Friday, September 30, 2016

Ask Frances: How should I use my inheritance?

"Ask Frances" is a monthly blog series where I will answer questions from my readers. The chosen question will receive a prize. This month's prize is the Avon Anew Retroactive line because our letter sender is a bride.

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Our question this month is very long and detailed so please read carefully. I feel ill-equipped to answer her question so if you have better advice (preferably legal advice!), please leave your advice in the comments. Thanks! Anyway, here is our question...

When my Dad died years ago, he left us, his children, some money and some properties. He and my mom were not married. The money were in accounts under our names, but the properties were either named after our relatives or still after the owners he bought them from.

Three of the properties were left to me. One is the family home, still named after my aunt who owned the lot, and my Dad bought it from her. Another is a condo named after my cousin, but that project didn't push through at dahil fully paid na, until now we're still waiting for the kapalit. The third one is a former preschool na dilapidated na ngayon, still named under the original owners kahit nabili na ng Dad ko. The owners are both dead and I don't think the kids are aware the property is still under their parents' names. 

The titles were with my mom because I was still young when my Dad died. Through the years, my mom blew through my inheritance and developed a gambling problem. Ang ending sinanla niya yung titles for the family home and the preschool. Matagal na rin di nababayaran yung amilyar (10 years). 

My relatives are telling me sayang yung mga property kung mapupunta lang dun sa mga pinagsanlaan since they could easily hire someone to fix the titles and change it to their names. I can pay the taxes and penalties, and have the properties developed and rented out later on. Yun talaga ang gusto kong mangyari. Plus the thought that My Dad worked hard for those properties. 

Now this is my dilemma. I still have some money left from my inheritance. But I'm going to use some of it for my upcoming wedding, and it's in a mutual fund that's earning a good dividend. Nanghihinayang ako to withdraw a huge sum from it para lang pambayad ng penalties na hindi naman ako ang may gawa (my mom should've paid them). I also have to spend to transfer the titles under my name. Tapos wala rin akong funds to destroy the structure in the preschool at magpatayo ng apartments, and improve on the family home that's long been abandoned. So di ko rin mababawi agad yung pera. Wala rin akong mahiraman from my relatives, I won't qualify for loans because I don't have a regular job now, and wala rin ganun kalaking halaga si fiancĂ©. 

I've made a lot of bad financial decisions in the past and I'm scared of making one again.  

But if I don't do it, mawawala naman ang properties na iniwan ng Dad ko. 

What should I do? :( 


Dear R.P., 

You have to do the math. You only have X amount and you need Y amount to pay for the transfer of titles, pay penalties, and renovate the school. Plus, you need Z amount for your wedding. The math will tell you if you can do everything you want, but I think you already know that you can't do all of the above.

I don't know the legalities of the issue but it sure sounds like you have a complicated case. Please consult a lawyer as soon as you can. Or do I have a reader who can advise R.P. about her case? Please help us!

Anyway, what I observe are these:
  • You have not needed those properties all these years so this isn't an urgent issue. If you've waited for so long, what's a few more years?
  • Your relatives are the ones making you kulit about the issue. Why? I'm concerned that you said, "They could easily hire someone to fix the titles and change it to THEIR names." Why their names? Why not yours kung sa iyo naman yung mga ari-arian? 
You know, I may not have smart advice because I'm not aware of the laws on inheritance and properties, but I'll say something anyway (because you asked!) and this is driven by sentimental reasons.

You're getting married. You don't have your daddy to walk you down that aisle but you do have his generous provision. He provided well for you and I'm sure he would have loved the thought that he helped pay for your wedding. Every good father would be proud to say that he paid for his daughter's wedding. Your father still has that ability! So I think you should invest in your wedding. You don't have to use all of the money. No need to be extravagant; you want to stretch that money out for as long as you can. But it's a nice sentiment to know that your father helped with your wedding even though he's no longer around. It would be like he's still around, right?

As for the properties, you'll make a better decision about those after you've talked with a lawyer, and when you have all the money to do what needs to be done. Till then, there's really nothing to do but get married! 

I hope you use the Avon Anew, R.P.! Don't let the stress of real estate, inheritance, and wedding preps dull your glow. Now, email me your address so I can send you your prize.

Avon Anew Retroactive is exclusively available through Avon representatives. Visit Like Avon Philippines on Facebook. Download the Avon Brochure app from Google Play or App Store.

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If you have a question for me, send an email to with "Ask Frances" on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. Commenting anonymously since I agree that she really must consult a lawyer in person and present all the documents to that lawyer so he/she can give complete professional advice. But from the bare facts given, I assume that after the dad died, his estate was never settled. Hence, the proper estate taxes were never paid and the properties were never transferred. What is RP's basis for saying that certain properties were left to her? Did her dad leave a will? If he didn't, then the properties should have been adjudicated in accordance with our laws on succession. All these issues should have been settled in proceedings following his death. She also mentioned that her mom kept the titles and mortgaged these after the dad died. But she couldn't have legally done this if the titles were still indeed in other people's names. Lalo na if she and the dad were never married. But in any case, if the properties were mortgaged and the amortizations haven't been paid for 10 years already, the mortgage would most likely have been foreclosed years ago, and the properties should have been sold at a public auction. Assuming that the regular course was followed, sorry RP, but those properties may have been lost already. The law only gives a 1 year right of redemption to the mortgagor (yung umutang) to redeem the properties lost through foreclosure.

    Anyway, this is a complicated legal issue and a lawyer who specializes in property and succession laws would be your best hope. Unfortunately, things like this really happen. The best of luck to you. I hope that whatever happens, you find peace with it. A wedding is a great chance for a new beginning. Best wishes!


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