Stamford, CT asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico

Q: How can I prevent my brother's girlfriend from having keys of a shared home in PR. He and I are inheriting the property

My brother and I are the heirs of our late parents home and other properties. We just started the process of the Declaration of herederos. He is becoming very agressive with me and his girlfriend is all over my things etc. Can I ask an officer to assist me to the home to remove things from the home and or how can I have them leave or at least have the girlfriend refrain from entering and having keys to our shared home/property? Can I lock my bedroom door when I am not there since I do not reside there.

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

A: As a matter of law, the answer to your question is relatively straightforward: the property belongs to your late parents until the declaration of heirs has been issued by the court, the estate tax filing has been presented to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, and you and your brother's hereditary rights have been filed with the Property Registry. At that time, the property becomes an hereditary community property in equal shares (I would assume) between you and your brother.

In practical terms: Yes. You can change the lock to your bedroom. It's probably the best scenario, from what you write. Although, you cannot avoid the possibility that it may be jacked or broken. Especially if you live in the States and your brother lives in Puerto Rico.

In reality, you have a family problem: Should you change the locks on the property, your brother has a right to a copy of the new key and you have no way of hindering his giving a copy of the key to his girlfriend. Unless you have visual proof of wrongdoings by your brother's girlfriend, it'll be extremely difficult to bar your brother's girlfriend from the property. Since your brother has an equal say in the matter of who accesses the prooperty, the courts will not intervene in what they perceive to be a family matter.

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