DEAR LEGAL WIZ,
I am a Family History /Probate Researcher for the Heir Hunters Association here in the UK.
I am responsible for researching unclaimed Intestate estates and finding heirs to those estates.
Recently, our agency was contacted by a potential client regarding an estate in Jamaica – and I am the assigned researcher to this case.
I am contacting you today, as I hope you may be able to offer some advice and/ or answer some queries that I have, mainly because of the nature of the case in question.
Blocked from burial
Our potential client(for ease of reference I will call him Mr X) is not a next of kin, but the deceased was his Godfather who died in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in November 2017.
Mr X has informed me, that he attended the funeral service there, which took place in December 2017, but was not allowed to attend the burial, he was also intimidated by other family members who did not want him present at the reading of the Will, Mr X does not have any knowledge as to who the executors of the Will may be, or who is dealing with Probate
Mr X has always believed that he would be an entitled beneficiary to a share of the deceased’s estate, as his Godfather promised him as much, Mr X has also informed me that about 12 years ago, he signed some papers relating to a share of the Will.
However, Mr X was not given any copies of these papers and does not remember who officiated at the time of signing.
Apparently, while still in Ocho Rios last year, Mr X did try and seek legal advice with a local firm of Lawyers, he was required to provide some form of Identification, but was not given the assistance he required.
Mr X has also been informed that he only has to the end of April 2018, in which to lay claim for any share or bequest of the estate that may be due to him.
This timescale would equate approximately to six months since the death of the deceased.
The only advice given to Mr X so far, was to obtain a copy of the Death certificate from the Registrar General Department in Jamaica.
Mr X is now in receipt of the Death certificate – he also has his copy of the Order of the Thanksgiving Service for the deceased.
I would be most grateful for any advice or suggestions you are able to provide that may assist me.
I am not too familiar with Inheritance/Probate law in Jamaica, however, I understand that the rules of Intestacy are similar to UK rulings.
The questions that I would like to ask are:
Can only an executor, beneficiary or other Legal representative obtain a copy of a Will ?
Is it possible to find out/contact who would be handling the estate of a deceased person?
Is there a time limit in which a possible heir can make a claim on an estate ?
If Mr X IS an entitled beneficiary and IS named in the Will, isn’t it the duty of the person administering the estate to ensure that all possible heirs are established and located?
If Mr X wishes to pursue this matter, is it recommended that he seeks correct Legal representation in the UK and or Jamaica?
I welcome any advice that you are able to offer, as well as your own thoughts and comments regarding this matter.
Dear Jen Jen,
Based on research, here are the responses_
Generally it is the executor , beneficiary or other Legal representative who obtain a copy of a Will.
It is possible to find out/contact who would be handling the estate of a deceased person through research.
Recommended to claim as soon as possible so that the property is not passed on wrongfully, or it can become complicated and expensive, and in some cases too late.
If Mr X IS an entitled beneficiary and IS named in the Will, it is the duty of the person administering the estate to ensure that all possible heirs are established and located and informed
Its unclear what matter Mr X wishes to pursue , but at best use Legal representation in Jamaica
The above does not constitute legal advice, and are done by inhouse senior journalists, chiefly Anthea McGibbon, after research and discussion with attorneys-at-law and other specialists, as necessary. Please remember that names are changed at times by request of the person seeking information.
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