Families are forever. Until a property needs to be divided among the members, that is.
One of the most common problems Pinoy families go through is transferring a property title among the siblings after a parent, or both parents, die without finalizing the equal distribution of each child’s share. The situation becomes a breeding ground for contempt and conflict among siblings and their respective spouses and families.
- All the children of the deceased parents must enter into an agreement on how to distribute (if they intend to subdivide the property) or dispose (if they intend to simply liquidate the property based on its current market value) the property. This must be done by executing a Deed of Extra-judicial Settlement of the Estate through the assistance of a lawyer.
- The said Deed of Extra-judicial Settlement of Estate must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city and province where the property is located. The announcement must run at least once a week for three consecutive weeks.
- The parties involved must secure an Affidavit and Certification of the Publication in the newspaper and bring these documents to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The parties need to pay the estate tax at the BIR as well.
- The BIR shall facilitate the Certificate for Transfer of Title. This certificate should then be submitted to the Land Registration Authority or in the Registry of Deeds.
Even siblings who are no longer interested in inheriting their share of the property are required to sign the extra-judicial settlement; otherwise, the settlement will not be processed and the land will remain under the name of their deceased parents.
If the children have migrated to foreign countries and have acquired foreign citizenship, they are still qualified to own real properties because they are intestate heirs of the deceased parents. However, there will already be a limit on the land area that they can own, as follows:
- A maximum of 1,000 square meters in urban centers
- A maximum of 10,000 square meters in rural areas.
If the heirs possess dual citizenship (RA 9225), the above restrictions on land area ownership do not apply to them.
The children of deceased siblings have the right to inherit their deceased parent’s share of the property. They must be included in the extra-judicial settlement documents as well.