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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Buying and Selling Real Estate in Jamaica: A Guide for Locals and Foreigners

Introduction:

Jamaica is a beautiful country with a cosmopolitan culture. This rich cultural landscape has created an almost insatiable appetite to own property in Jamaica. Prospective buyers fall into three market segments: local residents, the Jamaican Diaspora, and foreigners. Buying and selling real estate in Jamaica is marked by an absence of standardized contract. Thus the process is heavily dependent upon the involvement of lawyers.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Protecting & Growing Your Business in Jamaica – A Legal Perspective

Introduction:

Notwithstanding the difficult business environment in Jamaica, you have turned a fledgling idea into a profitable business and you have decided to make your business a bigger success. Over the years you have engaged financial, accounting and legal professionals to keep your enterprise out of trouble. Taxes were paid on time, employees were properly selected, and your banker was happy with your credit score.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Adverse Possession – Squatters Title

What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is a way that an individual can legally take property owned by another individual without paying for it. The requirements for adversely possessing property varies if the previous land owner is a private individual, government entity, or a person with disability but include continuous and open use of the other persons land for a specified period years on the property in question. The basic idea is that you will not have ownership of the property by title but will have established that you are the de facto owner by how you use the property. In effect, adverse possession is a process by which land can change ownership without a formal grant of ownership by the previous owner to the current owner.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Wills – The Problem of Intestacy

Introduction

Many people are dutiful in writing wills. But they often do so under the wrong assumptions and without an understanding of the chief benefits of writing a will. Namely, many people assume that writing a will is the only way to manage and distribute one’s possessions after death. But this is not the case. As mentioned in another blog topic, there are also trusts. However, if you do not create a trust or will, this does not mean that your possessions are simply left to no one. Instead, it means that you have died intestate and have lost the right to choose who you prefer to get your possessions. In intestacy, the state assumes control of your possessions and will distribute the possessions based on predetermined rules that often are contrary to what you would have elected to do prior to your death. Maintaining control, though, is not the only benefit to writing a will as I will address in this blog entry.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trusts: An Alternative to Wills

What is a Will?

A will is a legal instrument that permits a person to make decisions on how his possessions will be managed and distributed after his death.

What are the Disadvantages of Using a Will?

Wills are commonplace and many people think that they should assign and distribute their assets using a will. But there are disadvantages of using a will. Namely, a will is subject to costly probate proceedings, the contents of a will are public record, and a will is tax inefficient, i.e., you will lose out on tax dollars when you use a will to manage and distribute assets after death.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jamaica Takes First Legislative Step to Offer Offshore Financial Services

On February 8, 2011, Jamaica’s House of Representatives passed the Jamaica International Financial Services Authority bill. If the bill is passed by the Senate and ultimately signed by the Governor General, Jamaica would be firmly positioned as a major international financial services hub.  Equally, passage of the Act is expected to provide many other opportunities for the country.


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