Informative Transfer Form at the Treasury Department. The attorney will first have to do a title study to make sure that the property was only in your mother´s name. As well, there are several other smaller steps and documents that the attorney will need to process. In all, if everything is ok, the inheritance process can take 3-6 months. So, the sooner you start, the better. Also, you won´t accrue too many property taxes since they can start adding up after your mother´s passing (plus interests and penalties).
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