Arnold, MD asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Can we renounce this property to CRIM so it doesn’t pass on to our children when we pass?

My sister & I are declared heirs & paying taxes to CRIM since our mom’s passing in 2016, but 1 of the properties (land only) is not registered in our name at Prop. of Registry. It’s registered to our grandfather for more than 100 yrs. It was an unresolved matter for mom to register it in her name but she was paying taxes to CRIM since 2003. Not sure how a sibling (mom), out of so many, is able to submit a claim/application to CRIM & CRIM allow paying taxes on property not registered in your name. Either way, we inherited it.

Puerto Rico

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Puerto Rico, dealing with inheritance and property taxes involves navigating a complex legal landscape, especially when property titles and registrations involve unresolved issues from past generations. If you and your sister are considering not passing a specific piece of land to your children to avoid burdening them with the responsibility and taxes, there are legal pathways you might explore.

Firstly, it's important to understand that the Centro de Recaudación de Ingresos Municipales (CRIM) is responsible for the collection of property taxes in Puerto Rico. Paying taxes on a property does not necessarily equate to legal ownership, especially if the property is not registered in your name. Your situation, where the land is still registered to your grandfather, requires addressing the registration issue to clarify ownership.

To renounce your inheritance rights to the property, including not having it pass to your children, legal action needs to be taken. This typically involves going through the court system or making arrangements through legal agreements to transfer or renounce your rights. Given the complexities of property law and inheritance in Puerto Rico, including the specific issue of a property not registered in the name of the current tax payers, consulting with a legal professional experienced in Puerto Rican property and inheritance law is crucial. They can guide you through the process, including how to properly renounce the property to avoid unintended consequences for future generations.

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