Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Extra-judicial settlement of estates

Q: My father died leaving some properties to my mother and three children, including me. How can we divide up his properties? What are the respective shares?

A: You and your fellow heirs can simply ask a lawyer to draw up a deed of extra-judicial settlement of your father's estate. You can then have it notarized, and then have the notice published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three weeks. After you pay the corresponding taxes, you can then present the deed, the notarized affidavit of publication and the official receipts, to the Register of Deeds so that new titles can be issued to your names (assuming of course that your father left real properties).

Your mother gets one-half of the estate as her conjugal share. The remaining half will then be divided among your mother, you and your two other siblings. However, nothing prevents any heir from giving up his share of the inheritance or from choosing and getting a lesser amount. Thus, for example, instead of getting the farm in the province, one of the heirs may choose to get as his inheritance the brand new car.

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