Jersey: Guidelines On Obtaining Probate For Assets Of Non-Jersey Domiciled Deceased Persons

Last Updated: 2 December 2008
Article by Maureen Brocardo and Jo Spary

Most Read Contributor in Jersey, September 2016

Jersey probate is required for all persons with movable estate situate in Jersey. It is an offence to intermeddle, take possession or in any way to administer any part of the movable estate of a deceased save where the 1998 Probate law allows. Penalties are severe being a fine or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months – or both

With the introduction of the above law the process of obtaining probate in Jersey has been streamlined and simplified - the main changes are as follows:-

Fast track

A procedure for obtaining Probate (Letters of Administration) in the estates of British domiciliaries – A British Grant has to be obtained in order to prove British domicile and fast track can only be used where a British Grant has been obtained.

(This procedure also avoids the need to appoint an attorney)

New definition of formal validity of persons wheresoever domiciled including Jersey.(Article 29) – as far as foreign domicile is concerned it will no longer be deemed necessary to provide affidavits of law of the testators domicile. Intestate succession will however still require such affidavits of foreign law.

  • an indemnity for small estates exemptions – (under £10,000) (not for Jersey domiciliaries)
  • a statutory ability for the Royal Court of Jersey to sanction deeds of variation
  • disclaimers which can be recognised as valid by statute
  • a new procedure for lodging caveats the abolition of the rule by which married women automatically had a domicile of dependancy from their husbands

Documentation required for a British domiciliary – will executed in Jersey as to Jersey assets Original will and death certificate and copies of any other testamentary dispositions.

For a British domiciliary with will which covers Jersey assets and which has been proved in the UK we require a Court sealed and certified copy of the UK Grant of Probate and will (for Scottish domiciliaries Scottish Confirmation) both documents which must bear the seal of the Court and be certified by the registrar of the Court as being true copies of the original documents. A power of attorney is prepared wherein the executors give power to our in house executor company Ogier Executor & Trustee Company Limited as their attornies and to uplift transfer or administer the Jersey assets.

Alternatively the "Fast Track" procedure eliminates the need for attornies and the executors can swear an Oath in the UK and forward the Oath and the Court sealed and certified copy of the U K Grant of Probate and will to us and we can lodge the same with the Judicial Greffe who will issue a Greffier's Certificate in due course. The executors can then arrange to uplift the Jersey assets themselves. Executors can, of course, travel to Jersey and personally attend at the Judicial Greffe.

Our fees are based upon the value of the professional advice and services rendered, given appropriate consideration to a number of factors, including the time and labour required and the experience of those performing the services; the complexity, novelty and difficulty of issues raised and the skills required; the urgency with which we are instructed to deal with the matter; the contribution made, responsibility assumed, amount involved and results achieved; the number and length of documents prepared and reviewed. However, as a starting position in relation to the obtaining of Probate within the Island, we charge in accordance with a scale fee of £500.00 plus 1% on the value of the estate in Jersey.

In addition, stamp duty is payable at the rate of nil for the first £10,000, £100.00 up to £20,000 and thereafter £50.00 for each £10,0000 any fractional part of £10,000 up to £100,000 . Thereafter - £75.00 per £10,000.

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.

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