Jersey law imposes certain requirements as to the form a Will must take, and the formalities in relation to the need for witnesses who must attend its making. The purpose of these rules are to prevent, inter alia, fraud and duress.
The formal requirements differ depending on whether the Will is one which disposes of movables or immovables.
What makes a Jersey Will formally valid?
In general terms the following is required for a Jersey Will to be valid:
If I can show that the Will does not meet the requirements set out above can I challenge the Will?
It depends upon the issue in question. For example, if the Will is not dated the Royal Court may in some circumstances accept extrinsic evidence to prove the date of execution. On the other hand if the Will was witnessed by a beneficiary, the Will is likely to be deemed invalid. It will depend upon the facts of each particular case.
When should I begin the process of contesting the Jersey Will?
You should seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are considering contesting on the grounds of invalid formally. If it is considered that you have prima facie grounds for succeeding then we would discuss with you the question of whether to issue a caveat against the estate. This would prevent the executor from proceeding with administering the estate until the issues that you intend to raise are dealt with.
For general advice, assistance or further information on bringing an action against a Jersey Estate to challenge on the grounds of formal validity or any issues with Jersey Wills or Probate please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us on email@example.com