I thought my dead dad’s land automatically passes to me, is my cousin conning me?

QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
My father sadly passed away a year ago. He left a house but he did not make a will. My cousin told me that his nieces dealt with everything and when I have tried to call they do not answer and it seems they will not disclose anything. My cousin has supplied me with the address of the property. It all seems a bit strange to me the way my relatives are behaving like they are hiding something. I was under the impression the property would automatically be passed down to siblings?
Many thanks.

RESPONSE: Dear Miguel,

Based on the information you supplied, the response has to be limited. Questions arise such as:

1. Was there in fact a title, and in whose name?

2. Are there other siblings or a spouse of your father alive?

3. What does your cousin mean by saying ‘they took care of everything’?

Property with or without will is not ‘officially’ automatically passed on to anyone. There are procedures that need to be followed for any new names to be added to or to replace existing names on any title.

It seems you may need to retrieve a copy of the title, and get further legal advise from an attorney-at-law. A member of the International Legal Legwork (Jamaica) team can assist. Please therefore write again if you have more questions, or, wish to be connected with an attorney for further assistance.

Legal Wiz