Probate is the area of law that regulates the legal actions and proceedings that need to be commenced in order to legally transfer assets to the heirs named in the will or the family members entitled by statute if there is no will. If certain requirements are meet, the estate could file a summary administration petition that takes from 4 to 8 weeks, and in most cases does not require court appearances. To be able to file this short form of administration the deceased has to be dead for at least two years or the estate cannot be worth more than $75,000.00, but your homestead or main residence is not included in the limit amount just described. Therefore, in many cases summary administration provides a quick way to transfer title of the assets, particularly important if the heirs want to sell the property. Estates worth more than $75,000.00, unless the deceased has been dead for more than two years, will have to go through formal administration that requires preparation of an inventory and other documents. This process takes longer, depending on the issues that emerge during administration.
Our law firm also provides legal representation for contested probate matters involving wills contest, elective share, and any other claims that a beneficiary might have. You should at least consult a professional if in doubt of your rights under the law or a will, as a beneficiary of an estate.
If you have real estate assets in Puerto Rico, or if you are a beneficiary of an estate involving assets in said jurisdiction, the proceedings are different, and unless there is disagreement among the legal heirs you don’t have to go through a probate proceeding. A Notary Public from said jurisdiction will prepare the documents necessary to divide the assets among the heirs. If on the contrary, you are a beneficiary to an estate in Puerto Rico, would like to get your portion of the estate, and cannot get cooperation from the remaining beneficiaries you have to seek legal representation to file an action requesting the partition of the estate.