Brooklyn, NY asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for Puerto Rico

Q: How can the sale of a house in Puerto Rico be accomplished when one of four inheritors refuses to sell the house.

The probation of the inheritance has been completed. The house was the only property in the inheritance. There were no assets, liabilities or money in the inheritance. Each inheritor receive a different percentage of the house as inheritance. One inheritor received a majority percentage of the inheritance while the other three received equal portions of the remaining percentage. The majority inheritor plus two of remaining three inheritors agree to sell. The fourth wants money before agreeing to sell the house. The fourth claims they deserve this money as part of the inheritance as well as proceeds from a sale of the house. As indicated above, there was no money in the inheritance. What can be done to force a sale of the house.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: When you state that inheritance probation has been accomplished, does this include updating the public registry to reflect the participation and percentages of all heirs? Assuming that this is the case, given the refusal of one of the heirs, your best recourse would be to go before the Puerto Rico courts to request adjudication & partition of your inheritance, and liquidation of the estate. It seems that the case would be adversarial; so it would be in the form of a lawsuit where the three willing heirs would be plaintiffs and the remaining heir would be the defendant.

Mind you, should all three plaintiffs live outside Puerto Rico, the court may order posting of a bond in order to ensure execution of the sentence, whichever it may be. Once the lawsuit is filed, the heir who refuses to sell will need to be served either personally (if he/she lives in Puerto Rico) or by edict (if he/she lives abroad).

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