QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
When I get to Jamaica I am going to need an attorney so I am reaching out to you before I get there. My sister in Jamaica is trying to steal the Jamaica house that my dad left for me in a Will. While he was alive I alone sent money and took care of him from over here in New York. Right up to his death and after I alone paid all the taxes, and did all the upgrade and additions he asked for on the house. I paid for all his sick bills and his funeral expenses. Right after the funeral I had to go away, but I was given a copy of the Will by a neighbour.
The Will says my dad left me the house he lived in. There were other houses and he gave those to my brothers and sisters. Now I am learning from my maternal sister that this sister on my father side broke in the house I locked up before I left Jamaica. She cleared out the very room I always stayed in and is renting the house to complete strangers and without my permission. I found out that my things are packed up in the washroom. She is not listening to anyone.
So can you please tell me what I can do before I get there, and of course put me on to a good attorney from now.
RESPONSE: Dear Meisha,
The attorney who reviewed your particular question says that the Will must be probate. When the Will is probated you can take steps to put your name on the title. What you could consider doing before that is done, is to give your sister an injunction to prevent her from doing anything else. A notice could be given to the tenants, but you must as priority ensure the will is probated. If there is an executor, you should reach out to him/her and if your sister actually collected monies thats another issue to be dealt with.
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DISCLAIMER: This column written by the inhouse journalist and research officers is not to be taken as constituting professional legal advice.