My father lived in Puerto Rico and I found out by accident (on google)that my father died September 2009 and my mother, sister, and me were never notified. My mother was never divorced from my father. My father was heir along with his two sisters (deceased),to his parents' land. Now all the heirs are deceased and I have learned that one of my aunt's signed over her share of the land to her niece prior to her death. My father was allegedly beaten and thrown off his parents land years prior to his death. His non legal step-daughter (my father never married her mother)apparently collected or is collecting his death insurance and someone has filed a claim on his social securtiy death benefits. What legal rights does my mother, my sister and myself have? We reside in New Jersey.
2 Answers from Attorneys
This is difficult to answer as (A) it involves laws in PuertoRico and (B) insufficent facts are presented and no documents have been provided. You might have a case and you might not, depending upon what facts beyond those presented exist, and by what documents actions have been undertaken. For example, was the "step-daughter" actually named as the beneficiary of the insurance policy? If so, she has the right to the proceeds. If she falsely informed the issuer of the policy that she was the only heir (not having been exclusively named) this may be actionable. Similar issues exist as to Deeds that may have been issued over the years, and the relationship to your father of those persons claiming social security death benefits. Of course, if you are only talking about the $250 burial amount, the person or entity paying the funeral bill may be entitled to be reimbursed.
You pose a very complex series of facts. I would recccommend that you set up an appointment with my office so I can review all the documentation and advise you properly