Most of us avoid thinking of such matters but death is, along with taxes, inevitable. Organising your affairs so that, when the time comes, your property is distributed according to your wishes can avoid many problems and regrets for those left behind.
You can do so by making wills. We can assist and advise you in that process.
A will is a legal document by which a person (the testator) disposes of all or part of his/her property in favour of one or several persons. A will can be amended or revoked at any time before death as such dispositions only come into effect on the death of the testator.
Types of Wills
Jersey wills can be of immovables (disposing of land and other “freehold“ property situated in Jersey), of movables (dealing wish cash, money, vehicles etc) or mixed (disposing of both types of property).
It is generally preferable to dispose separately of movable and immovable property.
Who can make a will
Any person of age (over 18) and of sound mind can make a valid will in Jersey.
Matters to consider
You need to consider who you want to act as executor of your will of movables. The executor will be responsible for ensuring that the property is disposed of according to the will and the law. You can choose a relative, a friend or a professional person such as a lawyer. It is a good idea to check with them first, to ensure that they are happy to be appointed.
If you are a married person (or a civil partner) and/or have children, you may not be able to dispose freely of all your movables.
The Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 provides that the production of a grant is necessary to establish the right to recover or receive any part of the movable estate of any deceased person situated in Jersey.
We regularly assist individuals resident in Jersey, the UK and other jurisdictions to obtain Jersey Grants of Probate (or Letters of Administration, if there is no will).
In order to consider an application for a Jersey Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, the Jersey Court will, in essence, require the following:
1. Persons domiciled in Jersey
- the original death certificate.
- the original will and any codicils.
- confirmation of the value of the net assets.
2. Persons not domiciled in Jersey
- the original or a certified copy of the death certificate;
- a sealed and certified copy of the will and any codicils;
- a sealed and certified copy of the original grant of probate issued in the deceased’s country of domicile; and
- a Power of Attorney from the Executor/Administrator in favour of the Jersey lawyer.
Stamp duty is payable which is calculated on the net value of the Jersey movable estate as at the deceased’s date of death.
Please note that all documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official translation.
Where a deceased died domiciled in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Island, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, there is a fast track procedure available.
Please contact us for more information and advice.