The Ministry of Justice is looking to employ the use of mediation to assist in settling estate matters at the Administrator-General’s Department (AGD).
The move is expected to go a far way in enabling the entity to close the files on more than $50 billion in real estate under its management.
“I will be assisting the AGD, over the next few months, to see how we might be able to use mediation to get the beneficiaries together to see if they can come to some compromise,” said Portfolio Minister, Delroy Chuck.
“This is so that they (beneficiaries) can start using those funds and properties for productivity, which is so important to our country,” he pointed out.
Chuck was addressing a Justices of the Peace (JP) sensitisation session on September 20 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
The AGD is charged with administering the estates of persons who die without leaving a will and who have beneficiaries under 18 years.
Chuck noted that the $50 billion in properties being managed by the AGD “is a difficult challenge, and they would like to dispose of all of it”.
“But to do so, it means cooperation from the beneficiaries. If a will was made, it would have been dealt with very expeditiously. They have close to $4 billion, probably more in cash sitting in the banks, that they would like to dispose of to the beneficiaries,” he said.
The justice minister continues to implore citizens to prioritise the crafting of a will to facilitate the smooth transition of estates to beneficiaries.
He noted that despite an increase in case files completed over the last 10 to 15 years, averaging 500 per year and sometimes close to 1,000, the AGD continues to see a rise in cases.
“[Many] Jamaicans fail to make a will and, therefore, more than 500 cases are coming to the AGD every year,” he said, noting this is a challenge for the entity to discharge of such a large volume of estates.”
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