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How to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines?

transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines

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Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always a difficult challenge. During this emotional period, administrative tasks such as dealing with property titles may seem overwhelming. However, it is essential to undertake these processes as they hold significant legal and financial implications. In this article, we will discuss how to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines.

Understanding the land inheritance laws in the Philippines

The legal framework to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines is comprised of the Civil and Family Code. It lays the groundwork for managing testamentary wishes and distributing the deceased’s assets according to the land inheritance laws in the Philippines. Here are different ways how to transfer land title to heirs in the Philippines:

  • Intestate succession: Occurs when a person dies without a will, leading the deceased’s assets to be distributed to surviving heirs based on their legal relationship.
  • Testate succession: Ensures assets, including the process to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, are distributed according to a valid will, which can be created freely by the deceased (testator), within the bounds of the law.
  • Forced heirship: It ensures that designated heirs, such as children, spouses, and parents, receive a mandatory portion of the estate, regardless of the will’s stipulation.
  • Donations and gifts: The impact of donations and gifts given during the deceased’s lifetime can influence the distribution of the estate and are governed by specific legal guidelines.
  • Probate proceedings: The legal process to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines for asset distribution following a person’s death, involving validation of the will, specification of heirs, and asset distribution according to will or laws of intestate succession.
  • Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate (EJS): Without a will, heirs must sign a notarized EJS to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines that lists the decedent’s estate and outlines the agreed division method among legal heirs.
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Who are the legal heirs of a deceased person in the Philippines?

Compulsory heirs have a legal right to inherit part of a deceased person’s property, called the legitime, in the process to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines. This ensures they get a share of the estate, no matter what the will of the deceased says. Below is an outline of the hierarchy of compulsory heirs according to the Civil Code of the Philippines:

If the decedent is legitimate or recognized by law, the hierarchy to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines is as follows:

  1. Legitimate children and descendants.
  2. Legitimate ascendants.
  3. Illegitimate children.
  4. Surviving spouse.

If the decedent is illegitimate or not recognized by law, the hierarchy to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines is as follows:

  1. Legitimate children and descendants.
  2. Illegitimate children and descendants.
  3. Illegitimate parents.
  4. Surviving spouse.

Who inherits the property after the owner’s death without a will?

When a person dies, the question of who inherits the transfer of property after death without a will in the Philippines often arises. According to the Civil Code of the Philippines, this is determined by a specific order of priority for the inheritance of properties, known as the order of intestate succession. Below is the list of the order of succession to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines:

  1. Legitimate children and descendants: The first in line to inherit the transfer of property after death without a will in the Philippines are the legitimate children and descendants of the deceased person.
  2. Legitimate parents and ascendants: If no legitimate children exist, the inheritance to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines goes to the legitimate parents and ascendants.
  3. Surviving spouse: The surviving spouse comes next in line if there are no parents or legitimate children.
  4. Illegitimate children and descendants: If there are no legitimate children, parents, or surviving spouses, the inheritance passes to the illegitimate children and their descendants.
  5. Surviving siblings and descendants: In the absence of illegitimate children and their descendants, surviving brothers and sisters and their descendants can inherit.
  6. Grandparents: If there are no surviving siblings and their descendants, the grandparents are next to receive the property.
  7. Uncles, aunts, and their descendants: Lastly, if there are no surviving grandparents to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, the inheritance goes to the surviving uncles, aunts, and their descendants.

It is essential to remember that this order of inheritance to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines can change if there are surviving heirs from different lines. For example, if there are no legitimate children but there are surviving parents and illegitimate children, the parents and illegitimate children will share the inheritance equally. However, in cases where there are no surviving legal heirs, the properties will escheat, meaning the property will become the state’s property.

Process of land title transfer to family members after the owner is deceased

Transferring land ownership after the death of a loved one requires navigating a series of steps to ensure a binding process. Here are six steps on how to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines:

Step 1: Application for registration with BIR

The first step involves filling out an application for registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) using form 1904. Every heir must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), even the deceased. When completing the form, adhere to these points:

  • The deceased’s name goes into the taxpayer’s name field.
  • The deceased’s address should match that on their death certificate.
  • If the deceased passed away abroad without an official Philippine residence, fill in the foreign address field.
  • Attach a photocopy of the Certified True Copy of the death certificate.

Step 2: Gathering mandatory documents

Next, compiling all mandatory documents to submit to the BIR is crucial to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines. These documents include:

  • A photocopy of the death certificate, alongside the original copy for verification purposes.
  • Proof of payment including the official receipt, deposit slip, and duly validated return.
  • The Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the estate.
  • An Affidavit of Self Adjudication and a sworn declaration detailing all estate properties.
  • The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate, if applicable.
  • A court order, in instances where the estate has been settled judicially.

Step 3: Completing the estate tax return

Your next step is filling out an estate tax return form (BIR form 1801). Assistance from the Officer of the Day at the BIR is recommended to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, as they will help compute the taxes based on the documents provided.

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Step 4: Estate tax payment

Before you can register the notarized deed, paying the estate tax to the BIR is important. Delaying this step can result in accumulated taxes. Payment options include:

  • The revenue collection officer.
  • An Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) sanctioned by the BIR.
  • The duly authorized Treasurer of the city or municipality in the Revenue District Office where the deceased resided at the time of death.
  • For individuals outside the country unable to represent themselves locally, payments can be made through an AAB under RDO No. 39 South Quezon City.

Step 5: Submitting documents to the BIR

After preparing all documents and proof of payment to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, submit them to the BIR’s Revenue District Office (RDO). You will receive a claim stub with a reference number upon successful submission. Processing typically concludes with issuing a Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), generally within five business days, provided all required documents accompany the tax returns.

Step 6: Transferring the land title

With the CAR in hand, the final step involves the transfer of the land title registration. According to the Land Registration Authority (LRA), the following documents are necessary to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines:

  • Deed of Sale, if the property was sold to a third party.
  • Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate.
  • Owner’s Duplicate Copy of Title.
  • BIR CAR/tax clearance certificate.
  • Certified copy of the tax declaration.
  • Realty tax clearance.
  • Transfer tax receipt/clearance.
  • Affidavit of Publication of Settlement.

Property inheritance tax in the Philippines

Inheritance tax represents a governmental tax to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines or assets are transferred through the will of a deceased individual or by the law of succession. The Philippines government labels inheritance tax as estate tax, which underscores its basis not on the property alone but the overall transmission of the deceased’s estate upon their death to their heir. The nature of estate tax refers to property and all valuable possessions the deceased person owned at the time of their demise. An estate includes physical goods and all of the deceased person’s money.

Who has to pay inheritance tax in the Philippines?

An estate tax return is a mandatory obligation to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, vehicles, stock shares, or any other assets that require clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). This applies especially when the estate’s gross value surpasses the amount of ₱ 200,000 ($3,600). Anyone inheriting an estate must prepare to pay the estate tax to ensure compliance with the Philippines’ tax regulations.

Non-resident inheritance tax in the Philippines

For non-resident heirs, it’s crucial to note that an estate tax return is obligatory to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, and the filing procedures are tailored to the whereabouts of the will’s executor. Specifically, if the executor resides in the Philippines, the return must be lodged with an Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) associated with the Revenue District Office (RDO) where the executor is based. In instances where the deceased did not live in the Philippines and no executor is present within the country, the tax return filing falls under the jurisdiction of RDO No. 39 South Quezon City. 

How is inheritance tax in the Philippines calculated?

Inheritance tax applies to the gross estate of the deceased, including all property forms. The transfer value of the inheritance tax in the Philippines is based on the fair market value at death. For non-residents or non-citizens, only the portion of estate within the country is taxed. Taxable components to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines include property interests, transfers expected from death, life insurance proceeds, and revocable transfers.

Get help to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines

Are you looking to transfer a land title in the Philippines after the owner has passed away? Navigating through the legal intricacies of estate management and land title transfer can be daunting. Our legal team is specialized in handling such sensitive and complex cases. With our deep understanding and experience in Philippine law, we’re equipped to guide you through every step of transferring a land title under these circumstances.

To discover how our legal professionals can support you in transferring a land title after the owner’s demise in the Philippines, go to “Learn more” in the box below or reach out to us directly at [email protected].

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to transfer a land title to family members in the Philippines?

To transfer property title to family members in the Philippines, you must complete a Deed of Absolute Sale or Deed of Donation, submit it for notarization, register it with the Registry of Deeds, pay the necessary taxes and fees, obtain the new land title from the Registry of Deeds and secure a new tax declaration.

What are the Registry of Deeds requirements for transfer of title in the Philippines?

The Registry of Deeds requirements for transfer of title in the Philippines involve the submission of documents such as the Deed of Conveyance, Deed of Absolute Sale, copies of IDs of all signatories, official receipt of notary public used to notarize the Deed of Sale, Certified True Copy of the original land title, tax clearance, latest tax declaration, and clearances from the Home Owners Association (if applicable), birth certificate, certificate of no marriage, marriage certificate.

What if the seller dies before the property transfer in the Philippines?

If the seller dies before the property transfer in the Philippines, the property title remains in the name of the deceased until the heirs complete the legal process of transfer.

Is it possible to sell inherited property in the Philippines?

Yes, it is possible to sell inherited property in the Philippines; however, if you are the sole owner, you can sell it directly, but if other compulsory heirs are involved, their consent is required for the sale.

What are the BIR requirements for a transfer of land title?

The BIR requirements for the transfer of a land title in the Philippines include the payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) or Creditable Withholding Tax (CWT), Documentary Stamp Tax (DST), acquisition of Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) or Tax Clearance (TCL), the buyer and seller’s Tax Identification Number (TIN), a notarized Deed of Sale, Official Receipts of Payment, and other documents like Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT), and clearance from the Homeowner’s Association if applicable.

What is the extra-judicial settlement in the Philippines?

An extrajudicial settlement is partitioning and distributing a deceased person’s estate by the heirs without undergoing court proceedings to transfer land title if the owner is deceased in the Philippines, provided there is mutual agreement among the involved parties.

How to transfer land title in the Philippines?

To transfer a land title in the Philippines involves preparing all required documents, submitting these for tax computation, paying the property transfer taxes, obtaining the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), submitting the CAR to the Treasurer’s Office, registering the documents at the Registry of Deeds, and finally obtaining the New Tax Declaration Certificate from the Assessor’s Office.

Your guide to buying property in the Philippines

Written by Therese Angeles

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