After a person dies, the inheritance may be accepted outright or with benefit of inventory. On the other hand, any of his heirs may renounce or repudiate the inheritance. Repudiation, like acceptance, is an entirely voluntary and free act. Repudiation may not be made partially, in instalments or conditionally.
Who benefits from the repudiation of inheritance?
Under the previous Civil Code, i.e. prior to November 2020, the share of the person who repudiated the inheritance accrued to the co-heirs.
However, under the new Civil Code of 2020, descendants (i.e. children) are now entitled to inherit in the place and to the degree of their ascendant (i.e. their parent) and to receive the inheritance that would be due to the repudiator.
The essential thing to know which Civil Code applies, the previous one or the one from 2020, is the date of death.
Can a creditor avoid repudiation of inheritance?
Yes, when a person repudiates the inheritance to the detriment of his own creditors, the latter may ask the Court to authorize them to accept it on his behalf. This will allow creditors to receive the assets, if any, that the repudiating debtor would have received, but only to the extent necessary to satisfy their claims. The difference, if any, will go to the other heirs, but not to the repudiator.
Can a repudiation of inheritance be annulled?
Repudiation of inheritance, like acceptance, is irrevocable and can only be challenged if there are defects of consent or an unknown will appears.
How should the repudiation of inheritance be done?
The repudiation of the inheritance must be made in writing or in writing filed with the Court if there is a case already filed. We can do both alternatives even if you are outside Puerto Rico.
What documents are required for a deed of repudiation?
In order to prepare the deed of inheritance repudiation, we must receive the following documents. First, the Death Certificate of the deceased. If you do not have such Act or Certificate, and the death occurred in Puerto Rico, we can obtain it through the link provided. Second, it is necessary to have the Birth Certificate from you, which we can also obtain for an additional fee as long as you were born in Puerto Rico.
If you have already obtained what is called the Declaration of Heirs, you must send us a copy of it. In case the deceased left a Will, we will need a copy of it. For a general explanation of the inheritance process, you can go to our page on Transfer of Inheritance. If you wish to proceed, or have any questions, you can contact us by clicking here.