Bethlehem, PA asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico

Q: Can I still claim an inherited property after 11 years?

My grandmother passed in 2011 leaving me her house in PR. For many years a cousin, who was the care taker of the house lied and claimed the house had been sold. I recently found out the house and my grandmothers belongings are still standing and have merely been abandoned. Can I still claim this property and/or land?

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

A: So long as the house is still in your grandmother's estate and you have proof of your hereditary claim, you can still claim the property. I'd advise procuring a title study of the property to confirm that it is still in your grandmother's name. Certificates of value and debt must also be procured from the Center for Municipal Income Collections ("CRIM", by its Spanish acronym), since, having been abandoned for so long, property taxes will be owed. Once titleship is confirmed, the next steps would be to procure your grandmother's death certificate, then verify with the Office of Notary Inspections whether your grandmother had filed her Last Will & Testament before she died or determine whether a Declaration of Heirs process was celebrated before the Puerto Rico courts. These steps must be taken in order to establish the heir(s) to whom the estate has been granted. Finally, a deed before a Puerto Rico notary-attorney will need to be subscribed between all of your grandmother's heirs to allocate, distribute, and liquidate her estate among them.

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