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Puerto Rico Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My uncle in San Juan has passed away with no will. We are his nephews how can we apply for our inheritance?

We are three males US Citizens

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 21, 2022

Your question does not state when your uncle passed away. The answer to your question, depends upon your uncle's decease date, since a different Civil Code applies s of November 28, 2020. When a person dies without a will, the following hierarchy applies.

If your uncle died before...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: A person passed away leaving property. All siblings want to sell except one. What happens in this case?
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jun 21, 2022

Hire a PR lawyer for a Partition Action or whatever they call it in PR. Here on Justia are some good lawyers for real property there.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: A person passed away leaving property. All siblings want to sell except one. What happens in this case?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 21, 2022

I'm assuming that the reluctant heir does not have the money to buy out his/her siblings and/or has not made a reasonable offer to the other siblings. If that's the case, the Puerto Rico Civil Code states that no co-owner should be forced to remain in community; not even in a hereditary... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can you go to the courthouse to request declaration of heirs without legal representation?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 17, 2022

Assuming the declaration of heirs file is at the court house, and assuming that you are an interested party (i. e., an heir, a court-appointed, administrator, or the executor), you can go to the court’s civil secretary, where they’ll let you know whether they have the file, whether it’s at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (“UIDDA”), effective in Puerto Rico? Can it be used to depo someone?

If person lives in PR but case is in Florida can they be deposed?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Apr 29, 2022

Uniform acts such as UIDDA are not self executing. As a rule, a state's legislature must adopt the act by way of local legislation. That being said, depositions from a Florida state civil case can be taken on residents in Puerto Rico. However the deposition must follow the Puerto Rico Rules of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can I still claim an inherited property after 11 years?

My grandmother passed in 2011 leaving me her house in PR. For many years a cousin, who was the care taker of the house lied and claimed the house had been sold. I recently found out the house and my grandmothers belongings are still standing and have merely been abandoned. Can I still claim this... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Apr 13, 2022

So long as the house is still in your grandmother's estate and you have proof of your hereditary claim, you can still claim the property. I'd advise procuring a title study of the property to confirm that it is still in your grandmother's name. Certificates of value and debt must... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My wife's grandmother has died in Puerto Rico no surviving Husband or Children. Six Grand children and house with Mtg.

The Will she left only mentions giving to three of the grand children. What are the rights of the other 3 grand children with regard to the "forced heirs" inheritance laws in PR? Also since the house has a lien of $80,000 mortgage to the bank, how does that impact any sale or... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 7, 2022

Regarding your grandmother's will, upon the death of her children, her grandchildren become her legitimate heirs in their own right by representation of their parents. Thus, by leaving out three of her grandchildren without explicitly disinheriting them pursuant to the permissible causes under... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My uncle passed away in Puerto Rico. He rented a house and likely did not have a will. What legal steps are required?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 30, 2021

I'm sorry for your loss. A few questions that need to be answered, prior to addressing your question.

(1) First thing, depending on when your uncle died will determine the circumstances of succession. A new Puerto Rico Civil Code came into effect as of November 28, 2020.

(2)...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My niece & nephew are now entitle to their mom share of house in PR bc she passed

They were born in New york & refuse to give original birth certificate. Can i obtain their birth certificate & how?. I want to buy home belonging to my parents

their grsnd parents . I can get their mother. My sister bc she was born in PR but not sure about her children.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 9, 2021

Having been born in NY myself, I can state that, the only ways to procure an original birth certificates for someone born there are (a) through the person him/herself, (b) through a parent, or (c) through a third party authorized by the person. I would advise that you contact an attorney who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: If childfren of deceased sibling refuse to sign house in PR to sibling willing to buy can somehing be done?

We are 13 siblings & my sister passed. her children for no reason wont provide death and birth certificate. What can be done as i dont have all info about her death(died in PA) & original is needed for pr court to complete doc for new heirs being her children.

Also, if 10 siblings... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 7, 2021

To whom did the house in Puerto Rico belong? If the house is part of your parents' estate, the answer to both questions is the same. Under the Puerto Rico Civil Code, no co-owner of an estate community can be forced to remain in said community. If a unanimous consent of heirs cannot be reached... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Probate and Social Security for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father past away. No will. 3 heirs.I lived with dad past 13 yrs and I'm on dialysis. Estate in PR.What are my right.

I don't want to sell but my heirs do. My brother owes $40,000 in child support reason for his need to sell my sister really don't care about the house. Plus I'm in process of getting 75% of dad's social security benefits I'm on dialysis for life and I'm in peace living... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 30, 2021

First off, I'm assuming that your father passed away in Puerto Rico. Although you state that he did not grant a Last Will and Testament, this fact should be confirmed through the Office of Notary Inspections ("ODIN", by its Spanish acronym). We must also verify that a Declaration of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: mom died in PR now my brother is ordering me to give him my inheritance portion prior to distribution w/o documentation

I am being ordered to fly from California to NY to sign documents and turn over my portion of the inheritance to him/them. I have asked for documentation repeatedly and he refuses to give me anything not even verbal information about the matter and now he is threatening to abandoned my father, not... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 6, 2021

First off, blackmailing you into resigning your inheritance is illegal. If your siblings have denied you access to documentation pertaining to your mother's estate (assuming that she died in Puerto Rico), you have the right to request said documents through the Puerto Rico Courts, by way if an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can a grandchild claim real estate inheritance if the property has not been claimed by my mother or her siblings?

My grandfather passed away about 25 years ago and the property was never transferred to my mother or her siblings, it remains in his name. If 2 of the 5 remaining children will not voluntarily sign over the property, can I dispute? The house is derelict and unoccupied.

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Feb 6, 2021

Greetings

Yes, a grandchild can claim for his her rightful inheritance.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: I am a legal resident in P Rico. If I die, will the bank in US block my account there or my son can take some $$ asap?

When a puertorican or legal resident in Puerto Rico dies in Puerto Rico, are all US territories, banks in the US, notified or only Puerto Rico and banks in Puerto Rico?

If only banks in Puerto Rico are notified, does that mean my son can use my debit card from an account in a US bank and... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
answered on Aug 25, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. The death of the holder is usually informed to the banks by third parties. There is no system of notificatión in Puerto Rico. Your son will be able to use your card as long as the Bank has not found out of the death. Your best bet is to make a Testament and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: What is the caregiver law that states the person who solely cared for family has a right to compensation from family?

Cared for grandparents for more than 10 years. Was the only one bc grandparents only son (my father) was deceased. My sister and I are the only “family” left. She never involved herself in helping or supporting in their care. I cared for them full time then I had to move in to care 24/7 till... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
answered on Aug 14, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. Care givers benéfits are available but only while the care giving is being given. No benéfits after death.

What you need to do is Probate the Estate and Testament. This wll assure your share of the Inheritance.

If you need additional...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do i find out if my mother had a Will in Puerto Rico

My m9ther passed away in march and im in fl and can not travel (due to Covid)or get a hold of her attorney down there to see if she had a Will. She was with me in Fl when she got sick and passed. I cant get anyone to speak with us until i find this out.

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Jun 1, 2020

An attorney can place a search at the Registry of Wills of Puerto Rico to find out if your mother left a will on the island. It is highly recommended that it is done via an attorney since he/she will know how to go about through that process while making sure to include all the necessary requisites... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: can i find out if my dad owned anything when he passed away?

My father lived in Puerto Rico along with my 3 siblings. I live in New York. He recently passed away and I went to Puerto Rico to see if he had a will I received a notice from the court that there was no will. I know the next step would be to go to court and establish that I am an heir however I... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Jun 1, 2020

You can hire an attorney to do a real estate property search, via a title search study. As well, that same attorney could search within the local banks for any accounts left by your dad. In any case, you would have to do a Declaration of Heirs, via an attorney as well, so that the courts can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My dad passed away; the family would like part of his ashes.

Would like to inter them with his mother's ashes in Colombia (she passed away one month before him). He passed 4/29/2020 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Can we legally force his common law spouse to give up a part of the ashes? I live in Florida.

Thank you, Martha

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 5, 2020

You are asking if someone in Puerto Rico who has your father's ashes can be made to send part of the ashes to Columbia? This is a matter of Puerto Rican law, not Florida law. So you should ask your question in Justia > Ask a Lawyer > Puerto Rico.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandmother in Puerto Rico has passed and I need assistance probating her estate I have her testament

My grandmother was murdered 2 weeks ago I was finally able to bury her yesterday. I have her testament and would like to know what my next steps are. I am here in Puerto Rico now but I live in Atlanta, GA. I need an attorney here who will help me probate this estate, access her accounts and sell my... Read more »

Naomi Jusino
Naomi Jusino
answered on Apr 21, 2020

Dear reader,

For the process you will need to request a certification to grant that the Will was the last one and hasn’t been modified. Before you can divide the estate or goods, you will need to fill some documents with the Treasury Department in Puerto Rico so the can give you the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Hello, My dad passed away 2009, him and my mom did not have a will.I have 1 older sister married no kids,

I am married and have 3children and they are the only grandchildren of my parents. I want

To fix the house and live in it.

Do I have to do anything legally? I was told by my aunts and uncles I could live and fix my dads house.

It has been abondkanded by my mom for the last 11 years.

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
answered on Apr 19, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. Yes you must first complete the Probate process for both of your beloved Parents. This is done by creating an individual Estate for each of your beloved Parents. Once the Court has declared whom the members of each Estate are (Inheritors). Next you will need to... Read more »

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