Can a foreigner inherit land in the Philippines?

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Property Law, Ownership and Possession

Calla lilies to denote a funeral and the subsequent inheritance process.

In this example, a foreigner inherits land from his filipino spouse in a childless marriage.

There are many possible variations of this theme. An exhaustive dissertation of all of them would take volumes. This article will discuss one particular, common scenario. In this scenario, a foreigner spouse is married to a Filipino. The Filipino owns land in the Philippines. Let’s assume there are no children, mutual or otherwise, involved. Philippine law prohibits a foreigner from buying land in the Philippines. But what if the Filipino spouse were to pass away? Can the surviving foreigner spouse then inherit the land owned by the deceased Filipino?

Yes, a foreigner may inherit land from the Filipino

Yes. The Philippine laws that apply here are the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines and the 1949 Civil Code inherited from Spain.

Field to illustrate an inheritance of land.

Yes, a foreigner can inherit Philippine land if there is no will. Default inheritance rules will then come into play.

Although Sections 3 and 8 of Article XII of the Constitution famously restrict the ownership of land by individuals to Filipinos and former Filipinos, Section 7 of the same Article allows foreign citizens to own land by way of legal inheritance.

Section 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.

Note that Section 7 speaks of hereditary succession. In legal speak, this means that a foreigner can acquire land through intestate inheritance, i.e. the default laws on inheritance which are not transfers of ownership by way of a last will and testament.

Roses on a church bench to denote a funeral.

A foreigner cannot inherit land through a will.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a transfer of ownership to a foreigner by way of last will and testament would be unconstitutional.

We are of the opinion that the Constitutional provision which enables aliens to acquire private lands does not extend to testamentary succession for otherwise the prohibition will be for naught and meaningless. Any alien would be able to circumvent the prohibition by paying money to a Philippine landowner in exchange for a devise of a piece of land.

Ramirez vs. Vda. de Ramirez, G.R. No. L-27952, February 15, 1982

This means that Section 7, Article XII of the Constitution should be read in relation with the Philippine Civil Code’s provisions on intestate inheritance.

The Philippine Civil Code on Intestate Inheritance

Articles 995, 997 and 1001 of the Civil Code are the specific sections to look at. I’ll give you the entire subsection on a surviving spouse:

Keys in a door to symbolize an estate.

Without any ascendants or descendants, the spouse shall inherit the entire estate.

Subsection 4. – Surviving Spouse

Art. 995. In the absence of legitimate descendants and ascendants, and illegitimate children and their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, the surviving spouse shall inherit the entire estate, without prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, should there be any, under article 1001. (946a)

Art. 996. If a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left, the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children. (834a)

Art. 997. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate parents or ascendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate, and the legitimate parents or ascendants to the other half. (836a)

Art. 998. If a widow or widower survives with illegitimate children, such widow or widower shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance, and the illegitimate children or their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, to the other half. (n)

Padlock and keys to denote inheritance of an estate.

With ascendants, the spouse inherits half of the estate.

Art. 999. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or their descendants and illegitimate children or their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, such widow or widower shall be entitled to the same share as that of a legitimate child. (n)

Art. 1000. If legitimate ascendants, the surviving spouse, and illegitimate children are left, the ascendants shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance, and the other half shall be divided between the surviving spouse and the illegitimate children so that such widow or widower shall have one-fourth of the estate, and the illegitimate children the other fourth. (841a)

Art. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the other half. (953, 837a)

Art. 1002. In case of a legal separation, if the surviving spouse gave cause for the separation, he or she shall not have any of the rights granted in the preceding articles. (n)

These articles should be read in relation to Article 985 of the same Code.

Article 985. In default of legitimate children and descendants of the deceased, his parents and ascendants shall inherit from him, to the exclusion of collateral relatives. (935a)

The Inheritance Rights of the Foreign Spouse

So given our scenario of a childless Filipina wife who owns land in the Philippines, should she pass away without a will, what are the legal inheritance rights of her foreign, surviving husband?

A question mark on a wooden floor, as the entire post has been about this question.

So, what are the legal rights of her surviving husband?

Answer:

He can inherit her property (including land), subject to the shares of her surviving relatives.

1) If the Filipina wife were to pass away with none of her parents or siblings still living, the foreign widower would be entitled to his wife’s entire estate.

2) If the Filipina wife were to pass away with her parents and siblings still living, the foreign widower would be entitled to half his wife’s estate and her parents to the other half.

3) If the Filipina wife were to pass away after her parents had already passed away and with her siblings still living, the foreign widower would be entitled to half his wife’s estate and her siblings to the other half.

Houses on their plots of land from the air as an example. A foreigner can own the house but not the land.

The foreigner spouse may own the house built on land, which helps reduce his risk later on.

There are other aspects of the law you might consider in practice.

A foreigner cannot own land, but he can own the house built on it. A thorough documentation of his costs and acquisition of the house in his name, amply corroborated by other evidence, can establish that at least the house will not be part of his deceased wife’s estate. This reduces the extent of his exposure to problems down the line.

It might also be possible for the wife to encumber the Title to the land in some way — via her making a limited will or through an annotation on the Title or through some other deed (such as a lease agreement if this is allowed under their marriage settlement) — so as to protect her widower’s use of the land for at least his lifetime.

A group of seagulls excluding one member to signify disinheritance.

Disinheritance of other family members is quite difficult.

There are more extreme scenarios of the wife executing a will that explicitly disinherits other members of her family for strong reasons (check out Articles 919, 920 and 921 of the Civil Code), leaving her husband her sole heir, but these should certainly not be the first recourse without strong cause when other legal ways can be put in place.

 

Atty. Francesco C. Britanico

See also: Philippine inheritance and foreign wills

93 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Hi, I would like to ask if my foreign husband will able to get my property that I bought when I was single? I also have a stepson that is dual citizen. I want to know if they can get my properties if I pass away. I would like it to give to my relatives in Philippines. My husband is a greedy person and wise it seems to me that he is interested on the property that I bought alone when I was single. Please give an advice… or is it possible to make a will?

    Reply
      • Jared

        I have almost the same question. My father died and he had his first legal wife from a foreign country and had 2 children. However my father went back to the Philippines and legally married to my mom and had 3 children (not d divorce from the first wife). For how many years he left my mom and found a lived in partner which was not legally married and have 2 children. can you please tell me if the foreign wife will have share since she is still alive and what is the division of shares in all siblings and my mom?

  2. Mary Li

    Hi! I’m into Real Estate but I haven’t renewed my license yet I’ll do it very soon anyway.
    My question is..Does a widower foreign national who was once married to a Filipina can buy a land in the Philippines? My answer to him was yes since he was once married to a Filipina.Am I correct? LOL! Please correct me if I’m wrong.Can’t wait to hear from you soon.Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi. Only a Filipino national can buy land in the Philippines. Since marriage does not confer citizenship, a widower who was once married to a Filipina did not thereby become a Filipino national and he still cannot buy land in the Philippines.

      Reply
      • Jess

        I’m American 65, 13a visa married 10 years to Filipina. She has one grown son. We own a home, no will yet. We discussed what would happen if she passes first. We want to provide for not only the son but a number of her family. But we understand in this case the son will inherit the half. He has a 2nd grade education, maturity and responsibility of a teen. Can a will be made to protect the house until I pass and then pass to a responsible sibling who can follow our wishes? The house is reasonably large by Filipino standards and the funds the son would see is more than he could ever manage. Would the house be put up for sale upon her death?

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent an email.

    • DENNIS

      My Filipina wife of 27 years passed away over a year ago. We lived in the Philippines for over 10 years. A year before we moved to the Philippines, we purchased a piece of land as our retirement property. We had both worked in the U.S. for 16 years to save the money to purchase property there. At that time, we were told that I, as an American citizen could not own land in the Philippines. However, we were advised by a Filipino attorney that if the title is worded in such a way, I would be the sole inheritor of the property in the event of my Filipina wife passing away. So the title was worded as we were advised. Now that she has passed away, her sister is claiming an inheritance, in the event that I decide to sell the property. I also carry the ACR I-Card since 2013 and renewed it in January of 2018. I was told that one of the 5 benefits of having this card is that I could purchase and own property in the Philippines. What are my rights in this situation?

      Reply
      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent an email.

  3. Susan

    If a person who is born naturally Philippino however left Philippine and took overseas citizenship. As well as both parents are philippines born deceased in Philippine. Does he/she need to be a dual citizenship before owing an inheritance land.
    Secondly, if the inheritance owner passed away before the partner, does it means all the property belong to the partner?
    However, both made a wills, will the first party wills still have some right after the second party also passed away in 3 months period.

    Reply
  4. Oma

    Can a foreigner lease land owned by his Filipina spouse?
    I heard one can lease land from a Filipino owner as long as it is not a foreigner spouse leasing the land.
    Is this true?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      A foreigner can lease land in the Philippines.

      Husband and wife in general can only sell or lease to each other under certain conditions as provided for in the Civil Code :

      Article 1490. The husband and the wife cannot sell property to each other, except:

      (1) When a separation of property was agreed upon in the marriage settlements; or

      (2) When there has been a judicial separation of property under article 191.

      Article 1646. The persons disqualified to buy referred to in articles 1490 and 1491, are also disqualified to become lessees of the things mentioned therein.

      Reply
  5. Hmeyer928@yahoo.com

    Can a foreigner lease land from his living Filipina spouse?

    I’ve heard that one can’t lease land from a spouse. Is this correct?

    Reply
  6. lifessnap

    Hello, I have a question on where to start to figure out if my dad has land to begin with in the Philippines. My parent have always said that he did, but how do I find out for sure? I don’t know any of my relatives there and have never been there…Thanks, W

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      That’s a big, open ended question. I’d ask him, or at least ask about the documents he may have such as land titles. If neither are possible, it becomes considerably more difficult unless you can find family members who can tell you more, including at the very least a way to narrow down the location.

      Reply
      • lifessnap

        I know where his land is, but as for documents..he’s in the hospital so he’s not able able to tell me at the moment. It’s probably in the Philippines? As for family, he hasn’t been in good terms with them in years, with them fighting over property.as far as I understood. So am just trying to figure out if there’s somewhere that may have copies of titles? Thanks for your comment

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        The city or provincial register of deeds keeps copies of the titles, which are public records. The local property tax records can also help in identifying the property’s registered owner. However, if it’s family property, there is always the chance that the land is still registered in his own parents’ names, which would make it more difficult to find without the sort of information that he, his family, or their documents can provide.

      • lifessnap

        Thank you. The land is supposedly in his name. But will try to find out

      • lifessnap

        I wrote this a while ago, but I just contacted the registry in my dad’s province. The deeds is under my father’s parents name, my dad’s sister is listed as a representative (not sure what that means), but I’m pretty sure there was a will left notating that the land would go to my Father. Any ideas on where to start with trying to find a will?

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Unless the will was already submitted to probate — in which case it will have been submitted to the court — such a will would likely be in the possession of the family or the parents’ confidants. I suggest you ask your father first and then widen your search from there.

      • Sherly

        Hi,
        I am Filipino and my husband is American. He two grown up sons from his first marriage. I bought a condo when I was single but it is now both in our names. We are currently living in the US and plan to make a will separately. My questions are:

        If we make a will in the US, how can we make it valid in the Philippines?
        If I don’t make a will, what will he get from the condo or how much he will get, and if he gets the condo, can his two grown sons gets the condo as well?
        Thanks.

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent an email.

    • Chris

      My wife is an American citizen. Her parents are dual citizens of USA and Philippines.
      Can my wife inherit land left to her in the Philippines or does my wife’s parents have to be solely Philippine citizens in order to bequeath land to their American children?
      Also, does the land have to be specifically described in the parents estate plan or is a general mention like naming the township in which the land is located sufficient?
      Thank you.

      Reply
      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent you a detailed email.

  7. Thomas

    First: Thank you for the well written article.

    As a foreigner in the Philippines I would like to ask 2 questions:
    1.) If the Civil Code avoids that a foreigner can own land in the Philippines, how the foreign widower can be entitled for the entire estate (described in scenario 1) In this case, who would hold the title of the estate?

    2.) In some countries it’s possible that the heir (e.g. the children) resign to succeed until both parents will die, this will be fixed in a notarially certified contract and after both parents died the estate will be split according the equivalent law. Would be something like that possible according to the law in the Philippines?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      1) The Constitution prevails over any other law. The prohibition against alien ownership of land is in the Constitution, but so is the exception in the case of intestate succession. The foreign widower can have title to the property.

      2) I’m not entirely sure what the question is asking, but note that there are definite prohibitions on contracting over future inheritance. Article 1347 of the Civil Code provides that:

      No contract may be entered into upon future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.

      Reply
  8. Magdalena Adam

    I own a house and lot in the Philippines which i acquired through inheritance from my parents. Can my spouse and children inherit and dispose it if the situation calls for it. Will forming a family corporation be better , me as 60% and my 3 children and husband 40%? Which mean putting the property as asset of the corporation.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I don’t see the need for forming a corporation. If it’s your property, you can do what you want with it, and they can inherit from you via intestate succession.

      Reply
  9. Kathie Simmons

    I inherited properties in the Philippines that I want to sell now. I do not have dual citizenship. Can I sell these properties?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
      • Jessica

        I have a similar situation. My dad is 1 of 5 siblings who are inheriting land in the Philippines. Somehow all 4 of his siblings acquired dual citizenship, however he was turned away at the consulate for lack of a naturalization form or any documents that show that he was a citizen of the Philippines, even though he was born there to two Filipino parents. The 4 siblings are claiming that he cannot get his share because he is not a dual citizen. My dad is worried he will be cut out completely because he cannot sell the land without dual citizenship. But you are saying he can? Even when it involves 4 other siblings?

  10. khai macasaet -Morger

    good evening.
    A friend of my mine from cebu let his husband lease her land and start building a house for retirement. THe reason why the husband lease the land so if his filipina spouse were to pass away, the mother and siblings can not run after him. is this true?

    But i read above ” If the Filipina wife were to pass away with her parents and siblings still living, the foreign widower would be entitled to half his wife’s estate and her parents to the other half.”

    I am asking this in behalf of my friend.I am thankful there is this page where i can ask. Thank you and GOD Bless.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi. There are generally problems with leasing land from your own spouse — see my answer to similar comments/questions above.

      Yes, the estate would be divided according to the above provided that there is no will.

      Reply
  11. Jeffrey Hagosojos

    If my mother passed away in the philippines and the property is under her name then my dad remarries in America and they are now both US citizens, who gets the property after my father dies? Does my siblings and I get the property or the woman that my dad married in America?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Much depends on the specifics of the situation.

      Will send you an email, but you may find some preliminary answers here.

      Reply
  12. Adam Barry

    Hi There, My Filipino wife has a 7 year old Filipino daughter to a previous non married relationship. I as the foreign man are now married to my wife and we live together with my wife’s daughter / my step daughter. My wife has both mother and father along with 2 brothers. In the event my wife were to pass away and all of the above are still alive may you please advise who will inherit what of our house and land in the Philippines?

    Also do the inheritance laws in the Philippines work the same on all land sizes in the Philippines or only 1000 Sqm lots and below? As it was mentioned online on a blog, foreigners can inherit if the lot is 1000 sqm or below. Above 1000 Sqm the foreigner cannot inherit and must dispose of the lot and house in a reasonable period of time? is this true or not?

    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
  13. Myrna Canama

    Ascendants 50%
    Foreign husband 25% & legitimate son 25%?
    In case the Filipina wife passed without a written Will ?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      The rules is that descendants will exclude ascendants.

      If you have a son in this situation, then the parent/s or grandparent/s will not inherit. Only the son and the husband.

      Reply
      • Gerry

        Being in a similar situation, that is, with a deceased wife, a legitimate son and a foreign spouse, will the inheritance be exclusively for me and our son, excluding my wife’s parents and siblings. Is it right?

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Yes, as well as any illegitimate or adopted children that she may have had.

        Note that more information would be need to really assess your case. Wills and a n heir with a foreign citizenship can be a complicating factor depending on the asset type.

      • Gerry

        This is just a future example I hope never happens (the death of my wife). I will buy the land (assigned to my wife) to build a house. So, the inherited goods are the land and the house. We have only a legitimate son. So, will the inheritance be exclusively for me and our son, excluding my wife’s parents and siblings?
        By the way, can I assign the house to myself?

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Hi Gerry:

        In general —

        The land can be bought by a Filipino or – in limited quantities – a former Filipino.

        The structure can be owned be a foreigner.

        Also, if your wife is a Filipino, then Philippine succession laws apply where the legal spouse and the child are the inheritors.

        However —

        There are several considerations in estate and it really would be best to understand that situation and examine the documents before giving an information pertinent to a particular personal situation.

      • Gerry

        So… you’re saying that some legitimate succession problems could exist about my case, even if the purchases of land and house come from right written bills and not refutable acts, such as dated written contracts, etc.?

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent you an email.

  14. Chesca

    Good day!

    Filipino spouses Mr. & Mrs A died sometime in the 1980’s leaving properties to 4 heirs; one of the heirs, “E”, became a US citizen and died a US citizen. She left behind 2 US born children and a Filipina born but now also a US citizen daughter. All are in their 50’s now.

    Spouses Mr. and Mrs. A didnt leave any will but their daughter E even though already a US citizen left a will stating that her 3 children be her heirs of the Philippine properties.

    Do the 3 US citizen grandchildren of the late spouses Mr & Mrs A inherit their US citizen mother’s share with the other 3 Filipino heirs?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      There’s a great deal more involved, but the basic rule would be that E’s children can be expected to inherit in her place.

      Reply
  15. Ton

    fil spouses acquired tru naturalization american citizenship relinguishing their fil citizenship, one of the spouses died, without leaving a will, no children and the parents of the deceased died long before. Will the estate in the philiipines of the deceased be subject to american or philippine estate law?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      US laws on inheritance will apply, subject to the restrictions fixed by the Philippine constitution as well as Philippine procedural rules.

      Reply
  16. suria juan

    Dear Sir, what if a filipino wife passes away, leaving behind no surviving parents, 4 brothers and sisters, a husband and 3 children. How would the property pass, and each would be entitled to how many shares?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      With those bare facts, her heirs would only be her husband and 3 children. They would each be entitled to equal shares of her exclusive property after the conjugal share of the husband, if any, is accounted for.

      Reply
  17. Jane

    Hi! Both our parents died and left an agricultural land property under their names. Me and my 2 siblings are thinking of transferring the title to our names but I am now a citizen of the other country. Can I own an agricultural land property in the Philippines that is more than 2 hectares through inheritance? What is the law for inheriting an agricultural land for a non-Fillipino who acquired other countries citizenship?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email

      Reply
  18. Rebecca Javier

    Hi, My daughter’s birth certificate has some errors on data entry such as: Mother’s middle name is supposed to be U and not N. The date of parent’s marriage , month,day , year , place and legitimacy . Will there be problems in reference to her pension application, inheritance claim and other government benefits? I would like a relative of mine to represent me in court. Do you have list of lawyers to select from? How much will it cost ?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi. Will send you an email.

      Reply
  19. Rebecca Javier

    I do appreciate your quick response.Thank you kindly.

    Reply
  20. A. F. C.

    I am a filipina married to a usa citizen. I bought a land and the title say I am married to my husband. On this land My husband and I build a business, even if the investment fund was mostly provided by my husband I put the business in to my name as sole prop. both of my parents are alive and they also have childrens/ that are my half siblings. I also have a property that i got when i was still single. I belived when i submitted my report of marriage to the phiippines embassy, it was entered as conjugal. my question is what happen if i die, my thinking is that 1/2 of of this 2 property will automatically given to my husband as his part of conjugal properties. the other half will be divided in 2, the 1/2 will be given to my husband and the other half will be spilt between my mother and father. am i correct? if my parents are not alive but my half siblings are alive will my foreign husband inherit all my properties? what if both my mom and dad decided they dont want the inheritance will my husband received it all? or my sibling will get their part?

    Reply
  21. Tony V

    In a situation where my father passed away without a will and having a surviving spouse and two children, how will his estate be divided among the surviving heirs based on current Philippine Inheritance Law? Also, even if the law states that shares are to be divided as such, can an extra judicial document change this to something else?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      It depends on your father’s citizenship at the time of his death. This will govern the law which applies in the apportioning of his estate.

      Assuming that Philippine law governs, there is some latitude allowed for practical considerations, and also heirs can choose to renounce or repudiate their inheritance, but these are very dependent on the particular facts of a case.

      Reply
  22. Joel

    Hello. My question is around citizenship. I am currently a US Citizen. If I inherit real estate in the Philippines from my parents, is it possible for me and/or my children to obtain dual citizenship? Is there such a path?

    Reply
  23. Hala

    Hello

    we are planning to invest in agriculture land in the Philippines, it will be fully registered on my Filipino friend name(Like a sister to me) and we will lease it from her for 25 years with renewal for 50 . our issue how we can guarantee that God forbid something happened to her and we need to deal with her family. if she write in the well they are not allowed to end the lease contract with us ? or if she keep the registered Title paper with us will it be enough to guarantee our rights ? or if we build a house on the land I heard we can own it even if the land not for us and no one will be able to kick us out ? she has a husband, kids and mother and father . please suggest what is the most guaranteed option?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
  24. Jessica

    hi atty, this is jessica, i would like to know if it’s true that when you buy a property after you got married to a foreigner like land for example, during the transfer of the title to my name my foreigner husband will be included in the title also?

    Reply
  25. Sherwin

    How about a same sex couple who were married overseas but Philippines doesn’t recognize same sex marriage. Can a foreign husband still get an inheritance like land in Philippines when a Filipino passed away?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      This is a novel question.

      Unfortunately, such a marriage is not recognized in the Philippines. Under present law, there can be no intestate inheritance based on a same sex marriage.

      Reply
  26. Alexis David

    Hi Atty,

    I was born in London but moved to the Philippines when I was 3 years old and acquired a Filipino passport here in London through the Philippines embassy.
    After I came back to London my Filipino passport has expired in 2003 and I now only carry a British passport.
    Can I potentially own Land in the Philippines?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Yes. The expiration of your passport did not terminate your Filipino citizenship.

      Reply
  27. P

    First, thank you for your website.
    Here’s my situation. I inherited a small land (about 350 sq m and title in my name) in Philippines while I was a Filipino Citizen. I am now a U.S. Citizen. Not dual citizen. I plan to build a house for my retirement. My other siblings had me sign a legal paper that authorizes them to sell it. I signed it out of anger (been pestering me to sign it for a long time). I plan to revoke this legal document soon. So far, they have not sold the place. I have my other sibling checked it out at the government records. I would like to transfer the title of house (when done) and lot to my U.S. Citizen child now. Child is not yet of legal age but will be in a few months. What is the best approach to do this? Wait for him to be of legal age then transfer it to his name? if I transfer it to my child and but did not revoke the authorization I signed before. Does my siblings have a claim to it?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      It is best that you revoke the Power of Attorney now and ask that they return the paper to you.

      The different modes of transfer have different tax implications and it depends on your specific situation is.

      One important consideration you should keep in mind is that a non-Filipino citizen cannot acquire land except through intestate inheritance.

      Reply
  28. Lyn

    Im legally married with my husband year 2005 we dont have our own children. He was divorced in united states before we got married. My husband is a permanent resident visa only. He got 4 legitimate children and 1 illegitimate. All of his children are american citizen (born and raise in america, all are legal age). We aquired our own property year 2011. My husband passed away year 2018. I would ike to ask atty up to what extent is the righst of my husbands children with our property? In what way will they be able to claim or get their share? Thanks

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  29. Ann Ahmed

    Hi!
    I would like to ask before we proceed of buying a lot
    I’m married to Egyptian national and we have 1 son (dual citizenship)
    Is it possible to put his name in the title so we can use it to apply for his long stay visa in Philippines? As you know they’re giving 1year visa only for restricted national 🤦🏻‍♀️
    And incase I will pass away, can my foreigner husband and son inherit the lot?
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Foreigners cannot own land which means that even if his name is on the title as your husband, it is more a note than an indication of ownership.

      If you pass away without a will, Philippine intestate law will prevail and your spouse and all your children will inherit the land. However, a foreigner cannot inherit through a will.

      Reply
  30. Xy

    Who will inherit the land if the Filipino Wife and her son died. While foreigner husband still alive , and has a grandchild with the unmarried son who died also. Will the brother and sister of Filipino wife has the part of inheritance?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Who will inherit and in what share depends on both the nature of the property and the order in which the wife and son died.

      If the wife had a direct descendant survive her such as a grandchild, then her brother and sister will be excluded from the inheritance unless provided for in a will.

      Reply
  31. Rizalyn

    Hello. My grandmother is married to a German national. Can he transfer some of their properties to us, her grandchildren while they are still alive?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  32. Henry

    My late filipina wife and I purchased a lot in the Philippines before we were married. She had 2 children from previous marriage. After we purchased the lot we built a house before we were married. I understand that I can inherit the lot and her children would get 1/4 each. Would they also receive a part of the house in case I would decide to sell or only their share of the lot

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  33. Donald

    Several questions:

    1. My wife has made a will. But the land she owns is not mentioned in the will. As a foreigner, can I then inherit a portion of the land if she predeseases me?
    2. If, as I expect and hope, the answer to #1 is yes, then, if we have three children, who gets what share? The land was bought with my money after our marriage.
    3. Further to #2, since my wife owns 8 small pieces of land, is ownership in each piece divided according to #2, or can we “trade?” I get full ownership of land X, while the children each get full ownership of other pieces – if we can agree on a split?
    4. I have heard that if my wife executes a Deed of Usafruct in my favor with a duration of my lifetime. for one piece of land, if she dies before me, I have the right of use, living, and “control” over the land in the sense I can exclude others from using or occupying the land during my lifetime, even if the land itseelf is sold. Correct?

    Thank you for your original post and your previous answers.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I sent you an email.

      Reply
  34. Rita

    My deceased parents have agricultural lands which the title is still in our father’s name. My siblings and I all agreed not to divide this and give it all to our only brother. Unfortunately, My brother passed before he can transfer the title to his name. My brother has 1 child (mature age) who should get this property. He has a foreign citizenship now and he wants to sell the property. He is being advised to seek dual citizenship in order to sell. Is this really necessary? The land is I believe only 1.5 or 1.3 hectares. Kindly advise. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  35. Tania

    I’m an US citizen and married to a Filipino. As mentioned in your article and comments a foreigner cannot own land in the Philippines.
    My husband has the land but I bought a house on it and it’s owned by only me. If something would happen and we get a divorce could he easily trash my house? How could I protect my house? What are the regulations for a case like a divorce?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  36. Sean

    I have an american citizen cousin who is the daughter of my deceased aunt (who married an american citizen and she became an american citizen before both of them died). My american cousin is the sole heir. Her mother’s siblings are still alive in Cebu. The inherited land is about to be sold. Will she inherit 100% of the profit after selling the land or does her mother’s siblings have shares too?

    Going back a bit, is my cousin the official 100% owner of the land that my aunt (her deceased mother) acquired before she died?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Sean:

      I am assuming that the daughter is the only child of your aunt and that your aunt has no will?

      If the land was validly obtained, this means that your cousin and her father would inherit the land. Your cousin would be the sole inheritor if the father has also passed away.

      The siblings would have no share in the property.

      Note – the information would change if more data is brought to light and if any of the above assumptions are incorrect.

      Reply
  37. John

    My non-biological Father has 3 legal heirs; my eldest sister, who is a naturalized American citizen, my youngest sister who is in process to being a permanent resident in Australia and our eldest half-brother (our Fathers’ son at early age) who is a Filipino citizen. I am their not-legally adopted brother, that has been managing the property for several years (I would like to stress, I am not interested to the property). I am the one, my two sisters had asked to take-over while they’re not around.

    We, my two sisters and me, are for the conservation of the property of my father. We would like to conserve the memories and we would want to take good care of the property that our father has provided his blood and dedication. Our parents is still around, but they are old and so they are already asking us to fix the documents of the property. The land is more-than 500sqm in Metro-Manila. Here, we had built our permanent residential house and had affixed 9 room apartments for lease. We are hoping to transfer the land to our eldest sister, the one that is an american citizen for she is capable of paying all taxes and other cost incurred in transferring the title. We are planning to give 2 room apartments to our half-brother; one of which will be his permanent residence.

    We would like to know if its still possible for us to transfer the property to our eldest sister knowing that she is an American Citizen? And if I may also ask, what are the things we need to prepare and do to start processing the transfer of property ownership? Thank you and more power!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  38. Anna

    Thank you so much for this helpful page and free advice. More power to you.

    Reply

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