Probate Lawyer Serving San Juan
About Inheritance in Puerto Rico
Inheritance laws in Puerto Rico are different from inheritance laws in the rest of the United States. Puerto Rican inheritance laws protect heirs, and regardless of what is written in your will, certain heirs cannot be excluded from your will. If you unintentionally or intentionally omit any forced heirs, your will may be considered invalid, and your estate may be distributed according to Puerto Rico probate law. Forced heirs have precedence over any type of legal document, descendants, children/grandchildren, or parents of the decedent. If you are concerned about the validity of your will, and wish to discuss inheritance laws, contact our probate attorney in Puerto Rico at the Law Office of Sylvia C. Lugo-Sotomayor as soon as possible.
Puerto Rico Inheritance Law Explained
Puerto Rico inheritance law protects forced heirs, which are certain descendants that are entitled to receive a certain portion of a decedent's assets or properties. For example, children are forced heirs of their parents. Grandchildren would only be considered forced heirs if children are deceased or absent. Unlike a few states in the U.S., widows in Puerto Rico do not automatically receive half of the decedent's estate. A widow may not have the same inheritance rights as in the United States. In the situation where a deceased person did not have a will or any forced heirs, then the entire estate would go to the spouse. If a spouse did not exist, the state would receive the decedent's assets and properties.
Heirs in Puerto Rico may not only inherit assets and property, but the loved one's debt and possible liabilities, as well. If an heir accepts a decedent's inheritance, they are then responsible for their debts and other legal obligations. A lawyer can advise a possible heir if an inheritance is worth the possible obligations, and how an heir may receive extra time to make this decision. They may counsel an heir to claim that they are deliberating inheriting the assets after they have been inventoried, or "A Beneficio de Inventario". This may give an heir a few weeks to decide if accepting the inheritance is worth the possible cost.
How The Law Office of Sylvia C. Lugo Can Assist You
In order to avoid potential chaos during probate, you must make a will that includes all forced heirs. If you do not want them to inherit your debt, or inherit as little debt as possible, you may establish certain types of trusts, as well. If you are a forced heir, and do not know whether an inheritance is worth the obligations, it is ideal to contact a lawyer at our firm. There are time restrictions on accepting or denying an inheritance, so it is imperative to call our San Juan estate planning attorneys as soon as possible.