Philadelphia, PA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico

Q: A family member mention that there was some money and it was posted in the newspaper, where do I start?

Mayaquez, PR is where my grandfather resided . Not getting much help from that side of family, was born in the US so not very close to them.

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

A: When a close relative dies, such as the case of your grandfather, the first thing that needs to be done is whether the deceased died having left a Will or not. If no Will exists, a Declaration of Heirs must be petitioned from the Puerto Rico court. Depending on when your grandfather died, the court systems may be perused to determine whether or not this step was completed. If a Will exists, a certification to that effect may be requested from the Office of Notary Inspections. This would identify the notary before whom the will was granted. A copy of the Will allows you to determine whether or not you have any participation in your late grandfather's estate. To start either process, a copy of your grandfather's death certificate is required.

Using your grandfather's social security #, an account certification may be requested from each of the Puerto Rico banks, to determine any cashe/certificates/values left by your grandfather. Finally, a search should be conducted to determine whether or not your grandfather had any real estate to his name at the moment of his death.

Unfortunately, without additional information there is no way to determine whether any of these steps have been completed. On the other hand, it's standard operating procedures for financial institutions to publish unclaimed bank accounts when said accounts have not seen any activity for 3-5 years. The publishing of said balances is a final attempt from the financial institution to have the funds claimed, before transferring the unclaimed amounts to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.