Jersey: Jersey Wills For Foreign Domiciled Persons (2018)

Last Updated: 23 November 2018
Article by Victoria Grogan

Introduction

This briefing has been prepared for clients domiciled outside Jersey who are considering making a will to cover their Jersey based movable assets. 

This briefing attempts to answer some of the more common questions that are asked by people who are not domiciled in Jersey, but hold assets here and are concerned about how these will be distributed following their death. 

Do I need a will to cover my Jersey assets?

It is advisable, although not essential, for you to make a separate will covering your Jersey assets and confirming what will happen to these assets following your death if you are domiciled outside Jersey, but the precise needs of any one person will depend on their individual circumstances.

While you are not legally required to have a separate will covering your Jersey assets if you already have a valid will that is drafted to cover your entire worldwide personal assets, there are a number of benefits from doing so. 

If a person passes away leaving assets in Jersey which have a value of over £10,000, the asset holder is legally obliged to request that a Jersey Grant of Probate (if the deceased left a will) or Grant of Letters of Administration (if the deceased did not leave a will) is produced to them to enable these assets to be released to whoever is named on that document as the deceased's personal representative (PR).  The Grant gives the asset holder the assurance that they need to be able to take instructions from, and release the assets to, that named PR.

Jersey law has a requirement for the PR of a deceased person's estate to make a personal appearance in the Royal Court of Jersey in order to apply for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and swear the relevant Oath.  If this person or persons cannot make this journey to Jersey, for example if they live the other side of the world or do not wish to travel, they will need to instead appoint a Jersey based agent, such as a solicitor, to make this appearance in the Court on their behalf. 

If you put a separate will in place to cover your assets in Jersey, you may wish to consider appointing a Jersey based agent as your executor in the first instance.  This makes the process of applying for a Grant, and the required Jersey Court appearance, much easier when the time comes and can therefore make the administration of your Jersey estate more time and cost effective.  Ogier has an executorship company, Ogier Executor and Trustee Company Limited, who can be appointed in this capacity and if so, the application for the Grant and the realisation of the Jersey assets, can be done very quickly and usually within a few weeks. 

If you only have one will covering your worldwide estate, the usual procedure is for this will to be admitted to Probate, or the equivalent procedure, in the Court of your country of domicile first.  This is in fact a requirement of the Jersey Court if there are assets in the domicile country which require administering.  The document issued by the Court in the country of domicile will then need to be used to obtain the Jersey Grant.  This can all take time and add to the cost of the overall estate administration.  If you have a separate Jersey will covering your Jersey assets, this will can be admitted to Probate in Jersey without being reliant on a document being issued in another jurisdiction, making the administration of the Jersey estate much more efficient.  This can assist with the payment of debts in other jurisdictions if required.

What is domicile and why is it important?

So far as wills of movable (or personal) estate are concerned, the law of your domicile is of paramount importance.  Under Jersey law, the rights (if any) held by your family to certain proportions of your personal estate are governed by the law of your country of domicile at the date of your death. 

Domicile is the connecting factor which links a person with a particular legal system.  The concept of domicile is a complex issue, but in its most general sense may be described as a person's "permanent home" and the place that they have the most connection to.  It is not the same as either residence or ordinary residence, although these are factors which may be taken into account in determining a person's domicile.

A person's domicile is important for succession purposes because it is your domicile at the date of your death which, may govern the validity of your will of movable (personal) estate and may also dictate any taxes that are payable on your worldwide estate.

We recommend that you record your country of domicile in your Jersey will so that there is no uncertainty in this regard.  It may also be recommended to record your nationality and habitual residence – your lawyer can advise more on this.

What is my movable (or personal) estate?

Jersey law distinguish between movable or personal assets and immovable or real estate assets.  Broadly speaking, your immovable estate will consist of freehold land and buildings together with their permanent fixtures and fittings.  Your movable estate will comprise everything else and will includes such items as money, furniture, jewellery, cars and paintings as well as intangible assets such as shares (including shares of a property-holding company) and insurance policies.  Movable assets are sometimes also referred to as personal assets, movables, movable estate or personal estate.

What can the will cover?

Your will can cover all of your movable assets that are situated in Jersey.  We can also consider covering other offshore jurisdictions such as Guernsey, the BVI, Cayman and Hong Kong (where Ogier have offices) if you have assets in these jurisdictions and possibly other offshore jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man.  We can provide you with advice on this once you have informed us of the nature and location of your assets.

If you own immovable assets anywhere then it is important to take proper advice regarding the succession of these assets upon your death as this will usually be governed by the law of the country in which the immovable asset is located. 

What is an executor?

The executor is the person or organisation appointed in your will who is charged with the task of handing your estate after your death and who must collect in your assets, pay off your debts and then distribute the balance to your beneficiaries.  We recommend that you tell the person whom you appoint to be executor under your will of their appointment.  We would also suggest that you inform him or her where the original will is kept.

Subject to there being no impediment under the law of your domicile, you may wish to consider Ogier's own executor company, Ogier Executor and Trustee Company Limited, to be the executor of your Jersey will.  It is impartial, professional and experienced in the administration of estates and can make the process of obtaining a Grant of Probate in Jersey much more straightforward.

What happens if I die intestate (without making a valid will)?

If you die without making a valid will that covers your movable (personal) estate situate in Jersey then it will be necessary to obtain a Jersey Grant of Letters of Administration before your Jersey assets can be dealt with.  The person entitled to apply for the Jersey Grant of Letters of Administration will be determined by the law of the jurisdiction of your domicile at the date of your death.  The identity of the relevant person may be difficult to ascertain (as may be the identity of your heirs) and this can be an additional reason for you to consider making a will specifically relating to your personal estate in Jersey.

How do I make a will for my movable estate situate in Jersey?

We are able to draft this for you – simply complete and return our will Questionnaire and we can draft a will based on your requirements to send to you for consideration and review.  You can send it to wills@ogier.com and it will come through to a member of our experienced team who will contact you to take this forward.

The Will Questionnaire outlines all of the information that we will need from you such as the details of your beneficiaries (who can be individuals, charities or trustees of a trust), your assets and your personal circumstances.  Please provide as much information as possible.  It is useful for us to have a list of your assets and where they are situated to ensure that your estate planning requirements are fully appreciated and considered.  Details of your assets are not mentioned in your will and remain confidential but will be a useful source of information for your executor in due course. 

You might also wish to think about making a log of your digital assets, such as financial and social media resources, music and photo collections and bitcoins, and the passwords needed to access these so that your executor can administer these correctly upon your death. 

Do I need a Jersey will if I am a beneficiary of a Jersey trust?

If you are not domiciled in Jersey but you are a beneficiary of a Jersey trust you generally do not need a will to deal with your interest under the trust.  However, you should always seek specific legal advice in situations such as these.

Do I need a Jersey will if I am a shareholder of a Jersey company?

If you are not domiciled in Jersey but you are a shareholder in a Jersey or Guernsey company then, generally, a Jersey Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be required in order to deal with the shares and transfer them on your death.  Therefore, it would be beneficial for you to make a Jersey will dealing with such shares although in each case specific advice should be taken.

Do I need a Jersey will if I own joint assets in Jersey?

If you co-own a Jersey asset, it is necessary to check how it is held.  Jersey law recognises two forms of co-ownership which are joint ownership and ownership in common.  The crucial difference between them is that on the death of an owner in common, his interest in the asset passes to his estate whereas on the death of a joint owner, it would instead pass to the surviving joint owner/s.  The presumption in Jersey is in favour of ownership in common, so express words are needed for joint ownership to be created.  You should check this on any bank mandate or share certificate to ensure that this is clear.

While it is usual for assets that are owned in joint ownership (as opposed to owners in common) to pass to a surviving party without the need for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, joint owners should consider who would inherit those assets in the event of something happening to them both. 

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
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Industry
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
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