Philadelphia, PA asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico

Q: Can I switch name of ownership on a house that has taxes still owed?

My dad passed away in 2015 he has a house in PR that me and my mother have been keeping up with and we would like to sell it but we first have to switch it over to our name can we do that while taxes are still unpaid?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Transferring ownership of a property with unpaid taxes can be complicated and may vary depending on the specific laws and regulations of Puerto Rico. However, in general, under federal law, it is possible to transfer ownership of a property even if there are outstanding property taxes owed. That being said, there are some important considerations:

1. Inheritance: If your father passed away in 2015 and you and your mother are the legal heirs, you may need to go through the probate process to transfer the property to your names officially. This process may involve proving your relationship to your father and your right to inherit the property.

2. Outstanding taxes: Although you can transfer ownership with unpaid taxes, the outstanding tax debt will remain attached to the property. This means that the new owners (you and your mother) will become responsible for paying the unpaid taxes.

3. Selling the property: If you plan to sell the property, the unpaid taxes will need to be settled during the closing process. The outstanding tax debt will be deducted from the proceeds of the sale before you receive any money.

4. Tax liens: In some cases, the government may place a tax lien on the property due to the unpaid taxes. A tax lien can complicate the transfer of ownership and the sale of the property, as it must be addressed and resolved before the sale can be completed.

Given the complexities involved in transferring ownership and selling a property with unpaid taxes, it is highly recommended that you consult with a local attorney specializing in real estate law and probate in Puerto Rico. They can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights and obligations, and ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.