Springfield, MA asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico

Q: My father passed. I soon found out he owed CREM. Am I responsible for paying it?

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

A: The Puerto Rico rule of law defines a deceased person's estate as made up of the deceased's assets and liabilities. As such, any and all debts owed by the deceased person and/or by his (her) estate must be assumed by his (her) heirs up to the amount inherited. Thus, the to answer your question is "yes".

Upon your father's passing, the probate processes in Puerto Rico require the heirs to verify whether or not your father left a Will before he died, by procuring a certification from the Office of Notary Inspections (ODIN). If no Will exists, then the heirs would go before the courts with a declaration of heirs petition. Once a court resolution is obtained, the next step would be to file an estate tax return before the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, to procure a tax waiver on the estate. In order to achieve this, the heirs must obtain a negative (zero) debt certification from CRIM. Without this step, any moneys that your late father left in banks would be frozen and any real estate cannot be transfered to your father's heirs.

Now then, depending on the amount of the CRIM debt, the heirs can either pay it off entirely or agree upon a payment plan. In either case, the certification issued by CRIM can be used to proceed with the estate tax return filing.

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