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Where there is a will, there is another woman

Bev
East

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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This is my 29th year in business as a handwriting expert. Over these years I have experienced some heart-wrenching stories. You would be surprised what people try to forge.

Any document that can be forged, altered or tampered with I can assure you I have examined it — cheques, medical records, insurance documents, marriage certificates and even a recreated birth certificate. The list is endless. Usually, the client insists on telling me his/her side of a long, drawn-out story. I listen, but my role is to be objective. “Let me examine the documents” I say gently “as they will reveal the truth.” The story is irrelevant to me.

Here are a few of the stories attached to some of the documents I have examined. Of course, the characters have been changed to protect the guilty and the unusual suspects.

My first story is about a will — the most common aspect of my work in the Caribbean region. One person dies, two or sometimes three wills surface. It is most distressing when someone dies much less when someone dies and there is a dispute over the contents. I have examined many wills where there is so much emotion attached to a document. A family divided, disappointed, searching for the truth and he said, she said and so it goes on…

Where there is a will there is another woman!!!

I didn't cry when my husband died. I had too much on my mind and I just thought once I sort out everything I would sit down and have a good old cry.

But that time never came because you think you know a man when he is living, but is when he's dead you really find out the truth about him

You see, I found out that my husband has land and house in parts of Jamaica I never see or hear him go to or talk about. I find this out because when a man dies everyone start fighting over what they suppose fe get.

I as his wife of 15 years never really think about it too much — what he have and what he don't have, as we were both married before. For better or for worse, if you know what I mean.

I was too busy caring and fretting over him when he get sick to set me mind on dead lef.

Me, the legal wife, not worrying about those things: but everyone — his brother, cousin through first wife marriage and step children and all kind of relative never see or hear from before — begin to surface.

But it's when I get a call from the lawyer lady from Robertson Greenword and Nelson,

tell me sey dem have a will and they questioned mine — Well, all hell broke loose

The will sey dat all his possessions going to his long-time girlfriend Leith Jasmin Baker and she one daughter, Crimus Baker.

Who in dem right mind call dem baby Crimus anyway? What foolishness is dat?

But when I unfold the handwritten, three-page, foolscap document and see the contents

me belly bottom nearly drop out.

Everything write out like a supermarket shopping list:

• One apartment building in Port Antonio;

• Two apartment building in Montego Bay;

• Five acres of land in Frankfield Clarendon;

Two houses on the land parcel 18 lot 24 in Mandeville;

One Lexus infinity;

One laptop;

One Rolex watch;

One microware;

One refrigerator;

One stove;

One Samsung television;

And all contents from NCB bank account number 641128891.

Two things worry me now, how I fight to keep the things my husband, with him liad self-have,

and how to prove to the lawyer lady that my husband never write such a will in the first place.

My head spinning like a washing machine.

I try to think it through how I going to tell the lawyer lady that is not my husband's handwriting on that piece of paper dem call will and testament,

how he can barely write his letters — and not these fancy letters with curls at the bottom of the letters h, — and t' and big flouncy g's and y's and how this handwriting, too fancy to even be a man's handwriting much less my husband.

But as clever as my husband was, because him fool me for the longest time,

my husband didn't know how to read and write. And is only after him sweet talk me so deep in love

and promise me the world, sex me up until me all leave work lunch time to come home fe a little something in the middle of the day,

That I find out sey him cannot read or write. He always want me to read the paper to him and just sign this for me and sign dat for me — me never pay him no mind — but at the altar it took him so long to sign him name, me tink sey is nervous him nervous.

But me too deep in love now and can't tek shame of me eye because me done tell the whole world how me in love.

Big woman like me who go to foreign and get education,

how me fe tell everyone me now married to a man who is illiterate?

But for better or for worse, I just tek shame out of me eye and carry on regardless with my duties and start to write up everything for him.

So me know, for sure — as night follow day — Albert Cornelius Redford Williams,

known to me as Sonny lying six foot under,

is not the author of any will— giving any babymother anything — not over my dead body…

Beverley East is a leading expert in the area of handwriting analysis, with 29 years' experience. As a forensic document examiner she has been court — qualified in six countries. She is the recipient of the Forerunner Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies. She is also the only woman of colour in the world qualified in both areas of handwriting expertise. Ms East is also a three-time best-selling author.

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