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In the nick of time! - Jamaican living in Canada finds AGD just before ‘dead lef’ passes to the State

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMMikolia Douglas

A last-ditch attempt by the Administrator General's Department (AGD) to contact beneficiaries of some estates that would have to be handed over to the Government if they were not found within the next six to eight weeks has started to bear fruit.

Last week, Audrey Parker, who now lives in Canada, contacted the department, after an advertisement published in The Sunday Gleaner urged beneficiaries of the estate of her late father, Franklyn Parker, to make the link.

Parker's estate was among some 40 matters advertised by the Administrator General's Department as the beneficiaries had not been located for several years.


Transfer to government


Under the law, estates have to be transferred to the government if after years of search for relatives and beneficiaries they are not found.

"Once we have exhausted the efforts at finding beneficiaries, then in order to close the case we must transfer it back to the government," Patrick Wright, finance and planning executive at the AGD, told a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum.

"Once it is established that no owner can be located, locally or overseas, the property reverts to the original owner government," added senior legal executive at the AGD, Kedia Delahaye.

But that will not happen with Parker's estate, which includes property in Bushy Park, St Catherine, as his daughter Audrey has now made contact with the AGD, and she has access to her other eight siblings who were also named as beneficiaries.


unaware of a will


She told our news team that her father, who was an accountant, died in 1979 at the age of 34. According to Audrey, she had left Jamaica for Canada before her father died and was unaware if he had made a will, leaving the AGD to administer his estate.

"I was aware that my father lived in Bushy Park. He passed away when I was young so I really had no information about his estate," said Audrey.

She said news that the AGD was seeking to contact her father's beneficiaries was relayed by an aunt who is "an avid reader" of The Gleaner.

"My aunt, who lives in Jamaica, saw the information in The Gleaner and passed it to my cousin and she contacted me. Advertising in the Jamaica Gleaner does work. I would not have known otherwise," added Audrey.

According to Audrey, she has already shared the information with her sisters Karen and Karlene, who she is close to, and is getting the word to her other siblings.

"I will do my best to notify everyone."

The AGD, which manages the estates of Jamaicans who die without making a will and where minor children are involved, is currently presiding over assets and cash worth an estimated $12 billion.