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Puerto Rico Estate Planning Questions & Answers
0 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Mom made a will in 1996 leaving house to children. Mom remarried in 2006. If Mom dies is new spouse an automatic heir?

Om became sole owner of house in 1998 after first husband passed. Concerned about how the New Civil Code applies in this situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How does PR verify or confirm if there are additional heirs entitled to inheritance? is the heir process a civil process

I was raised by my grandparents and potentially found out through ancestry.com that my grandma may have had children from a previous marriage. If she did, they were not born or raised in PR, but neither was I. Do I need to disclose potential/alleged children if I don't have legal confirmation... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

In Puerto Rico, the process of verifying heirs and confirming entitlement to inheritance typically involves a civil procedure overseen by the courts. If you suspect that there may be additional heirs entitled to inheritance, it's important to disclose any information or evidence you have, even... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: If my father has 3 children and leaves his will only to 1. Then states the other 2 don’t get anything. Can they fight?

There’s 3 children but father left the will only to 1. This was approved by a lawyer. Can the other 2 children still fight to claim some of the will?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 4, 2024

In this situation, it's important to understand that the validity of a will and the rights of the children may vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction in question, which, in this case, is Puerto Rico. In general, a person has the right to create a will and leave their assets to whomever... View More

0 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Both, my uncle and his living partner died months apart.

We've discover that there is no official marriage license on file in Puerto Rico. They lived together for over 50 years. Can inheritance be filed for each individually? They had no children and my uncle's partner has no blood relatives left.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Puerto Rico: Inheritance - My father died Summer 2014 and the case is being delayed by 1 heir. Risk to lose inheritance?

One heir has fired her lawyers and then was none responsive for 3 years. Now she is hiring a new lawyer. Can she be held accountable for everything that has to be done again? Ex. Appraisal of the house. Also, am I at risk of losing any part of the inheritance? Ex. Money in bank accounts.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

In a Puerto Rico inheritance case where one heir has been unresponsive and caused delays, it can be challenging, but it does not necessarily mean you will lose your inheritance. The heir who has been unresponsive may face consequences for the delays, especially if it has caused additional expenses... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Father past. Mother alive. There's five siblings. Property in an incorporation. After Mother passes who keeps property?

My parents have a property in Puerto Rico. There's five siblings. Father past away Mother is still alive, who's it belong to? The property is also in an incorporation. One sibling is president in the corporation, my Mother is vise-president and I'm secretary. Should this sibling pass... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 8, 2024

The property will still belong to the corporation. As a rule, when a stockholder dies, his/her shares pass on to his/her heirs, unless an existing stockholders' agreement signed by them state otherwise.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Our parents are deceased and they left us a house. There was 8 of us but one of our brothers passed.

We are all on agreement to sell the house except my deceased bothers’s kids. They never lived in PR, they live in the states. Can we sell the house without their consent? We are definitely giving them my brother’s portion of the sale.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 4, 2024

You cannot sell an hereditary estate when one or more heirs are against the sale. It has to be a unanimous consent; or else, you'll need to go before the Puerto Rico Courts. This would be the legitimate way to anull your nephews' and/or nieces' lack of consent. Living in the states,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed. I soon found out he owed CREM. Am I responsible for paying it?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 28, 2023

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... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My Dad gave his sister authorization in his bank account. The day after my Dad passed my aunt took money from his acct.

All the arrangements had been prepaid by him and my sisters and I paid for the remaining items. After obtaining the Declaration of Heirs, we found out about the money withdrawn by my aunt when the money was not hers. I spoke to the bank and they said she was authorized on the account and had the... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 18, 2023

Except that your aunt had a legitimate reason for taking the money out of the account (for which she'd need to present receipts), your late dad's estate is owner of those moneys until the probate processes are completed. Either by your father having left a will or going through the Puerto... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do I need an attorney to file a Declaration of Heirs in Puerto Rico?
Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Dec 10, 2023

Due to the particularities and legal requirements needed for a Declaration of Heirs in Puerto Rico, an attorney is highly recommended. That way, you can rest assured that the petition is filed correctly before the courts. Any errors could negatively affect the rest of the documents that are... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My parents are married, own a home in Puerto Rico and were told they had to make two individual wills. Is this correct?

My parents were told they have to make two living wills separately even though they are married. We are three children in total, one of which is my mothers child from a previous marriage. Both my parent's name are in the house documentation.

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Sep 5, 2023

A "living will" is an advance directive that expresses one's wishes with respect to end of life medical decisions. My guess is what you meant to write was "last will and testament" or simply "will". It is very uncommon for a married couple to make a joint will... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed away last year (2022) in Puerto Rico. How do I find out if a Will was left and if I was named?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 29, 2023

Assuming that your late father lived and died in Puerto Rico, and having a copy of your father's death certificate, a request can be made to the Office of Notary Inspections ("ODIN", by its Spanish acronym), with whom are filed all the wills subscribed in the Commonwealth of Puerto... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Who is the owner of a Real Estate Property in Puerto Rico after death of one parent? Spouse or Inheritanance?

My father and mother were gifted (via Escritura), a piece of land with a house built on it by them in Isabela, PR by my Paternal Grandmother in 1983. The property was registered but as far as we know from bills from the CRIM and Property Registry they only show my father's name on the... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2023

After November 28, 2020, Puerto Rico rule of law determines that the heirs of an estate are the deceased's spouse and children. Before that date, the estate belongs to the deceased's children with an inheritance lien in favor of your widowed mother (called in Spanish, "la cuota... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My aunt named my father and his cousin as heirs in her will. My dad's cousin passed before my aunt, are her kids heirs?
Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jul 11, 2023

Your question cannot be answered without actually reading the will. Sometimes the will specifies what happens if an heir predeceases the testator. Sometimes it does not.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: When a 'Cambio de Dueños' is filed and there are more than one owners shouldn't the change reflect all parties involved?

The land in question was given to us with documentation; Escrituras, segregated and Registered at the Property Registry through a Notary (lawyer) one of my siblings recently filed for a 'Cambio de Dueño" I noticed on the Global Catastro that when they processed the change, they left the... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 10, 2023

I'm assuming the change in ownership to which you refer is with the Puerto Rico Municipal Income Collections Center ("CRIM", by its Spanish acronym). When more than two owners are involved (i.e., when a community property is filed with CRIM), there are two forms that should be used.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Foreclosure for Puerto Rico on
Q: Are heirs responsible for a parents debt in Puerto Rico?

My father who was a resident of Puerto Rico passed away. He had a house where the mortgage was more than the value of the house. The house is going into foreclosure and will likely not bring much money. Am I responsible for that debt or does the debt stop with the value of the estate?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 6, 2023

The Rule of Law in Puerto Rico for hereditary estates is that the heirs, having accepted their inheritance, subrogate themselves in the deceased place regarding the estate's assets and liabilities. If an estate is more debt than assets, the heirs may repudiate their inheritance. Be advised... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How much should heredity proceedings cost in the absence of a valid will in Puerto Rico?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 9, 2023

You do not provide enough information to answer your question. Several factors that affect the costs are: how many heirs are there? Are they all alive? If any have died, did he/she leave descendants? Are these descendants all alive? Are any heirs minors (underage)? Did the deceased leave bank... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Who can represent me regarding a property inheritance and sale negotiation in Puerto Rico, if I live in NY?

My uncle and father co-own two houses and land in Puerto Rico. My father died several years ago and his lawyer has contacted me requesting my birth certificate to finalize the inheritance. My Uncle also wants to negotiate buying my half of the property. Can I contact a lawyer in Puerto Rico to... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 1, 2023

You can retain the services of an attorney in Puerto Rico, even if you live in New York. You do not state who hired the attorney who requested your birth certificate. Neither do you mention whether you're an only child or whether you have siblings. It seems that your late father did not leave... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Puerto Rico on
Q: Para ley de Puerto Rico ¿Cómo puedo proceder a vender una casa (soy albacea y heredero del testamento) ... vea abajo:

¿Cómo puedo proceder a vender una casa (soy albacea y heredero del testamento) cuando uno de los herederos (total de 6 herederos directos) ha tomado posesión de la casa y se niega a aceptar cualquier venta de la propiedad?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 23, 2023

Primer paso (si ya no lo ha hecho) debe ser solicitar, mediante Petición al Tribunal, que se expida carta testamentaria a su favor como albacea. Para esto, debe otorgar declaración jurada aceptando usted el cargo de albacea. Esta declaración jurada se envía al notario que autorizó el... View More

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