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Puerto Rico Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I find land abandoned by my grandmother ?

My great grandfather was a famous architect who gave 13 acres to my grandfather who placed this land into my grandmothers name in which she abandoned after a family tragedy struck where her son (my uncle) murdered her husband my grandfather, she then moved to hoconuco alto and remained there until... View More

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

You should start with the names of your great grandfather, the architect, your grandfather, and your grandmother, in two fronts: through the CRIM's digital cadaster, searching by their names. If you find the cadaster #, then proceed to the Property Registry. An agent ("gestor", in... 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

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My living foster mom in PR wants to leave her house to me, she does have one living son but he has no interest in it.

What are the steps to take? Thank you

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 2, 2024

Your step-mom can donate the house to you by way of a deed. However, although you express that her one living son has no interest, in the event of your step-mom's passing, the value of all donations made during the final 10 years of her life will be brought back to her estate, and you may find... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Parents dead, no will. Grandson lived in house until death Dec 2023. 4 chidren 2 dead. Where do we go 4 help on this

House in Bayamon Puerto Rico. How do we claim house

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 2, 2024

In the absence of a will, the alternative is to go before the Court of First Instance of Bayamon to petition a declaration of heirs for each dead parent. In the case of the 2 dead children, their offsprings would inherit in their deceased parent's stead. After obtaining the declaration of... View More

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 Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is the law different in Puerto Rico on leaving a 16 yr child home alone after school while I’m at work

He is a mature teenager

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

The laws regarding leaving a 16-year-old child home alone after school can vary by jurisdiction, and Puerto Rico may have its own specific regulations or guidelines. It's important to check with local authorities or consult an attorney in Puerto Rico who is knowledgeable about family and child... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: Posibilidad de rescindir contrato de arrendamiento con promesa de venta, medie justa causa o no, en Puerto Rico.

Mi mamá hizo un contrato de arrendamiento con promesa de venta a una inquilina, pero mi mamá fue desalojada de un hogar que alquilaba. Por esto, necesita recobrar su propiedad para vivirla. Ella consiguió una casa de emergencia, bajo contrato 'house sitter', pero por 5 meses, y la... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 25, 2024

La cláusula de reembolso por mejora surge del Artículo 298 del Código Civil de Puerto Rico de 1930, ahora Artículo 763 del Código Civil de Puerto Rico de 2020. Por lo que usted indicó en su texto anterior, su mamá jamás autorizó la mejora permanente. Esto no es lo mismo a que ella... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: What is just cause to terminate a contract of promise to sell a property?

My mother, in Puerto Rico, was evicted from a house she rented, and she promised her property to a tenant with a promise of sale, but my mother, 83 years old, needs it to live in. Can her eviction and her age be just cause for not selling the property and recovering it? Additionally, the tenant... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 25, 2024

In principle, destructing parts of a leased real estate property, especially if the rental contract has a clause against it, may be grounds for cancelling a lease and evicting the tenant. Your question does not state whether the tenant is the person with whom your mother signed the contract promise... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom owns a home in puerto rico damaged by Hurricane Maria. She wants to transfer deed to me. How and where do I start

I was recently at the house to clean. Lots of damage from the water throughout the inside of the house. She wants to put the house in my name...she still has a small balance on thd house to the bank

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Jan 15, 2024

If your mother wants to transfer her house to you, she must sign a "donation" deed via an attorney, which both parties must sign. If one or the two of you cannot be present for the signing, then a Power of Attorney could be prepared. As part of the requirements for a donation, the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom owns a home in puerto rico damaged by Hurricane Maria. She wants to transfer deed to me. How and where do I start

I was recently at the house to clean. Lots of damage from the water throughout the inside of the house. She wants to put the house in my name...she still has a small balance on thd house to the bank

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 15, 2024

Regardless of the physical state of the real estate property, I would start by recommending that your mother request a cancellation balance certification from the bank, as of the end of February 2024, to identify how small is the balance. Also, I would recommend procuring a registry certification... View More

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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 Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: For a property in PR, which amount is subject to taxation for a resident of the US who inherited it when sold?

Ex. - Juan's mother dies in 2020. Juan inherits this property at this time. He is going to sell it in 2023 for 200K. Is 200K the taxable amount, or is the taxable amount a percentage of the appreciating value between 2020-2023? (Step up basis)

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 25, 2023

When Juan inherited the property in Puerto Rico in 2020, the basis of the property for tax purposes would typically be the fair market value at the time of inheritance. This is known as a "step-up" in basis. When he sells the property in 2023 for $200K, the taxable amount would generally... 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 Real Estate Law and Contracts for Puerto Rico on
Q: A Florida company bought the property management company managing my property located in PR. Where can I file suit?

Property is in Puerto Rico, transactions occurred online and they kept the money paid to them by my guests. Not all but some.

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

Your question does not state your cause of action for suing. Given that the company is in Florida, I'm assuming that they have no presence in Puerto Rico. In that scenario, diversity of (state) citizenship stipulates that you'd need to file the lawsuit in the Federal Court for the... 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

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: In Puerto Rico can my social security check can be garnished to pay a month of rent if that’s my only income?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Nov 27, 2023

In order to garnish your Social Security benefits, your landlord must first obtain a judgment against you in court. Once the landlord has a judgment, they can then file a garnishment order with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will then withhold a portion of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Municipal Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: We have several problems here involving renouncing inheritance, segregation, and property tax status.

How do you renounce inheritance in Puerto Rico and find out property tax status (have the taxes been paid)? Also, if we renounce inheritance, can we shift the property to a relative who lives there? We live in the United States.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 19, 2023

To renounce an inheritance in Puerto Rico, you must formally declare your intention to do so within a specific timeframe, usually within nine months of the decedent's death. This declaration is made before a notary in Puerto Rico. It's a definitive decision, meaning once you renounce, you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can a doctor not accept insurance plans they are contracted to accept?

A MRI clinic in San Juan, Puerto Rico say they don’t accept my insurance plan. In speaking with my provider they tell me they are under contract and are obligated to do so.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 18, 2023

An attorney practicing in Puerto Rico could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. Provide the billing department of the MRI center with the name and contact information for the insurance carrier representative you spoke with and ask them to contact the carrier (unless... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandparents passed away over 20 ago and in their will they stated that the home would belong to one of my uncles

And the property would be split among all the siblings. The only surviving child is my father. Would like to know who is now the rightful owner of the house and property. The property is currently vacant and looking to sell it. This property is in Puerto Rico

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 2, 2023

You need to verify the real estate property's status in the Puerto Rico Property Registry: were your grandparents' wills filed to transfer ownership to their children (your father, aunts, and uncles)? Assuming that the transfer was completed, an adjudication deed would've need to be... View More

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