A matter of land | How do I obtain a title for the land my father left me? (Pt 2)
Good day, readers. This week, I will continue my response to the reader's question below from last week. Here is the question repeated for those who might have missed it.
Good Day Mr Francis,
I would just like some advice as to how I go about obtaining a title.
My situation is this. My father had the diagram for the land but then he died and my uncle took it.
I would like to survey my part of the land but they are being very slow in presenting me with the diagram. Is there another way I can go about obtaining a copy of the diagram?
Patiently await your response.
Thanks in advance.
Good day A.H.
Last week, I spoke about the time-sensitive nature of the diagram and that if seven years had elapsed a new diagram may have to be sought, or you could have a commissioned land surveyor prepare what is called a Surveyors Declaration for the diagram to become valid.
This week, I want to look at the legal requirements that will pave the way for you to acquire a registered title.
If your father left the property to you in his will then there are several steps that have to be taken before you get to obtain a registered title.
GRANT OF PROBATE
If you have a will that has not been probated then you will need to procure the services of a lawyer who can make an application for a Grant of Probate of the will.
This is necessary because the property of the deceased cannot be sold or transferred to the beneficiaries (which you are) without a Grant of Probate. The process involves making an application to the Supreme Court of Jamaica. The following documents are required:
1. Certified copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased.
2. The original of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased (if you cannot find the original, a copy can be used. However, the lawyer will have to obtain the permission of the court to use it).
3. Oath of Executor.
4. Other miscellaneous documents may include Affidavit of Plight and Condition, Affidavit of Due Execution and Affidavit of Delay.
5. Revenue Affidavit.
When the requisite stamp duty fees and taxes are paid and the Grant of Probate is given by the court, you can then have your lawyer apply for a Certificate of Title for the land.
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
In the event that your father left you no will formally but only told you the property belongs to you, then a different approach has to be taken.
You will have to apply for Letters of Administration from the Administrator General (consult a lawyer).
When you have obtained this document, you will need to file or lodge it and several others with the Supreme Court and request a Grant of Probate.
When you have received same you can then apply for a Certificate of Title. You may be able to acquire the title by step taken to acquire a property by adverse possession or as your attorney advise you.
I hope you will be able to have this land issue resolved in the quickest possible time and with minimal stress.
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 email@example.com or Precision Surveying Services