We set out below the requirements for resealing a Grant in Jamaica:
(A) Basic stages
As regards Jamaica, there are five (5) basic stages involved in Resealing a Grant and they are as follows:-
1) Obtaining the Registrar’s Consent to the Resealing Application;
2) Applying to the Supreme Court of Jamaica for the Re-Sealing;
3) Applying to the Stamp Commissioner for an assessment of Transfer Tax (on death) for any land or shares forming part of the estate;
4) Transferring any real estate forming a part of the deceased’s assets to the Executors in order to distribute the said assets in accordance with the Will;
5a) Transferring the assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the Will; or
5b) Selling the assets in accordance with the provisions of the Will or the Executors’ instructions and distributing the net proceeds of sale to the Beneficiaries.
(B) Information and Documents Required
We will require all the following documents to effectively administer the estate:-
(1) Certified copy of Probate and Will (to be certified by the High Court or Probate Court). We find that a sealed and certified copy from the local District Probate Registry is usually sufficient);
(2) Certified copy of Death Certificate (to be certified by the relevant Registrar of Births and Deaths). Again, we find that an “original” copy of the death certificate (the green coloured version) (not a photocopy) is sufficient;
(3) Full names, addresses and occupations of the proposed Executors/Administrators and of the Beneficiaries;
(4) Details and values of all assets owned by the deceased in Jamaica at the date of death and all supporting documents e.g. Certificates of Title, Bank Books, Insurance Policies.
Once the information and documents mentioned above have been provided to us, the relevant applications will be prepared for execution by the Executors/Administrators. These applications will then be lodged with the Jamaican Supreme Court in order to obtain the Grant of Probate, and with the Stamp Commissioner in order to receive the assessment of the Transfer Tax which is payable on death. As soon as the Probate has been granted and the transfer tax has been paid, the transfers in respect of any real estate may be signed and lodged with the Registrar of Titles for registration and any share transfer forms may be signed and sent for processing by stockbrokers.
As the Executors / Administrators frequently do not reside in Jamaica, they will be asked to appoint a local attorney to act for them, and it is customary for two of the Attorneys-at-Law in our agent’s offices to be so appointed.
(D) Time frame
We regret to advise that the procedure is an extremely lengthy one because of the tardiness of the agencies in charge of the various steps. We do not expect that it will be completed in under eight months.
(E) Fees and Costs
It is important to note that the first priority in administering an estate is to settle outstanding debts, expenses and liabilities of the estate. Attorneys’ fees, Transfer Tax on death and Stamp Duty are all based on the value of the entire estate in Jamaica and are calculated as follows:
- Transfer Tax (where death occurred prior to June 1, 2005) 15%
- Transfer Tax (where death occurred on or after June 1, 2005 7.5%
- Transfer Tax (where death occurred on or after May 1, 2008) 6%
- Stamp Duty on the grant of Probate 3%
- Attorneys’ fees for obtaining the grant of Probate 4%-6%
We work on a fixed fee basis, and will let you have a quote for the work once we know the work that is going to be involved. We only request an increase if there is exceptional extra work involved in addition to the anticipated work.
I hope that you find the above information useful, and look forward to hearing from your further when you have had a chance to consider the above, and obtain the documents needed.