Virginia Beach, VA asked in Estate Planning for Virginia

Q: Hi. My father recently passed away and myself and my sister are his heirs. There is no will. What do we do from here?

There are 2 properties in Puerto Rico in his name of which one shows his ex-wife listed. He divorced many years ago and to my knowledge there was a separation of their properties done. Where can we gain the knowledge of whether or not the property is indeed his ex wife's as well? Also, what needs to be done to transfer the properties in our names? We live in the US.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It very much matters where your father was domiciled when he passed. You should consult counsel licensed in that state. If the only assets are Virginia real estate, you might avoid formal probate, but, in all likelihood, you'll need a probate in Virginia and an ancillary probate in Puerto Rico. Either the other assets of the estate or the heirs will be required to pay the taxes and legal fees, or some of the property will need to be sold.

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