My brother and I inherited a piece of land from our parents. We want to have a separate title for our share. How will we go about it?
First of all, you and your brother should settle the estate left by your parents. If they left a last will and testament, you and your brother must file a petition for the settlement of the estate of your parents before the Regional Trial Court of the province where they resided at the time of their death, or if they resided in a foreign country prior to their demise, the petition must be filed before the Regional Trial Court of the province where their estate may be found (Section 1, Rule 73, Revised Rules of Court). In this connection, you and your brother must present the last will and testament before the court for its proper probate and allowance. If the court finds everything in order, it shall command that the distribution of the estate be made in accordance with your parents’ will.
On the other hand, if your parents did not leave a last will and testament, if they do not have outstanding debts up to the time of their demise, and you and your brother are of legal age, or if one or both of you be minor, you and/or your brother are represented by a judicial or legal representative, you should settle your parents’ estate through extrajudicial settlement. (Section 1, Rule 74, id) Such may be done by means of a public instrument filed in the office of the Register of Deeds. The fact of the extrajudicial settlement must be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three consecutive weeks. (id)
Accordingly, you and your brother should discuss the division of the land left by your parents as this should reflect in the public instrument the two of you will execute. If you and your brother should disagree as to the division of the estate, the two of you must settle the same through an ordinary action of partition. Please be advised that there is a two-year lien under this process so as to give protection to those who have monetary claims against your parents.
Once a final order has been issued relative to the settlement of the estate of your parents, the certified copies thereof must be recorded in the Registry of Deeds of the province where the property is situated so that the proper transfer of title under your names may ensue.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilAatimes.net