Declaration of Heirs

What is the Declaration of Heirs?

When a person dies without having given a WillIf you want to be a lawyer, you have to ask the court for a "Declaration of Heirs". This application states, under oath, that to the best of our knowledge there was no Will and that the heirs are those included in accordance with the law. In this way, the inheritance will be "intestate", that is, without a will, in which the heirs inherit in equal parts. 

The order of inheritance in Puerto Rico is as follows: descendants (children), ascendants (parents), surviving spouse, preferred collaterals (siblings and nieces and nephews), ordinary collaterals (aunts, uncles and cousins) and, if there is no one, the government. However, if the person died after the new Civil Code of 2020 came into force, i.e. from 28 November 2020, then the widow or widower will inherit jointly with the children.

What are some of the necessary documents?

The process begins with the attorney obtaining a Negative Will Certification. This document is issued by the Register of Wills and can take several weeks.

Once this certification is obtained, then, for the actual request for the Declaration of Heirs, you must also include the Death Certificate of the deceased and the Birth Certificates of the children. If the deceased was legally married, the Marriage Certificate must be included.

If you have been divorced, a Certified Copy of the divorce decree is required. Alternatively, if the person was divorced in Puerto Rico, a "Certificate of Divorce" can be requested from the Demographic Registry. At Abogado Notario Online we take care of all these documents.

After the court evaluates the application, it issues a Resolution officially declaring who the heirs are .

How long does it take to make a Declaration of Inheritance?

The process normally takes 2 to 6 months, after the above requested documents are obtained.

What to do next?

After submitting the petition for the Declaration of Heirs, it is generally necessary to prepare with the Department of Revenue the Inheritance Estate Form. However, this Form is only necessary if the deceased left any property. For example, if it is a house, flat, building or finca, in which case the lawyer will also need to make the final transfer at the Property Registry. For a fuller summary of what needs to be done, you can also visit our page on Transfer of Inheritance.

Why do I need a lawyer for this procedure?

It is highly recommended that when there is an inheritance, it is advisable to hire a lawyer. Inheritance law is a specialised area. Sometimes, people try to do it on their own, but in such a case, the probability of making mistakes is very high. This then leads to problems with the rest of the case, which in turn means extra time, money and effort to correct them.


At Abogado Notario Online we take care of processing these documents, as long as they are all We can handle all of these documents, as long as they are from Puerto Rico, so that you do not have to leave your home. Because each case is different, you should fill out the form below for an estimate.



ATTENTION: The only way we can evaluate your case is through this form, which takes about 10-15 minutes. It is important that you answer all questions completely in order to make a preliminary examination and prepare an estimate (free of charge) as each case is different. Incomplete forms will not be considered. NOTICE: due to high costs and excessive length, we do not handle cases with pending litigation.


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