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Puerto Rico Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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
Rafael Pagan 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
Rafael Pagan 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, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. 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, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. 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, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. 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, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Rights for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father was married to my mother at the time of her death. She had three prior children before married my dad from

Previous marriage. Together the only had one child which is me. My father is try to sell the house in Puerto Rico my mother didn’t not leave a will. Can her other kids receive money from the sell or no

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos answered on Mar 17, 2020

Greetings:

In a simple explanation. When your mother passed away half of the estate passes to you father and the other half is divided between you and your relatives. In a more technical one, the estate gets divided in half first as we first explained and then it will get evaluated an...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How would i sell land inherited via a will, in Puerto Rico when there are legal issues with the title?

My parents own 75% share of land in Rincon, PR. They now live in Virginia, and I live in Arizona. They have 3 separate legal issues with the land where people have built homes on my parents land many years ago. My parents have been paying property tax on the land but the 3 squatters have been... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Feb 1, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia.

You mention squatters and this is a very important matter. If said squatters have lived on that property for more thirty years they can claim rights to said property and thus become the owners. It is urgent that you act now. A very good way to act is to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My dad past away in Puerto Rico. He had joint ownership of their home and bank accounts with my mom. My mom seemed leg

Seeked Legal advice and handed checks over to this lawyer that were in both her name and my dad’s. That was 5 years ago and now the atty is avoiding my mom and has all her accounts frozen. The atty is also avoiding my calls. It is a large amount of money and my mom has not received a dime of... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jan 23, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. You will need to create an Estate for your beloved Father and do a declaration of Inheritors in a Court process. Once the Court has issued the decrece declaring the inheritors , the next step is to file the Estate's Inheritance tax return. This will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Looking for Real estate information on property in Puerto Rico

My mother is the last living sibling and her father has a piece if property in Puerto Rico. My mother only knows the name of the area. How can I find out where it is and include that info in her will that we are trying to draft.

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jan 10, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. You will need to do a Property Registry study to find the location of the property. This can be done by an Attorney at a reasonable fee.

If you need additional information please feel free to contact me directly. Happy New Year...

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed away in PR I am his only surviving son. How can I transfer everything to my name as well as his paymen

My father still owes money to the bank in regards to four more payment but it is under my uncles name. The property had belonged to my deceased grandmother who currently has been set for my dad and uncles. My dad built a house on the property and I will like to know what to do to transfer it to me.

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jan 2, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. Happy New Year.

You will need to create an Estate for your beloved Father. This is done by hiring an Attorney in Puerto Rico to prepare the documents required to declare the inheritors.

First the search for a Testament will be done. If none is...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant, Probate and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: my father has built a house for me to eventually inherit in PR. problem is my mother says her name is in the paperwork

for the land (not house itself) she did not put any monies into purchasing the land or construction. I have never seen any paperwork and want to find out how I can get all the information regarding the house. Does she have any rights over me for the house?. She does not allow me to do any repairs... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jan 1, 2020

Hello and thank you for using Justia. Happy New Year. If your parents we're legally married at the time of purchase of the land and constructión of the house without any prenupcial agreement, then most likely yes your Mother is half owner of the house and property. You Will need to verify the... Read more »

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