Dear Legal Wiz,
I am writing in response to an article on your site. Please help. [REFERENCE ARTICLE: http://www.jamaicans.com/articles/advice/can-i-have-my-name-on-a-title-if-original-owner-di.shtml]
I am trying to locate a title for property willed to me by my father. His wife had a life interest in the property and she recently died. I am now trying to probate the will, but I am told that I should locate the title first. We did a title search but could not locate the will, and was then told to try and get a common law will. What is a common-law will? and is it the same as a regular will?
Dear Ian Manchan:
1. To locate the title, a physical search is recommended. The online records are still a work in progress, and as such information not had online is sometimes had when one does a physical visit to the Hanover Street office.
2. You mentioned that you are trying to ‘probate the will’, but on the other hand indicate that you were advised to acquire a ‘common law will’? Please provide further information on whether you were you trying to locate the will or title? Please also provide further information on whether you were told to secure a common law will, or a common law title?
For the record a common law title is a certificate that is used for unregistered land, and, you can have that upgraded to a registered title. See more about obtaining common law titles at http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/103-agriculture-fisheries/7933-land_environment-common-law-title-can-be-presented-to-obtain-registered-title.
With further clarification, we can assist you further. Hope this helps so far!