Jersey: Guidelines For Making A Will: Jersey Residents

Last Updated: 3 May 2012
Article by Clare Nicolle, Marianne De Sousa and Julie Harrigan

Classification of Assets

Assets can be classified as either immovables (real estate): land, freehold property, leases of over nine years; or movables (personal estate): cash in your bank accounts, shares (including shares in share transfer properties), units in unit trusts, jewellery etc.

The classification is important because under Jersey law it is usual practice to have separate wills of immovables and movables. This differs from other jurisdictions, such as England and Wales, where all of an individual's assets are dealt with under one will.

Under Jersey law a will of immovables does not require an executor. The will must be registered in the Public Registry for it to take effect. In contrast, a will of movables requires an executor who must attend at the Probate Registry to swear an oath in order to obtain a grant of probate.

Ownership of assets

Assets can be held either in your sole name or in joint names. If an asset is held in your sole name then on your death it will pass in accordance with the terms of your will. If an asset is held in joint names, then it will pass to the survivor on the death of the first named individual, outside of the deceased's estate.

Immovable Estate

Where real estate is held in joint names, it can be held either as joint tenants or as tenants in common. If you hold real estate as joint tenants, then it will pass on survivorship (as above). However, if the real estate is held as tenants in common, then your share will pass in accordance with the terms of your will.

Wills of Immovables (real estate)

Under Jersey law you are free to deal with your immovable estate as you choose. However, if you die leaving a spouse or civil partner and a valid will (testate) your spouse or civil partner may be entitled to rights of dower (widow/civil partner) or rights of viduité (widower) which equates to a life enjoyment over one third of your immovable assets.

What happens in circumstances where you die intestate?

If you die without leaving a will (intestate) then your real estate will devolve in accordance with the law which provides that:-

  1. where you die without leaving a spouse or civil partner or children your real estate devolves on your heirs at law. (In such circumstances under Jersey law your heirs at law are your siblings. If you have no siblings, your parents are your heirs at law. Should they have predeceased you, your heirs at law are your uncles and aunts or their issue.)
  2. where you die leaving a spouse or civil partner but no children your real estate devolves on your spouse/civil partner;
  3. where you die leaving a spouse/civil partner and children your spouse/ civil partner may be entitled to a life enjoyment of the matrimonial home and the underlying (reversionary) ownership of the property is split equally between your spouse/civil partner and your children as tenants in common. In such circumstances, where you die leaving additional real estate your spouse/civil partner and children will be entitled to equal shares of that property as tenants in common.

Trusts of Jersey Immovables

Jersey law prohibits trusts of Jersey real estate. Accordingly, you cannot direct that upon your death your immovable estate be sold and the proceeds of sale divided in a certain way.

Stamp duty

Whilst Jersey does not have inheritance tax, stamp duty is payable on registration of a will of immovables. Foe more information please see the article "Obtaining a Grant of Probate and Registering a Will of Realty".

Immovable Estate outside the Island of Jersey

Should you own any real estate outside of the Island, then the devolution of that real estate and the law governing the validity of a will relating to it will be governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the real estate is situated. You should seek legal advice in the jurisdiction where the property is situated.

Wills of Movables (personal estate)

Your will of movables will set out the devolution of all your assets that are not immovable. This will include any share transfer property if it is held via a company.

What happens in circumstances where you die intestate?

Should you die intestate as to your movable estate, your assets will devolve as follows:

  1. where you die without leaving a spouse or civil partner or children, your movable estate will devolve on your heirs at law. (See above as to who your heirs at law are.)
  2. where you die leaving a spouse or civil partner but no children, your spouse/ civil partner will receive the entire net movable estate; and
  3. where you die leaving a spouse/civil partner and children, your spouse/civil partner will receive (i) the household effects; (ii) other movable estate to a value of £30,000; and (iii) one-half of the rest of the net movable estate; and your children will receive the other half of the net movable estate.

Children

A recent amendment to the law now means that the illegitimate children of a man have the same rights to share in his estate as any legitimate children would. This has always been the case with the illegitimate children of a woman. This provides protection for the children of unmarried parents.

Forced Heirship: 'légitime'

Under Jersey law should you have either a spouse or civil partner or children you may only freely dispose of one third of your movable estate. This is because Jersey law provides that the spouse/civil partner and children of a deceased individual are entitled to certain shares of the deceased's movable estate as follows:

  1. where you die leaving a spouse/civil partner but no children, your spouse/civil partner will be entitled to claim (i) the household effects; and (ii) two-thirds of your net movable estate;
  2. where you die leaving a spouse/civil partner and children, your spouse/ civil partner will be entitled to claim (i) the household effects; and (ii) onethird of the net movable estate; and your children will be entitled to claim one-third of the rest of the net movable estate; and
  3. where you die leaving children but no spouse/civil partner, the children will be entitled to claim two-thirds of the net movable estate. This does not mean that your will is invalid if it is not drafted as set out above and many people leave their entire movable estate to their spouse. It just means that a claim could be brought before the Royal Court against your movable estate on your death. The claim must be brought within a year and a day of probate being granted.

Domicile

The law of your domicile will govern how your assets devolve on your death. You may have a domicile of birth (the domicile of your legal father or your mother) or you may have taken a domicile of choice (having sited yourself in a new jurisdiction and created ties to it). We include a provision in your will to state where you are domiciled.

Executor/Executrix

Under Jersey law an executor must be appointed to administer your movable estate. An executor does not need to be resident in Jersey but they will have to attend at the Probate Registry to swear the oath of office in order to obtain the grant of probate. If they are not resident in the Island and do not want to attend in the Island then they can appoint an attorney to attend on their behalf.

Collas Crill has incorporated an executorship company, Collas Crill Executors Limited (CCEL), that can be appointed as your executor and will also act as attorney for non-resident executors. By appointing CCEL as your executor the situation will not arise where your executor may have predeceased you.

Probate Fees

In order to obtain the grant of probate the executor will have to pay fees, calculated on the value of your movable estate as at the date of your death.

Funeral arrangements

You can include instructions to your executor within your will of movables as to how you wish your remains to be disposed of (e.g. cremation with ashes to be scattered) and as to your funeral arrangements.

Tuteur / Tutrice

(Guardian) and Tutelle Under Jersey law when a minor child inherits either immovable or movable estate a tuteur or tutrice (guardian) must be appointed to hold and administer those assets on behalf of the child until the child reaches the age of 18 years old. A tutelle must also be constituted. A tutelle comprises of the guardian and six other named individuals who assist the guardian in making decisions in relation to the minor child's assets. All members of the tutelle must appear before the Royal Court and the guardian must swear an oath of office.

Should you have young children you may wish to draft a letter to your executor setting out who you wish to act as guardian and the other members of the tutelle in circumstances where you die survived by your minor children. You can also include within that letter instructions as to who you wish to care for any minor children. We can assist you in drafting this letter.

Pets

If you have a pet you may wish to include provisions as to who you wish to look after your pet on your decease. You can also make financial provisions for the care of your pet within your will.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Carey Olsen
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Carey Olsen
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions