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Puerto Rico Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is my Will/Trust where I reside valid in Puerto Rico or do I need a Puerto Rico Will/Trust for PR property?

All other assets are in and our permanent residence is in FL. The House in Puerto Rico is owned Jointly (JTWRS) with my wife. Per the FL will/revocable trust, my wife will inherit everything but if/when she passes, our three kids will inherit the assets equally, including the PR house. We... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia answered on Mar 21, 2022

Typically, inheritance or probate norms vary depending on where the real estate assets are located. In the case of Puerto Rico, specific inheritance laws are in effect. You need to have a PR-licensed attorney look into your estate, given that we have what is called "forced heirs". The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: I thank you in advance for your time.This is regarding a home in Puerto Rico which my parents left to five siblings.

Outside of issuing an addiction notice , We have been in litigation for the last six years the 4 siblings have incurred legal and court fees that’s been a financial burden! Does PR Law support a civil case to recoup financial loses towards the sibling that refuse the sale of the home.

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

To answer your question, I'd need to know what sort of litigation has been going on between you and your siblings. Upon the passing of parents who may or may not have granted their last will and testament, Puerto Rico Rule of Law provides heirs the chance to arrive at some form of agreement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom passed on 12/11/21 in Massachusetts and married. Dad and Mom own house in PR, are the kids entitled to anything?

My mother and father were legally married at the time of my mother's passing. They own a home in PR but both have children from previous marriages. What are my mother's children entitled to? Can we ask that her husband pay us her half of the home's value if he is unwilling to sell the home?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Mar 17, 2022

Pursuant to Puerto Rico’s Civil Code, all of your late mother’s children have an hereditary interest in her entire estate.

Assuming that your parents did not have a prenup in place during their marriage, their house in Puerto Rico was jointly owned by both under a legal joint community...
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My half brother and I are part owners of a house our father left us but I own majority of the house and I want to sell

If my half brother and I are part owners of a house our father left us but I own majority of the house, can I sell The whole house to my daughter for a very low price? Even if he does not want to sell his part. Can I force the court to agree on selling the house? No one has lived in the house for... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Jan 27, 2022

Several matters need to be addressed through your question. First of all, what you and your brother have are an "pro indiviso" interest in the property, which means that you may only sell your share of the real estate property; but you cannot sell the entire house: not to your daughter;... Read more »

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 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 Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Health Care Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Im currently taking care of my Grandmother 95 and her brother 91. How do I go about becoming their legal guardian in pr

To be able to deal with their insurance, bills and bank I have been asked several times if I have any documents that deemed me responsible legally for them. I'm not sure what the process is to do so and the responsibilities that come with the title of legal guardian.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon answered on Sep 2, 2021

The Puerto Rico Civil Codes has a presumption that every adult is legally capable of managing his/her own affairs. Thus, getting to be designated as a tutor before Puerto Rico courts entails legally incapacitating your grandmother and grand-uncle. Doing so must be achieved in separate cases.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I know if my father's eldest daughter claimed an inheritance left for my father, by his last sibling, in PR?

My father's eldest brother, who was unmarried with no children, passed away in 2016, leaving behind property & bank accounts. My father buried his brother and he and I began the process of Declaration of Inheritance, with a Lawyer in PR, from New York, where we live. My father paid the... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia answered on Aug 15, 2021

I don't know what happened with your dad's attorney, but that kind of situation could be easily researched. First, by making sure that the attorney is still in office, that is, if he has not passed away or perhaps migrated, as happened with a number of colleagues particularly after... 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 answered on Feb 6, 2021

Greetings

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

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed away last year and i cant travel to PR due to being positive for covid. How can I assure it goes to me.

He passed away last year and I cant travel due to being positive for covid. Is it true I was only suppose to have a year to claim the property?

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos answered on Nov 26, 2020

Greetings

You will have to evalaute whether if there's a need to bring to the court any other interested parties and hire legal representation. Now with this pandemic, there are ways to have a videoconference if the court is convinced that there's no need for you to be in person...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My dad passed away 8 yrs ago in P.R. & didn’t have a will. His estate went to probate court. How do i get a copy
Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia answered on Oct 23, 2020

You can obtain a copy via the courts at the same town/city where he lived or had his main real estate property, if any.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do I collect my inheritance when it’s been deposited into court waiting to be collected? I live in the states

My grandmother estate was finally completed and told that Judge put my portion of the inheritance Into court system till I collect. I live in the states and it’s a pandemic so I can’t fly to P.R. to collect inheritance and I do not have money for a lawyer plus I don’t even know how I would... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia answered on Sep 1, 2020

You need to hire an attorney, particularly since you don’t know the intricacies of our court system and you are from out of state. Besides, if you will be getting some moneys then it will be wise to

use a portion of it to pay for legal services. After all, it’s not that straightforward...
Read more »

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 Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Mom passed in 2005, she owned lots of land and buildings. No Inheritance Tax Return was ever filed.

Is there a tax with interest and penalty due. Value of Estate is around $4m. There has been 3 bad lawyers involved and internal as well as external fighting that has now lasted 17yrs from DOD. I am very concerned about potential liabilities. All born in PR, 3 live in USA and 1 still lives in P.R..

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jun 8, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. Very sorry to read that you have had horrible expirience with the prior three Attornys.

An Inheritance Tax Return must be filed as soon as possible. There will be a Tax liability on the value of the Estate plus penalties and ingrest fees. In addition...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Selling a home in Puerto Rico.

My mom passed a away a few months ago. She owned a property in Puerto Rico that I would like to sell. She didn't create a will since I am her only heir. What steps do I need to take to sell the home. I live in Pennsylvania, so it's hard getting information. I do have the escritura, but... Read more »

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia answered on May 7, 2020

Before an heir can sell a property, it is mandatory that the inheritance process has finished. Therefore, the first step is to hire an attorney who you can work with. Currently, there are a number of lawyers working remotely so being in the USA is not a problem. Here is a summary of the steps... 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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