Q: I live in Tennessee as did my father when he passed away in 2020. He owned a residence in Puerto Rico and a will distrib
Assets. Do I have to go to Puerto Rico to receive my money?
A: No, you don´t have to come to PR to receive your money. Instead, you need to hire a Puerto Rico probate or inheritance attorney to do all the paperwork for you.
Certain steps must first be addressed before determining who can collect.
With a copy of your late father's death certificate, a certification of Will must be procured from the Puerto Rico Office of Notary Inspections (I'm assuming that his Will was signed and subscribed in Puerto Rico). Due diligence should be conducted to determine whether your late father owned any real estate in Puerto Rico. Also, certified account balances must be procured from the three main banks in Puerto Rico: First Bank, Oriental, and Banco Popular (if your father had any accounts in Cooperativas or - if he was a retired government employee - from Retiro, you'd need these certifications also). With these documents and a copy of the will on hand, your father's estate tax filing must be filed with the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (Hacienda), who'll issue a tax waiver if your dad owed no taxes. These tasks will be made easier for you if you retain the services of a probate attorney.
Your dad's Will would determine who is (are) his heir(s). If you have siblings, then a partitioning of the inheritance ("cuaderno particional") must be prepared following your dad's Will; subscribed under oath (before a notary public) by you and your siblings; and submitted to those banks in which your father kept his money, along with a copy of the death certificate, Will, and tax waiver. The banks will issue the checks pursuant to this "cuaderno particional". AT THIS TIME, you may decide whether to travel to Puerto Rico to collect the checks in hand or grant a limited, special power-of-attorney to authorize anothed to do so and mail the checks to you.
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