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Why should I make a Will?

Why should I consult Parslows?

You may be tempted to download templates from the internet, however, you have to be very careful to ensure that Wills are in correct form and properly witnessed, it is recommended that you always consult a lawyer to advise upon and prepare your Wills.

Should I make a will?

You can decide not to make a Will. If you die without making a Will, your assets pass in accordance with the intestacy rules. Making a Will should mean that your property will be distributed as per your intentions and wishes.

Why do I need two wills?

Jersey law divides property into immovable estate, situate in the Island, and movable estate.

Immovable estate consists of land and buildings on land, including leases of more than nine years, “flying freeholds” and those mortgages known as “hypothèques conventionnelles” but excluding “share transfer” properties. All other property in Jersey is movable estate.

Different rules apply to movable and immovable estates and it is therefore the practice to prepare separate wills for them.

Who can make a Will?

In order to make a Will, you must be at least 18 years old or married.

When is my Will effective?

You can change the provisions of your wills, as your circumstances alter, throughout your life. Wills only become effective at the time of death.

When do I need an executor?

The executor is the person who will obtain the grant of probate, administer your estate and distribute your property in accordance with the provisions of your Will. You may appoint anyone as your executor but you should always ensure that the person you have in mind is happy to act as such.

An executor is required for movable estate, but not for immovable estate.

Can I leave my immovable estate to whom I please?

As a general rule, you are free to leave your immovable estate to whoever you choose. However, one should consider dower.

If you are a married and leave a spouse that person may claim dower, which is the right to a life interest in one-third of your immovable estate which continues despite any remarriage.

Can I leave my movable estate to who I please?

First and foremost, you can leave your movable estate to whoever you choose. However, your surviving spouse and children (see 1 below) have what are known as “légitime” rights.

Légitime rights allow a spouse and/or children to claim a proportion of the movable estate of a Jersey domiciled individual if they so choose within a specific time period. It is not possible to avoid a valid “légitime” claim.

  • If you leave a spouse but no children, your spouse can claim as “légitime” the household effects and two-thirds of the rest of your net movable estate.
  • If you leave a spouse and children, your spouse can claim the household effects (see 2 below) and one-third of the rest of your net movable estate. Your children can also claim one-third of the rest of your net movable estate.
  • If you leave children but no spouse, your children can claim two-thirds of your net movable estate.

What happens if I do not make Wills?

Immovable estate

If you leave a spouse but no children, your spouse will take all of your immovable estate. If you leave a spouse and children, your spouse and children will share equally in your immovable estate. If you leave children but no spouse, your children will share equally in your immovable estate.

Usually, unless your spouse is left the matrimonial home absolutely, he or she will be entitled to a life interest in such home. This applies whether or not the matrimonial home is a freehold, flying freehold, leasehold or share transfer unit. However, this will not apply if, at the time of your death, your spouse had deserted you without cause, or you had obtained a decree of judicial separation from your spouse.

Movable estate

If you leave a spouse but no children, your spouse will take all of your net movable estate. If you leave a spouse and children, your spouse will take the household effects, other movable estate to the value of £30,000 and half of the rest of your net movable estate. Your children will take the other half of the rest of your net movable estate. If you leave children but no spouse, your children will share equally in your movable estate.

What happens if I divorce after making my Wills?

Gifts to your spouse by Will, or the appointment of your spouse as your executor, are automatically cancelled on divorce, but the rest of your Will remains valid. We recommend that you review your Wills if you have divorced or are about to do so.

What happens if I marry after making my wills?

Unlike Wills in some other jurisdictions, Jersey Wills are not revoked by marriage. We recommend that you review your Wills if you have married or are about to do so.

What if my partner and I are unmarried?

Your partner will not have any right to your estate if you die without making a Will.

[1] In all cases, children will include illegitimate children for estates where the individual has died after 28 January 2011. An adopted child is treated as a child of the adopter.

[2]Household effects are articles of household, personal use or ornament, normally found in or around the matrimonial home. However, certain articles are excluded, such as motor cars, any articles used wholly or principally for business purposes, money or securities for money, articles or sets of articles valued at more than £10,000, and items which are specifically bequeathed in your will.

The information and opinion expressed in this document does not purport to be definitive or comprehensive and are not intended to provide professional advice. For specific advice, please contact Parslows, We are not responsible for, and do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with, the content of this document or any reliance upon it.

How Parslows can help

Parslows Wills Succession and estate planning team provide an exceptional service to all our clients.

Our Wills Succession and estate planning lawyers are focused on providing you with expert advice with a truly personal service.

We advise on all aspects of Wills Succession and estate planning: whether it be advice on a standard will or something more complicated involving a trust.

Our clients are pleased with our service and fees, we are confident you will too.

For further information please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us at willsteam@parslowsjersey.com;

The information and opinion expressed in this briefing does not purport to be definitive or comprehensive and are not intended to provide professional advice. For specific advice, please contact Parslows, We are not responsible for, and do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with, the content of this document or any reliance upon it

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