The Law Offices of Zorrilla & Silvestrini, PA is a national law firm that provides a wide range of legal services in Puerto Rico and in Florida. Founded in 2008, we offer our clients with Puerto Rico legal needs, the level of responsiveness and professionalism they expect from a U.S. based law firm. With more than 20 years of combined experience in Puerto Rico we understand the complexities of both the U.S. and Puerto Rico legal systems.
Our primary focus is representing individuals, professionals and companies who are based outside of Puerto Rico with their legal needs on the island. At our core we are a decentralized (virtual) law firm that leverages technology to utilize and retain the best talent anywhere, no matter where they live, in order to maximize results for our clients. With attorneys in Puerto Rico, Florida and Massachusetts we offer effective and creative solutions to your Puerto Rico legal needs. Our main areas of practice are: Probate Administration & Estate planning, (wills and inheritance law) Family Law (Child Custody, visitation, and divorce cases), Real Property Law, (real estate law, sales, purchases, and transfers of properties on the island)Probate Law in Puerto Rico (Inheritance)
A very important part of our practice is protecting, our continental U.S. clients from the complex and often confusing probate process in Puerto Rico. Some of the laws in Puerto Rico are very similar to the U.S., others are quite different. Probate administration and estate planning are very different from many states in the United States. Puerto Rico has forced heirs provision that automatically leaves the inheritance to children and in many cases it won't allow for assets to pass outside of the probate system. Thus causing complications with U.S. based estate planning provisions.(e.g. trusts and estates). Many of our clients, who are relocating to Florida, New York, or Chicago from Puerto Rico, have left inheritance issues that need to be resolved on the island. One of the cases that we see most often is when someone’s family member passes away and leaves a house or apartment in Puerto Rico. They don’t know what to do in Puerto Rico, where to go for information, what the process is, how long it takes. Our Puerto Rico Lawyers can help with the probate process in Puerto Rico so you don’t have to worry about dealing with the different agencies that are involved in an inheritance case. Call our Puerto Rico inheritance lawyers (Probate) now to schedule a consultation.
Puerto Rico & Florida Lawyers
Our Puerto Rico lawyers handle from the most complex divorce and child custody matters to simple dissolution of marriage proceedings. In Puerto Rico we assist our clients with their family law needs, such as divorce, division of property, child custody, timesharing, modifications, child support and marital settlement agreements. Divorce cases in Puerto Rico tend to be complex. Puerto Rico has 3 distinct and separate phases that are encompassed in a dissolution of marriage or divorce. These 3 stages usually must be filed independently, in three distinct cases, one is the divorce action, another is the division of marital property “division de sociedad de bienes gananciales” and the last is the child custody determination. Puerto Rico family law, is primarily based on Spanish Civil Law with some U.S. constitutional law mixed in to a lesser extent. The dual nature of Puerto Rico family law makes it important that you have a Puerto Rico lawyer that is familiar with both systems. With lawyers that are licensed in Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Florida we are in a position to be a substantial resource for you when dealing with family law issues, specifically for those who live outside of Puerto Rico.
Our law firm also assist clients in registering and enforcing their out of state divorce decrees, judgments and child custody determination in Puerto Rico. This is done through a process that is known as an "Exequatur" or domestication proceedings. When you have a judgment or order from another state and you need it enforced on the island, you must file this type of action in Puerto Rico. A judge will review the petition and in some cases order a hearing to review the matter further. We assist our clients in filing and defending "Exequatur" actions in Puerto Rico to help enforce the orders and protect your rights.
Our team of Puerto Rico divorce lawyers, is fully equipped to handle the most complex family law cases in Puerto Rico, including cases dealing with media, television, radio, print and other media outlets as well as incorporating the use of forensic accounting tools and personnel to protect and/or identify marital assets.
Our law firm has been involved in high profile cases involving music, sports and entertainment personalities as well as business leaders that involve a higher level of scrutiny and demand the highest level of aggressiveness, efficiency and professionalism. From simple to complex, our firm is strategically positioned to help our clients achieve their goals. Call our Puerto Rico family lawyers now to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help.Real Estate Law
A big part of our law firm’s work in Puerto Rico involves Real Property Law, which relates to properties or real property(land, apartments, houses, rent or leased properties) on the island. A common scenario is when clients have inheritance issues and need to transfer property in their or their siblings names. Another scenario is when a client wants to buy property in Puerto Rico or sell their property on the island. For those transactions they need a Puerto Rico real estate lawyer specially one that knows and is familiar with both the U.S. legal system and the Puerto Rico legal system. Our firm assists clients in almost all their real estate needs. From purchase and sale agreements, to lease agreements to rent properties on the island, to land disputes and registration issues our Puerto Rico real estate lawyers can help.
The transfer of property involves different and dynamic area of Puerto Rico law. These areas are Real Property law based on the Spanish law system, known as “Reales”, “Ley Hipotecaria” or mortgage law, and notary law or “Ley Notarial” all are quite different from the Common Law system prevalent in the United States. These laws also relate directly to the Registry of Property, known in Puerto Rico as “El Registrador de la Propiedad or “El Registrador”. The Registry of property interprets these as well as other laws to decide which property should be transferred and which should not. In general, The "Registrador de la Propiedad” acts like an administrative court deciding which documents come in and which don’t, who can transfer a property and who cannot. It is quite different than other states, so it can be overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with the process. It is important to note that notaries or notary publics in Puerto Rico don’t operate like they do in the continental U.S.. In Puerto Rico notaries are lawyers who have passed a special exam and have the notary license to practice. The rules for notaries are very complex, often requiring signees and witnesses to be physically present on the island and often in the same room. In many cases there is no way around this although in certain cases we can use exceptions to this rule, and thus allow our clients to not travel to Puerto Rico for closings or to sign notarial documents.
For the reasons above it is important to have a knowledgable legal representative on the island that can help when issues arrive. Our Puerto Rico real estate lawyers have a network of third party professionals, such as realtors, surveyors, accountants and appraisers, that can also help alleviate the stress of buying or selling a property. Call our Puerto Rico family lawyers now to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help.Puerto Rico Lawyers
Our clients come from across the United States, for example a person living in Chicago, Illinois, Massachusetts or in New York, has a case in Puerto Rico, they have jobs and families where they live. They can't hop on a plane and go personally to all the government offices that are usually required for Puerto Rico cases. That is why so many people choose us, they feel better having a U.S. based law firm representing them in Puerto Rico. Many of our clients also have cases in Massachusetts, New York and Florida and we are in a position to help them. The percentage of attorneys that have multiple licenses to practice law is very small, even more so for attorneys licensed in the U.S. and a Spain based civil code jurisdiction such as Puerto Rico. It usually becomes very expensive to hire two firms to handle their case. But with our firm, we have attorneys that are licensed in Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, and New York , so we can be their attorneys in both places. Hiring us, makes their lives easier, our firm represents them from beginning to end, limiting as much as possible their need to travel to the island. Our clients appreciate our aggressive and professional service while lowering the uncertainty and the costs involved in hiring two firms for the same case or hire the wrong firm in Puerto Rico.
Our Puerto Rico lawyers have been helping people from across the United States with their complex interstate or multijurisdictional legal needs since 2008. We deal with the court system and governmental agencies on an everyday basis. So our Puerto Rico lawyers are in a better position to help you resolve your legal issues, specially in these uncertain times. Given the economic crisis that is gripping Puerto Rico after the devastation from Hurricane Irma and before that, the debt crisis that lead to the control board (PROMESA) that is overseeing the island's finances, there's a lot of uncertainty. Many people have left the island to relocate to different places in the United States. All these factors have greatly affected the way things work on the island. Governmental agencies such as "el Registro Demografico” the department of health that deals with birth certificate issues, and "Registro de la Propiedad”/ Registry of Property that handles sales and transfers of real-estate , as well as the Puerto Rico court system have less resources to function and do their jobs effectively. It is more important than ever to hire the right person with the right knowledge base to help you with your Puerto Rico legal needs.Puerto Rico
According to the latest numbers, there are more Puerto Ricans living outside of Puerto Rico than on the island; therefore, more people statewide will need legal representation on the island. That is why we focus primarily on serving clients nation wide with their Puerto Rico legal needs. We offer our clients exceptional legal services, professionalism and cost-effective solutions in Puerto Rico at the level they expect of a U.S. based law firm. We take all the uncertainty out of searching for an attorney on the island. We strive to make the process in Puerto Rico as smooth and stress-free as possible. Puerto Rico's legal system is different to most jurisdictions in the United States because it is based on Spanish civil law. Its procedures tend to be more complicated and less straightforward to many who are unfamiliar with the system. Many times things must be done in person rather than online. In addition, courts and agencies use primarily Spanish, which complicate matters greatly for the non-Spanish speaker. Our attorneys have many years of experience working with the system and will provide you with the help you need. We work for you so you don't have to worry about flying to Puerto Rico to request a document in person. We take care of that for you. You might need help relocating and setting up residence in Puerto Rico or relocating out of Puerto Rico to settle in Florida, New York, Boston, Chicago. Or you might need help changing your name, birth certificate at the Registro Demografico or Demographic Registry, resolving issues with property or real estate, or probating an inheritance in Puerto Rico. What ever your legal needs are the Puerto Rico Lawyers at the Law Offices of Zorrilla & Silvestrini, PA can help you.Cost Efficiency and Communication
Our services help you minimize costs in your case. For example, if you live in Chicago, Illinois, or San Jose, California, for example, and you need an attorney in Puerto Rico, it could be quite costly for you to travel to Puerto Rico to find one. Once you do, you might not be able to communicate well with them because of the language. Maybe, you are used to working with your professionals in a certain manner and you find they work differently in Puerto Rico. You need a lawyer that understands your needs here on the mainland and can translate them to the Puerto Rican legal system. That is where we come in. We are a team of multilingual and multicultural attorneys who understand both litigation in Puerto Rico and your needs here in the continental United States.Florida
For the state of Florida, we provide legal representation to our clients in the areas of Family Law, divorce and child custody matters as well as child support cases. We also represent clients in Business Law, such as in contracts, lease agreements, entity formation or incorporation, licensing, franchising, and intellectual property as well as commercial litigation. From our offices in Weston, Florida, we serve the entire state. We are available to help clients in Miami, Miami-Dade County, Weston and Coral Springs, Broward County and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, in Palm Beach County. We also serve Naples, Collier County, Fort Myers in Lee County and Tampa, Hillsborough County and Orlando, Orange County. In northern Florida, we serve all the way up to Jacksonville, in Duval County.Massachusetts (Main Offices)
From our main offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts we assist startups and entrepreneurs with their startup legal needs. We assist our clients in their pursuit to innovate and disrupt by providing general counsel services, contract review, entity formation, intellectual property guidance, convertible notes, funding review, negotiations and general business advise. If you are a small startup or entrepreneur and you need legal assistance call our startup lawyers to schedule a consultation now.Caring, Compassionate, and Accessible
At the Law Offices of Zorrilla & Silvestrini PA, we pride ourselves in being professional, responsive, caring and accessible to our clients. He have found that it is very important that the attorneys you choose speak your language. We can speak Spanish or English to fit your language preferences. We know it is not the same thing to communicate with your lawyer in a language that is not your primary language. The message can be lost in translation. Our attorneys speak English and Spanish fluently and will be able to guide you in the process in either language, understanding your wishes more fully. We do not use interpreters to speak with you in Spanish like other attorneys do. We are native- Spanish speakers and for our clients that is very important. It makes them feel connected with us and that they are part of the team. That is something we strive for, especially when dealing with complex legal issues.
Another quality that makes us different from other attorneys is accessibility. We are accessible to our clients and they can reach us in many ways. You should always have access to your attorney when you need him or her. Our attorneys are readily available when you need them, be it on the phone, or via text, email, Skype or Facetime videoconferencing. Our policy is that we will get back to you within 24 hours, unless it is an emergency for which we are available 24 hours a day.
We also pride ourselves in giving a voice to our clients during the legal process. Our clients feel we bring their side to the forefront and that we defend them aggressively always, but keeping their point of view on center. No matter if it is an issue with a business dispute, trouble with an inheritance or a divorce, you need to have someone on your side to lean on and defend you assertively. Our legal team is dedicated to being there for you and at the same time finding ways to maximize your results. That way you and your family can focus on moving on with your lives. We hope you choose us. We know you won't be disappointed.