Posts Tagged ‘inheritance’


November 8, 2016 Leave a comment

The first video I posted when I began creating videos, was on the subject of FORCED HEIRS LAW in Puerto Rico.  You may find the video here and I invite you to share it with your friends.

I actually recorded that video as a test.  Once done, I actually liked it so much that I decided to publish it un-edited, except for the intro and the credits.  Now, over 6,400 views later, it is the video most people watch out of my library on YouTube and on the Puerto Rico Legal Blog website.

I recently had that video transcribed and today I share the transcript with you.  While I do recommend that you watch the video, reading the transcript when you have an opportunity will do as well.

Once again, please help me share the video or the transcript with all your friends and acquaintance interested in acquiring or who own real estate property in Puerto Rico.


Santiago F. Lampón


Hello, and welcome to Puerto Rico Legal Video Blog. My name is Santiago Lampón and I am lawyer and notary in Puerto Rico.

In this post, I am going to go over Puerto Rico Forced Heirs Law. “HEIRS” as in H-E-I-R-S.  OK? I sometimes do that my pronunciation it come across the right way.

Under Puerto Rico Heirs Laws its completely different to most of the states throughout the United States and even other countries with the exception of Spain and maybe some others.  I am going to talk to you about Puerto Rico and what I see commonly in my practice when people from the United States and Canada and other countries come to me and say:  “Oh Mr. Lampón, look I have children, my parents, I have been married two or three times, and my wife I have children which I am not the father, and I have children and she is not the mother, these kind of complexities that are the result of living life.”  No judgments, just facts.

What happens with my condo and my second home and my beach houses in Puerto Rico when I pass away?

Well, we have a forced heirs law and I am going draw (please watch video) a little bit what that means.

You have a husband; you have a wife, and under Puerto Rico Forced Heirs Laws first in line will be the children. Number one in the agenda. You cannot exclude your children from your probate, from your estate.

Now, this is going to come as a surprise to many of you watching out there, WHY? Because what I commonly see is that: “well, you know what, I want my wife to have my home or her home or her second home so that, when I pass away or when she passes away, we in fact continue enjoying the house, it’s our beach house, and we come here during the winter so we avoid the cold.”

That’s very nice, that’s all very “cute” I guess or very appropriate for husband and wife, and that may be allowable under some laws Massachusetts, California, whatever: I am not saying that in those states you can specifically do that but, under Puerto Rico law children come first. You have to give something to your children.

The first thing that happens is that whatever you own, it will be automatically–if you are married–it will automatically become a 50% / 50%situation.

If you have a prenup (short for “prenuptial agreement”) issued in the United States, we are going to have to take a look at it. If you have a prenup in Puerto Rico we are going to have to take a look at it, because the mere fact that you have a prenup doesn’t mean it automatically provides what people think about when there is a prenup; but that is the subject for another video.

The thing is that, the first thing that will happen is that there is an automatic division and we will go into probate is that estate of the person.  Your spouse will reserve, will keep 50% of the interest of the property automatically if his or her name appears on the deed. There are other rights that he or she may have, but I am not going to go over those right now; but it is important that he or she may have other rights.

So your children comes first. They are the first to be included. Number one, is inheritance and there are some minimum requirements. It doesn’t mean they have to get it all. They do have to get a majority of it and by the way to get it with them if you have grandchildren you can actually benefit your grandchildren even more than your children.   The important thing is downwards protection, the purpose as seen on the Puerto Rico law, the purpose of the husband and the wife but most importantly of the father and a mother is to provide for the future of the children. Inheritance law in Puerto Rico is created to provide for that future.

Yes there are ways around it, yes there are ways to provide for that future without your property being… “taken away from your spouse” but that has to be looked at as something you have to work on today so that it is organized for the future; and if you don’t have children you know who becomes the number one person in line? Your parents.

Now imagine your surviving spouse in joint ownership of a property in Puerto Rico with your parents. Maybe yes, maybe no. I do not know.  That’s for you to look at but the important thing here is if you are watching this video, and since you are looking at the future and that there may be a problem in the future, the number one recommendation that I can give you is to plan for it today.

The way I recommend that this be done is that you use your estate lawyer, the lawyer that you use to do your estate planning in the US in conjunction with a Puerto Rico lawyer and working asset you can predict the future.

I am sorry to say. I like to be straightforward. One of these days, you, me, anybody is going to pass away. That is inevitable. So why not plan for it?  OK?

That’s it for now. You have watched Puerto Rico legal video blog, and again my name is Santiago Lampón, lawyer and notary in Puerto Rico, and I am here to give you the basics of Puerto Rico in a simple understandable way and I hope I have done that with you. Thank you.


Declaration of Heirs – Time as Your Enemy

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

As a real estate lawyer, I am regularly presented with a scenario that looks somewhat like this:  “My grandmother passed away many years ago.  She had 6 children, one of which was my father who recently passed away.  Of my 5 uncles,  only one is alive.  Some of my deceased uncles had children.  What do I need to do to claim my inheritance?”  Another question could be:  What do the heirs need to do to sell the property?

The simple answer is:  “You are going to sit tight and wait, because we (the lawyers) have to do a lot of work!”

In example above, there are a total of 6 estates which would need to be worked on.  This will normally take time for many reasons.  First, there are a lot of documents to be gathered.  Second, coordinating with a large amount of heirs is usually (not always) difficult.  If the heirs reside outside of Puerto Rico and are not in tight communication, further complications would be present.  As a final note, money normally becomes an issue since more money would need to be disbursed in a shorter period of time.

Time then is an enemy under such circumstances.  Hence, the contrary is also true:  Time is an ally when heirs act promptly.

The situation I described above is easily avoidable.  Indeed I totally understand that heirs need to care for the family; but all considerations aside, they should act promptly to place all estate matters in order.


Santiago F. Lampón
Lawyer and Notary Public


Forced Heirs Law in Puerto Rico – An Introduction

August 13, 2012 2 comments

Dear Subscriber:

I present my latest video, this one on the subject of Puerto Rico Foced Heirs Law, a subject I commonly confront in my practice.  Please remember that I welcome any questions or comments on the subject, and perhaps your question can become the subject of my next video or post.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Wills Not Executed in Puerto Rico

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Subscriber:

Here is a link to my video on wills not executed in Puerto Rico.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Estate Planning, Inheritance Laws and Corporations in Puerto Rico

November 21, 2007 Leave a comment

Dear friend of Lampón & Associates:


I am pleased to announce a seminar we will be delivering at Vieques, on Saturday, December 1, 2007 on estate planning, inheritance laws and corporations in Puerto Rico.  We will deliver this seminar at El Quenepo Restaurant, at El Malecón, where the owners (and our friends), Scott and Kate Cole, will be our hosts for the event.

We will open the doors for the first seminar at 9:30, with the seminar starting promptly at 10:00 am.  This seminar will be delivered in English with Spanish translation. 

The second seminar on the same subject is schedule to begin at 3:00 pm with doors opening at 2:30 pm.  The second seminar will be delivered in Spanish with English translation.

Please call the office at 787-273-6767 and ask for Yamila Cruz or Yojaimy Morales to register or to obtain more information.  Clients of Lampón & Associates may attend free of charge.  The seminar fee will be $35.00 per person.

With kind regards,

Santiago F. Lampón

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