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Dominican Republic   

Estate Planning in Dominican Republic: A Comprehensive Approach

Maricell Silvestre Rodríguez, Senior Associate, Ulises Cabrera,  June 6, 2024

Ulises Cabrera - Estate planning is a topic of great relevance in the legal, social, and economic spheres. The legal treatment applicable to the successions of deceased persons is provided for in various articles of the Civil Code of the Dominican Republic. These articles are interpreted by doctrine and sanctioned by national jurisprudence, prevailing in the legal forum under the protection of Dominican legislation, whose primary source is 18th-century French law.

Succession is defined as the transmission of the estate left by a person at the time of their death to one or more people who are still alive. This transmission includes both the assets and liabilities of the relict goods. In other words, succession is, in itself, the transmitted estate. In this way, the estate to be distributed among the successors constitutes the succession, inheritance, or heritage, which is the set of goods that a person leaves when they die.
The importance of succession law is manifold: familial, social, economic, and political. This right has a close relationship with the right of property, which is why the legislator of the Civil Code inserted the part relating to succession law among the different modes of acquiring property.

From a family perspective, the importance of succession law is evident. If the law did not imperatively regulate the transmission of the estate of the deceased person to those who should receive it, disruptive problems would arise to family peace. These conflicts, even regulated by law, require a preventive treatment by families to avoid them or treat them with the knowledge and prudence they deserve.

As for the economic and political, succession law is important not only because the heirs or successors can increase their estate, but also because the memory of the deceased and their heirs is honored with the payment of all the debts of the deceased person. Those who will collect the inheritance are also obliged to this payment, except for those who renounced and those who accepted under the benefit of inventory. It is important to take into account that the legislator taxes every succession transmission within the limits that the law indicates, based on the reasoning of the prosperity that the transmission of the right of property produces.

In summary, estate planning is a topic of great relevance that requires a comprehensive approach for its correct management.



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