Dominican Inheritance Law

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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This is a question for Dr Guzman, or anyone else who knows the answers!!!

I am British, married to a Dominican. He has 3 children by two different women. The first two are 18 and 16 and have not seen their mother for 15 years. The third is 13 and lives in Spain with his mother and stepfather. The eldest two have lived with us for the past 6 years. I tried to adopt them for 2 years, but due to the ineffciencies of Conani failed before the eldest turned 18. And have now given up.

We own property and a business here in the Dominican republic. If my husband dies before me, I understand that the children will also inherit. My questions are as follows:

1. How much do they inherit - me 50% and them the other 50% divided between them? Or 25% each and me 25%.

2. It was actually my money which bought the various properties and the business. I assume that makes no difference.

3. Some are in his name, some mine and some joint. Do the children inherit everything or just those in his name and 50% of those in joint names? If everything is put in my name do they then not inherit anything?

4. I assume it is no point in him making a will? He has one leaving everything to me - but no doubt it would be overruled by the law of the land?

5. Could their mothers get involved even if they are over 18?

6. Could they sign a paper now, to say that they waive their right to inheritance if their father dies first (I have a will saying he inherits from me, so if I pop my clogs first then he gets everything anyway and I have no kids, Dominican or any other nationality!). We could get them to sign something saying they waive their rights to inheritance on his death but will get everything when I die later????

The two boys who are here know I would look after them, I tried to adopt them, but I am not sure about their mother coming after me nor the mother of the third child in Spain. I just hate the idea of having to cope with his death and then being thrown out of my house, and losing my business here.

Help!!!!!

Thanks

Matilda
 

SamanaJon

New member
Jun 20, 2007
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Concerned...??? For a good reason...

Matilda: I see your authentic concern on this matter. You have some very good questions for Guzman. I am interested to see what he will reply. My advice to you is, "Don't let your ESPOSO die anytime soon!!" As suggested earlier, there may be something valid in a legal Divorce and just live with him. Why do we weave these tangled webs? Have a Happy New Year. Smile a lot!!! It could be worse, you know..;)
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Matty: It's very easy

Everything you two have acquired (or brought to the marriage,)since you have been married is divided 50-50: 50% to you and 50 amongst the kids....where ever and whoever they are.
Like I said before, your hubby can give away up to 25% of his estate...according to Dr. Guzman...

HB

I do believe that there are some exemptions like land....
 

PICHARDO

One Dominican at a time, please!
May 15, 2003
12,302
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Santiago de Los 30 Caballeros
The legal system of the DR has what's called "Patria Potestad" which revolves around the issues of children, their legitimacy and rights.

For any child to claim rights given by such laws in the DR, they must first prove to the court their legitimacy regarding their parents.
After that you have that the DR Law regarding the inheritance rights that those children are guarantee by such laws.

The inheritance is divided by the surviving members first that it was a 50/50 husband -wife split. Being that one of them is dead now; the remaining 50% of the deceased will be the initial inheritance of the children that are legitimate to the deceased parent. Even when one or more of the children were born out of wedlock but their legitimate status proven in court, then shall that court proceed to cover their rights as such.
Now... From the 50% of the split of the wealth of the parents, the surviving children will get that amount split equally among them regardless of age or gender. Even Steven...

That puts a stop to the surviving parent of depriving the surviving children from taking the money and property and going to the casino...

Those cases are seldom heard of since most families are just always together and any step children are always provided assurance by the surviving parent of their inheritance.

Let me put it like this: It's of no matter to the court who had the money before the surviving parents got together, but it does what was under their sole names. If any property was under both, then that property is taken into the split to the surviving children. What you don't want split to other kids from your extended family, keep it solely under your name and not both. In that case only "your" direct surviving children will have inheritance from that pool.

Again, since most families in the DR with step children get along like family that's irrelevant most of the time. As most would just recognize all children equally theirs and hence worth inheriting...
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
5,485
312
63
Matty: It's very easy

Everything you two have acquired (or brought to the marriage,)since you have been married is divided 50-50: 50% to you and 50 amongst the kids....where ever and whoever they are.
Like I said before, your hubby can give away up to 25% of his estate...according to Dr. Guzman...

HB

I do believe that there are some exemptions like land....

Thanks Hillbilly.

So if I get this right, the fact that the main amount of cash is the house and the business, and they were bought before the marriage, if I have those in my name only rather than joint, then they just get to share the remaining pieces of land we have, which were bought after the marriage. And if my husband wills me 25%, then I just have to give them half of them less 25%, so in fact I only have to give them 25% of the land which was purchased after we got married???

And, according to Pichardo, it looks like as long as I 'look after' them I don't actually have to give them the cash straight away?

Matilda
 

Fabio J. Guzman

DR1 Expert
Jan 1, 2002
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www.drlawyer.com
1. How much do they inherit - me 50% and them the other 50% divided between them? Or 25% each and me 25%.

Assuming that you are married under community property rules, 50% of community property belongs to you. Upon the death of a spouse, his 50% and any non-community property he may have, will be inherited by his children in equal shares. The wife is not considered an heir of her 50%. It belongs to her from the time it was acquired during marriage. This is important because of inheritance taxes. The children must pay inheritance taxes on what they receive (if they reside abroad, a 50% surcharge on taxes due applies). The wife doesn’t.

2. It was actually my money which bought the various properties and the business. I assume that makes no difference.

It may, under certain circumstances too complicated to post here. Do you work independently from your husband? Were the funds the product of the sale of your separate property? Consult an attorney.

3. Some are in his name, some mine and some joint. Do the children inherit everything or just those in his name and 50% of those in joint names? If everything is put in my name do they then not inherit anything?

It does not matter in whose name the property was recorded. If it was acquired during marriage, it is community property and the children of the deceased spouse have the right to 50%.

4. I assume it is no point in him making a will? He has one leaving everything to me - but no doubt it would be overruled by the law of the land?

Incorrect. Because of forced heirship rules, you will not be able to get the whole estate as in the U.S., but your husband may leave up to 25% of his share to you.

5. Could their mothers get involved even if they are over 18?

No, assuming there is nothing pending from old divorces.

6. Could they sign a paper now, to say that they waive their right to inheritance if their father dies first (I have a will saying he inherits from me, so if I pop my clogs first then he gets everything anyway and I have no kids, Dominican or any other nationality!). We could get them to sign something saying they waive their rights to inheritance on his death but will get everything when I die later????

Under Dominican law all agreements or contracts regarding a future inheritance are null and void (Art. 1130 of the Civil Code).

I urge you and your husband to consult with an attorney specialized in estate planning. If you have properties in the U.S. and the D.R., attorneys from both countries should be involved.
 
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Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Thank you so much. A fabulous reply which has answered all my questions and if you didn't have so many yellow boxes I'd give you a tick!!!!

Thanks again

Matilda
 

malikp

New member
Aug 30, 2008
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so wait even if my dad leaves a will i still get a piece of everything?:surprised
 

granca

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Aug 20, 2007
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Just one point I would like to clear up please. Is it possible to put into the will that the children cannot touch any inherited money until they are 21 or 18 except at the discretion of the remaining spouse?
 

Fabio J. Guzman

DR1 Expert
Jan 1, 2002
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Majority in the DR is 18. In case of inheritance, an heir under 18 cannot sell, etc. unless authorized by the surviving parent and what's called a "Consejo de Familia" (Family Council).
 

exel

New member
Aug 10, 2009
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Here is my situation, I need advice.

My name is Kevin. I'm 21 and my sister 18.

My father owned 2-3 apartments in Dominican Republic. He also owned 2 homes here in the U.S. My parents divorced early in 1997 and right before his death, he decided to remove his name from all the things he owned here in the US prior to the divorece to avoid 50% of anything to going to my mother. He passed away August of 1997. One of the US houses he put under my cousins name and after his death, she moved in, lived there for about 8 years and then sold the property. I know all this because it so happened to be the house next door to my home. We were not entitled to anything even though everyone in the family including my cousin knew he never "gave" her the house, he was not planning on dying anytime soon and thus she ended up with it.

The 2 or 3 apartments in DR are currently under the control of my uncle. Since my father's death, his children (my cousins) have been tenants in those apartments. My sister and I have NEVER received any compensation from those apartments.

I spoke to my uncle 3 years ago, when I turned 18. He agreed to handing in the apartments to my sister and I since we are the rightful owners. However, when I went to visit him to get ownership transfer process started, he said we could not do it because my sister was not 18.

Now my sister is 18 and I am 21, when we called him he asked that we go with an attorney in order to do things "the right way".

I am afraid that if he passes away, my sister and I will never be entitled to anything with all the time that has passed since my fathers death. Are we still entitled to those apartments, and if so will it still be possible to claim anything from any of the above information?

My father owned many homes, was basically the financial fidicuiary/financial loaner for a casino in DR, and my family has managed to conceal everything from my sister and I, and tell us that he left nothing when he died. The only inheritance received was an UCE college ring, and a neckalce charm he used to own.

I find it unjust, immoral, and I would like to know if I have any hope in recovering anything.

Thank you,
 

Elelyon1957

New member
Feb 13, 2010
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I have a couple of questions to Dr. Guzman or anyone else concerning Dominican Inheritance Law. When my father past, he left stock bonds in the U.S.A. and a couple of bank accounts in D.R., along with a house. My step-mother, who is also my legal adopted mother, changed the stock bonds from my father's name to hers; cleaned out the 2 bank acounts in D.R.; and is trying to force the sale of the house in D.R.; under D.R. laws I was entitled to half of the stock bonds and the cash in the bank accounts, I did not see a dime. In fact, I just found a letter from the stock company bond instructing that in order to change the stock bonds to her name and forego arbitration, she needed to provide a notarized letter SIGNED by ALL HEIRS, I was never informed. In fact, I found 2 letters between my step-mother and a cousin, stating "not to mention" anything to me regarding the bank accounts. I used to live in the U.S.A. but now live in my father's house in D.R., what legal steps can I take against my step-mother
 

bachata

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2007
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yup, he will need a lawyer a police coronel and a couple of tigueres.

JJ
 

AndyGriffith

New member
Mar 11, 2010
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I guess I need to be the only one on here that points out the obvious:

EVERY TIME......Government gets involved in the private affairs of the individual and their property.....

It results in the fine mess that you are reading here on this board.

Inheritance matters of all types should be left solely to the beneficial owner of said property at the time of death through a proper last will testament.

End of story.
 

Trainman33

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2009
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I will be receiving bond dividend checks from an inheritance for the rest of my life, I am wondering how DR law could affect these. USA taxes including income will be already paid on the money when I get it.
 

AndyGriffith

New member
Mar 11, 2010
326
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Does DR have a tax information sharing agreement with the United States? I don't believe so. Is this bond interest received from debt obligations originating in DR?