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Puerto Rico Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: my father has the beginning of dementia, his wife did a will on his behalf having him sign it making her the sole heir.

My father has 4 children, can we attest those documents. Can we hire a lawyer to get those document, the deed to the property/land and marriage certificate in order to mandate the correct heir to the house?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 13, 2019

It sounds like you want to contest the will in advance, before your father passes. That is very uncommon, the reason being that technically a will is not effective until death and can be changed any time up until then as long as the testator has capacity.

What you CAN do is hire an...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Are all living children responsible for inherited property taxes even if some have given up their claim?

There are 5 living children who inherited land from deceased parents. 4 of the kids are giving up their share. Are all the kids still responsible for the payment of property taxes whether or not the property is sold, or if the government takes control of the property and demolishes the house on... Read more »

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on May 16, 2019

If they haven´t actually received the inheritance yet, they should resign it by subscribing a deed through an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandmother died in 1991 in Puerto Rico. I had a title search done and they could not find her title.

How can I get a title established? I have a CRIM pin # and account # for her house. I also have

I also have the Departamento De La Vivienda Administración De Vivienda Rural certification.

Thank you,

Nancy Santiago

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Apr 9, 2019

Hello and thank you for using Justia. This sounds very odd that CRIM would have the property accessed without the property being registered. You will need to search all records of past owners of said property to find out what went wrong with your Grandmother's registry of property.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: my father passed away 5 years ago. mom wants to sell the house but she has 9 kids. one son is dead and we can't find his

son. does mom really need to have copies of all the birth certificates plus the birth certificate of her dead son's son. Since mom cannot find her grandson can she still sell the house?

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Dec 8, 2018

Hello and thank you for using JUSTIA. Yes your Mother needs to create your beloved Father's estate. Only your Father's children need to be mentioned in the petition to create the estate so only thier perspective birth certificates are needed. If the deceased son was from your Father then we would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom is in the process of closing my deceased father's bank account in Puerto Rico. I have two sisters that

live there with my mom. I live in the US. The bank told her they need all four of us to sign for the funds to be paid out to my mom. Since i'm not there, what kind of document do i need to authorize any of my sisters to sign on my behalf? Would a power of attorney suffice?

Naomi Jusino
Naomi Jusino answered on Oct 18, 2018

Dear Reader:

You can sign a power of attorney, but to be valid in Puerto Rico, you will need to send the document in original with a certification of the County Clerk. Once they have the document in Puerto Rico, the will need to attend to a Notary Public so that they can validate it and can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Change the name of the mother deceased to the only surviving daughter?

She is the only daughter alive, never married or has children. Does she need permission from her nephew or nieces to change the name on the deed. Her mother never made a will

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Sep 18, 2018

Good evening and thank you for using JUSTIA. The surviving daughter has to create her beloved mother's estate and file aprobate court proceedure. The court will then issue a decree naming all of the mother's children (dead or alive) members of the estate. The nephews and nieces will then have to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can my brother change the deed of my mom to his name and not notify us of his doing? Do we loose everything?

Mom dead, need to change deed of land to her children names, can a brother change the deed for himself. We all live on US not Puerto Rico

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Sep 10, 2018

No, he can’t.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: What is the procedure when widowed dad passes away and owned a home in P.R. He also had POA's for me & my two siblings

My dad had Power of Attorneys for me and my two siblings when my mom passed away. I contacted his attorney But i feel that he is only working with my sibling whose not relating no information to me. I am considering contracting my own attorney. Also my dad gifted a check in a large amount before... Read more »

Naomi Jusino
Naomi Jusino answered on Sep 6, 2018

Dear Reader,

In Puerto Rico, once a person passes away, the heirs has to inform if the person had a Will. If not, they will need to start the process of Declaration of Heirs so they can take any decision with the estate left.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do you have any right to widow inheritance or fee in Puerto Rico if you are not living with your spouse for 30 years?

My father died in PR. He and my mom were legal married but separated only by common law, ages ago. About 30 plus years. She lived in ny and he travrlled. She did not remarry or have any other kids however he did have one son by another woman he was with for a long time under common law. My mother... Read more »

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Aug 18, 2018

Good evening and thank you for using JUSTIA. In Puerto Rico a marriage can only be ended two ways thatis by death and by divorce. Thus your mom by virtue of civil law is the legal widow and does have inheritance rights of half of your fathers estate since all purchases and net gains during... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father-in law passed & had a Joint bank account with his daughter. 1 other son, how is that divided? No will

The son in not on the bank account.

Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte answered on Jun 11, 2018

Good evening and thank you for using JUSTIA. Since he passed away with no will ( intestado) an estate must be created. This is done by filing a petition in court to name all inheritors. Once the court issues resolution, you mst file an inheritance tax return with the local tax office (Hacienda).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father in law perished during hurricane Maria on the island of culebra. There was No will and there is property

The sister has mental and addiction issues and the brother (my common law husband) is indigent. Can we start the process ourselves wo a probate lawyer ... we have no money to hire one

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Apr 14, 2018

Yes you can. However, given the complexity of inheritance laws, particularly if you don´t live here or you don´t speak Spanish, it is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer, one that perhaps won´t charge you up front. In the long run, you will realize that for the amount of work, details and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom died and 12 days later my father died, both in Puerto Rico. They both received Social Security.

The bank froze their account with $1300 in it. My siblings and I live in US. Is it worth the trouble and $ to go thru probate? That is all they had. No real estate.

Andy Wayne Williamson
Andy Wayne Williamson answered on Nov 1, 2017

You might qualify for administration without probate but can’t say for sure without more info. If you have to hire an attorney the Cody of the attorney would like outweigh the value of the estate. Even if you figure out (on your own) how to do the probate your time is worth something per hour so... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Being my fathers only child, do I have any entitlements if removed from my fathers will and assigned to a non-relative?
Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Aug 12, 2017

In New York, you would have no rights, provided that your father made competent decisions of his own.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: hello I and my older brother and sister received an inheritance. Since I was away for a long time neither sibling will

let me know about the inheritance...what can I do about it

Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Aug 3, 2017

You could first try to see if there was any court case filed either through the judicial system per se or by contacting an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Does a will have to be file? Or does the lawyer that drew the will automatically Files it?
Ramon Olivencia, Esq.
Ramon Olivencia, Esq. answered on Jun 26, 2017

The attorney will automatically file or register it within 24 hours of the signature.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My sister passed away and so did my Mom. My father had a house in P.R. and it is about to be sold by his other children

from another woman. Who becomes my sisters heir if both my Mom and Dad are deceased? and how is share distributed?

Barry Eran Janay
Barry Eran Janay answered on May 22, 2017

Your sister's heirs are her next of kin, that would be her children if she had any, if she didn't it would be her siblings from her nuclear family such as you. Really there is a lot more to this and a full analysis is warranted by an estate and probate attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: I am an only child to a Puerto Rican father.he lives in PR. He has property their. Do I inherit it when he passes?

I live in Florida. And we do not have a close relationship.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jan 5, 2017

It's a question of Puerto Rican inheritance law. You might want to contact an attorney there in PR.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Does one need a signed affidavit from a lawyer to transfer name of ownership on a burial plot when owner has died?

My grandfather bought burial plots for him and my grandmother in the 80's in Puerto Rico. My grandfather passed away 2012 in Puerto Rico. My grandmother passed away two days ago in Puerto Rico. When I went to the cemetery in PR to make arrangements for my grandmother, I was told I need a signed... Read more »

Naomi Jusino
Naomi Jusino answered on Oct 31, 2016

Yes, is true.

In Puerto Rico, when a person passes away, if he/she didn't made a Will, the heirs will need to make a Declaration of Heirs. As the process takes time, the cemetery will require an affidavit establishing who are heirs of the person and that they authorize the use of the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mother passed away leaving no assets but a $20,000 credit card bill.Under PR Law do her children inherit that debt?

Two of her adult children reside in Puerto Rico, and three reside inside the continental United States.

Miraisy Molina-Ruiz
Miraisy Molina-Ruiz answered on Oct 17, 2016

Yes. under PR law, heirs inherit both assets as well as debts. In this case, and with the information provided, I would suggest the heirs to resign their right to inherit. You should consult with an attorney since there are deadlines involved.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Im from Puerto Rico I prepared and notarized my will in New Jersey. Would that be valid in puerto rico?

Im afraid of loosing it. Who can hold the will?

Miraisy Molina-Ruiz
Miraisy Molina-Ruiz answered on Oct 17, 2016

It really doesn't matter where you prepared your will. The important fact is that the will meets the legal criteria needed in Puerto Rico. Have a lawyer have it checked just in case.

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