Brooklyn, NY asked in Tax Law, Municipal Law and Probate for Puerto Rico

Q: We have several problems here involving renouncing inheritance, segregation, and property tax status.

How do you renounce inheritance in Puerto Rico and find out property tax status (have the taxes been paid)? Also, if we renounce inheritance, can we shift the property to a relative who lives there? We live in the United States.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To renounce an inheritance in Puerto Rico, you must formally declare your intention to do so within a specific timeframe, usually within nine months of the decedent's death. This declaration is made before a notary in Puerto Rico. It's a definitive decision, meaning once you renounce, you cannot later change your mind and accept the inheritance.

Regarding the property tax status, you can inquire about the tax status of a property in Puerto Rico by contacting the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM). CRIM is responsible for the administration of property taxes in Puerto Rico. They can provide information on whether taxes are up-to-date or if there are any outstanding dues.

If you choose to renounce your inheritance, you cannot directly transfer the property to another relative. When you renounce an inheritance, you are not treated as having ever owned the property. Instead, the inheritance would pass to the next eligible heirs under the law, which might include the relative you wish to have the property. However, this depends on the specific circumstances and the hierarchy of heirs as determined by Puerto Rican law.

Given the complexities involved, especially with the cross-jurisdictional aspects of your situation, it's advisable to consult with an attorney who has experience with Puerto Rican inheritance law. They can guide you through the process and ensure that your actions align with both your intentions and legal requirements. Legal advice is crucial in navigating these situations effectively.

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