Dominican inheritance rights

Good day: I was told by  a gentleman,  if you are an expat, and you own property in DR and you pass away while not being a resident in the Dominican Republic,  the attorney that did the closing on your home, is entitled to 50 percent of your property even before your family or loved ones  that you left your the property too. Is there any truth to this?

Good day all I have purchased a home in the Dominican Republic between Sosua and Cabarete.  I have put house in New Jersey up for sale and need a reasonable moving company to ship my furniture to my new house. Does anyone  have any suggestions on a moving company close to Somerset, New Jersey and very expensive?

That is not true at all  Tony. 

Do you have residencia or are you going to apply for it?   Without residencia your tax bills on import will be huge.  There is another thread about shipping etc,  go read that - its full of great information!

First I have never heard of an attorney getting 50% of your estate (house) if you are not a resident.  Residency is not required to purchase a house.  However if you plan on living here full time or nearly full time a residency is a good idea.

As to shippers you might want to contact Rosa del Monte (we used them years ago with very good results). Here is their New York number 718-991-3300

Good luck

Bob K

Thanks so much for your quick response

Thanks so much Bob

I want to apply for residency however I have had twenty different people giving me advice as
I'm sure everyone has encountered at one time or another being an expat. I'm still not really sure, should I hire an attorney which I heard varies in price or try to do it myself?

Yes much easier with an attorney.  Especially if your Spanish is not excellent.  Costs are about $1000 on top of he cost of the actual application and fees.
If you want I have some one in Santiago who we use as well as most of our friends and all of our clients.  Let me know. Also Planner has someone in Santo Domingo who is also excellent.

Bob K

Absolutely  hire a lawyer.  It can be done by yourself but it is much much easier with an attorney.   Bob is right, I have someone in Santo Domingo - which is where you have to go to file residencia.  YOu need to get a pile of paperwork from home.

Wilson Rood wilsonrood[at]  is the guy I use and trust.   He goes by Billy.....

Thanks again for all your help

Our attorney is:
Dolly Cabrera
809-307-3337 cell

Since you are in Sosua she is easy to get to in Santiago. She will meet you there get all the paper work together and then dive you to Santo Domingo and hold your had through the entire process.

Very easy, and almost pleasant experience.

Bob K

if you want a closer attorney my daughter is an attorney in Puerto Plata. Jayme Minor 809-303-2428 and she speaks English and Espanol. She is very reasonable on fees

Hello I need help

In what aspect do you need help, Ektor?  Give us some details please?

Welcome to the forums. How can we help you?

I never heard something like that, ane thing for sure having the property will be more easy for you to get the residency, and about shipping from USA check with Dominicans wich one give best service on moving, but my sugestion is better buy everything here, will be less stressfull than dealing with Custom here as you are not Dominican or resident yet.

Welcome to my country.

Riva the other question was answered in full a long time ago.  Someone just responded on an old thread....

As I understand the inheritance law here in this country:
The owner or one of the owners passes away, their share goes to their children equally, (not the co-owner or spouse) and if there are no children, then the parents, no parents, then the siblings, no siblingsneices and nephews and so on down the line.  No family the Government gets the deceased person's share.  Now as with everything in the DR, it depends.  If you have a will, a good lawyer ($$$), lots of time, the deceased persons share could go to the person named on the will (subject to 3% property tax payment on the deceased person's share).  My suggestion is to have a will that designates the heir and a power of attorney that gives the heir the power to do whatever is necessary on the deceased person's behalf.   The power of attorney will save you tons of time and money in legal fees and other fees related to the acquisition.  This is as airtight as it gets here.  I am not a lawyer but work closely with Dominican law and understand it fairly well.

And on that note: your other will may or may not be valid here.  And to prove its validity is an expensive proposition. 

Simple solution have a will here that follows Dominican law. 

I am in process of updating mine!  Anyone wishing to be adopted?

DominicanadaMike, you are correct.
My father in-law died without a will and his 9 kids were going to get equal shares of all the properties he owned. My mother in-law was only getting half the money in their joint savings account, with the other half being split by the children .
They all signed individual deeds giving their share of money and property to their mother. Of course, one son was a hold out for a couple of days until the other used the art of persuasion. (Money can make people do the unthinkable, even to their own family).

Yes Legs, it can be horrifying.  Planner, you are correct, but to add to that, I have gone through and completed the process using a will from out of the country and was successful in getting the property completely transferred to the surviving spouse.  However, this case took 5 years and if it wasn't for me (in this case) it never would have happened because you need to be in the country or have someone dedicated to carrying out the process for you!  Can be impossible or at the very least cost prohibitive for people just buying vacation property and living outside of the country.

If you have a lower priced property and you are in this position it might be best to do nothing.  Just pass the keys to your loved one when you pass.  Just be aware that legally, you must file the death certificate and request for a new title within 6 months f the passing.  If not, you will also pay a penalty and interest to DGII on top of the transfer tax, legal expenses etc.

It can get damn complicated.  So it's simple: get a will!!!

...and a power of attorney.  This is the part everyone overlooks.  A will only tells the court system what your wishes are.  The power gives the authority to execute them.  This can be given to your spouse, a trusted person or attorney.  If you are not living in the country this is a critical piece.  Also, these are Dominican wills and powers we are talking about, in spanish, notarized etc.

Of course. Also a good idea to do a medical directive!

Well Planner....that is a whole other issue and story.  Probably most expats wouldn't want to hear.

So true!  So let's leave it for another.....year!   :D

planner :

It can get damn complicated.  So it's simple: get a will!!!

Exactly, in spanish we called Testamento.


So glad to find this thread. Our realtor gave us this "happy" inheritance update during our most recent trip back. I love my step kids, but I helped paid for our condo and have no intention of losing my share should my husband pass before I do. We will be drawing up a Dominican will.

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