Scandalous inheritance battles

Scandalous inheritance battles

Monday, October 19, 2020

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FOR the rest of the world it's dubbed an estate battle; in Jamaica it's fighting over 'dead lef' — that time when family members, or claimants to a deceased person's estate, argue over who should inherit what. For some people this means years and years in court, hiring attorneys to wade through the morass, as everyone involved in these matters understand that in the end, being the beneficiary of an estate can mean instant good fortune, especially if it involves real estate.

Throw in a bit of scandal — scandal involving romance — and the battle can heat up even more, after, and even before the benefactor kicks the bucket, as these readers share.

Ann-Marie, 45:

My father, a very wealthy man, didn't add his outside child to his property distribution discussions with my mother — he may have wanted to, but he died when the child was very young. My mother, a Christian woman, had seemingly accepted the child while he was alive, and even invited the child to come for visits with us. But after my father died, she insisted that the child would get nothing. Even when the mother showed up at our house begging for even a day's work so she could afford to buy food for the child, my mother slammed the door in her face. We pleaded with her to help them, but her heart was hardened. It was my eldest brother, who was studying law at university at the time, who contacted the relevant authorities, and they investigated and made sure the child got his share of my father's estate.

Shim, 32:

My brother has several outside children, and three in his marriage. The family recently found out that he had taken care of the outside kids by making heavy investments in their name, but nothing was done for the children of the marriage. My sister-in-law got so upset that she went ahead and had most of the investments dissolved, and transferred the proceeds to herself and her children. She is adamant that there will be no sharing when he passes, and is ensuring that she is a joint holder of every property he owns.

Kenneth, 37:

My father had three properties, and lived in one of them with his wife (not my mother). In one of the other properties lived his other babymother, and he rented the third. He was divorced from my mother, and we lived in the house she received from him in the divorce. Would you know that when he died his wife claimed that all the properties belonged to her — including the one his babymother was living in. She put the woman out and rented the property. The babymother didn't even bother to fight her, she just moved back to the country with her child.

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