Sun | Aug 20, 2017

A matter of land | The gift of land at Christmas

Published:Sunday | December 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis
If you are going to give the gift of land to beneficiaries its beeter to do it before you die.
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Good day, readers. Let me wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe season from us at The Sunday Gleaner and from A Matter of Land.

This is the time of year when we usually have the family together to share in the festive season, and the sharing of land is what I want to talk about today.

Too often I see where land that is to be shared among siblings and relatives languish in abeyance because no will was written and it has to go to the Administrator General's Department. Or even when a will is written, it takes years to complete the process of administration.

With that said, I am suggesting that when giving the gift of land to your child/children and relatives, you seek to have the process completed while you are still alive.

You can have your property subdivided by a commissioned land surveyor so that each member can know, and possible occupy, their section while you are still around.

 

Deed of gift

 

When you have acquired your diagrams from your surveyor you can then give your relatives a deed of gift for the property then also 'swear' off the property so they can start paying their own taxes.

Doing this while you are alive would ensure that the process is done with less hassle for your loved ones. Many times the owner is the only person who knows the boundaries of the property, and with his/her passing the boundaries become a point of great controversy, bitterness and strife, so sorting it out now is really the best option.

The costs attached to doing this can be shared by the recipients/beneficiaries of your generosity. They can help to offset the costs of surveying and registering the property that they will inherit.

You may also add their names to your title now as well, which will be a less expensive task than doing the entire process after you die. If their names are added to your title now, when you die it is just a simple matter of noting your death on the title.

So as we celebrate this festive season, as we give gifts, let's also think about distributing your property while you are alive so your loved ones can avoid the hassle of getting it done after you die.

Until next time, traverse well.

- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or Precision Surveying Services