Eatontown, NJ asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico

Q: What are Ist step to file with the probate court for an estate.

Person died in Puerto Rico 2022, property in Puerto Rico. Will written 1987 in NY not registered in puerto rico. What is the 1st document to be file, I'm told its call a complaint affidavit. This don't sound right. Could someone confirm

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

A: Actually, the first document that you require would be the deceased's death certificate. A will subscribed outside Puerto Rico may or may not comply with Puerto Rico rule of law, and it may be simpler to just file a Petition for a Declaration of Heirs from the Puerto Rico courts, given the existence of real estate property in Puerto Rico.

With the death certificate, a request may be made to the Office of Notary Inspections, asking them to certify whether, in effect, left no will in Puerto Rico.

If the deceased left children, their birth certificates will be required. If the deceased was married, a marriage certificate is also required. If no children nor spouse exists, the deceased's parents would inherit, were they alive. Otherwise, the deceased's siblings will inherit.

The petition should be filed by an interested party, as defined by hte Puerto Rico rule of law: meaning, an heir, parent, spouse, or sibling.

Once the court issues its Declaration of Heirs Resolution, an inventory of the deceased's estate must be prepared, including certification of any outstanding taxes and certified bank balances, and an estate tax return form must be filed with the Puerto Rico Treasury ("Hacienda"). Once Hacienda issues a tax waiver (assuming no taxes are owed), a copy of the waiver and of the court resolution would be filed with the property registry, to notify transfer of ownership title. Finally, a request should be submitted to the Center for Municipal Income Collection ("CRIM", by its Spanish acronym), which is the government arm that addresses property taxes, to notify of the real estate's new owner(s)

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