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By : Gigi F. Bonquin REB,REA REC



Recently, an old client referred me to her friend who needed help for her inherited property in the Philippines. Her mother died last year leaving with her a house and lot in the Philippines. She and her mother were based abroad so she needed someone to assist her in selling the inherited property. The title belonged to her mother married to a foreigner who died long before her mother did. I asked for copies of documents but the most important document which is the TCT is missing! So we have two problems here, to replace the lost title, pay the inheritance tax then transfer the title to the heir.

As they say, you can’t be a full-pledged real estate broker if you haven’t handled cases like this. Armed with just the property address and a copy of old tax declaration, I went to the city treasurer’s office where the property is located and requested for latest copy of tax declaration and computation of realty taxes due on the property. From there, we can find the TCT number so after getting the copy of tax declaration, I proceed to the Registry of Deed to request for a certified true copy of the title and trace back at least three titles. It was good that there were only two previous titles; one was the mother title and the second was the developer’s and latest was this owner.

With lost owner’s duplicate copy of title, how do I proceed? Before this case, I always refer to it as “extra-judicial” but since there is only one heir, I got corrected by the RD officer as self-adjudication. Extra-judicial settlement if there are two or more heirs. I will then need two affidavits from the heir or maybe it can be consolidated into one, (I will let the lawyer do that) : the affidavit of loss and the self-adjudication.

Next stop is the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to check what requirements we will need to submit to settle inheritance tax as BIR won’t process unless complete documents were submitted. There is a checklist of these requirements at the BIR for Estate Tax.

I enumerated here the checklist I got from the BIR office for reference. I just highlighted what documents we were required.

Mandatory requirements are:

1. Tin of Estate (Form 1904)

2. Photocopy of Death Certificate, subject to presentation of the original

3. Any of the following :

a) Affidavit of self-adjudication

b) Deed of Extra-judicial settlement of the estate if the estate had been settled extra-judicially,

c) Court order if settled judicially

d) Sworn declaration of all properties of the Estate

Read more: Lost Title and Inheritance Tax

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