Brooklyn, NY asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Can ownership of property be passed to a spouse when owner is deemed medically incompetent? (Puerto Rico Law)

Property filed under name of spouse who developed Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's. Can property be transferred to the healthy spouse? What rights, if any, do the children of the sick spouse have to the property in question? Do the children need to be considered in the transfer of property ownership if able?

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

A: Under Puerto Rico law, an incapacitated individual's property may not be transferred to another person. Nevertheless, the administration and care of said property may be assigned to another. The healthy spouse would need to incapacitate the spouse suffering from dementia and/or alzheimer, and procure the courts to designate him/her as the other spouse's legal guardian. The sale of said property would also need judicial authorization.

A person suffering from dementia and/or alzheimer is not of sound mind. Therefore, said person cannot legally enter into a transaction of any sort regarding his/her property.

Finally, regarding the person's children, so long as the person lives, the children have no rights whatsoever to the person's property.

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