Marissa I. Pyfrom
Areas of Practice:
- Real Estate & Development
- Administration Law
- Resealing of Foreign Wills
- Wills, Estate Planning & Probate
At first brush, Real Estate and Probate Law appear unrelated, but to Marissa Pyfrom the connection is clear. Both share common requisites – careful and deliberate preparation, traits that mark the essence of her practice. “Endings occur without warning,” says the Callenders Associate who joined the firm as a protégé in 2014 and earned a reputation for doggedness, thoroughness and negotiating skill well beyond her years. By 2015, as an Associate handling a very contentious case, she was able to bring a family dispute to resolution after five lawyers had tried over a 10-year period.
Witnessing the toll such a dispute took on siblings and the irrevocable rift it left in that extended family reinforced her conviction to ensure that Callenders clients understand the importance of Estate Planning and Administration. For those to whom real estate investment is part of their portfolio, Ms. Pyfrom is committed to ensuring they know at Callenders, no shortcuts will ever be taken.
Like others who practice Estate Planning, Ms. Pyfrom appreciates that clients, even those with significant assets, frequently delay preparing a will or establishing guardianship of minority or elderly parent for fear that recognising the inevitable invites its onset. Postponing planning, she says, does not postpone the inevitable. It merely leaves loved ones unprotected, often caught in limbo. When someone dies intestate (without a will) property is vested in the Supreme Court until letters of administration are issued. If there is a child in college, medical expenses or other obligations, funds may not be available to cover the costs. With a will, property is vested in the executor immediately. “Making provisions for your loved one is a way of showing love although you may be uncomfortable initially,” she says.
In her other main practice area, real estate, Ms. Pyfrom says representing purchasers and vendors in the acquisition and sale of private residential and commercial property as well as the representation of mortgagees and mortgagors in secured financing property transactions requires meticulous attention to detail. She, as do others at Callenders, personally pours through 30 years of property records for a single property transaction, ascertaining not only the accurate boundaries and recording documents but demonstrating that every signature on every transaction was proven the correct and authorized signatory. Such scrupulous attention to detail is not required in countries with a land registry and reliance on title insurance. But that attention to detail has allowed her to discover inaccurate property descriptions, saving clients aggravation, costs, and delays in transactions.
Ms. Pyfrom also tackles real property tax disputes and in recent months has succeeded in overturning increases on behalf of several clients who were able to demonstrate just cause, including appraised value by a government-approved, BREA-licensed appraiser.
Ms. Pyfrom obtained an Associates of Arts Degree in Law and Criminal Justice from the College of The Bahamas in 2007, a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of the West Indies in 2011 and a Certificate of Legal Education from the Eugene Dupuch Law School in 2014. She was called to The Bahamas Bar in 2014 and is a member of The Bahamas Bar Association.