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Advantages of having a separate Jersey will

Wills | Private Client
8 June 2020

If you are domiciled outside Jersey but have Jersey assets, you may want to consider making a Jersey Will.

A Jersey Will made in other jurisdictions may not account for the assets here in Jersey and, upon your death, you run the risk of becoming intestate in relation to your Jersey estate.

If you already have a will covering your worldwide assets, then making a further Jersey will may seem pointless. However, there are a number of benefits to having a separate Jersey will.

When your Jersey assets exceed £10,000.00 the Jersey financial institutions will require a Jersey Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to release the assets. Depending on an institution, a Grant may be required even if your assets are under £10,000.00.

Probate of your worldwide will

If there is no separate will to cover your Jersey assets but there is a will which covers your worldwide estate (the ‘Worldwide Will’), the Worldwide Will will have to be proved in the country of domicile before probate proceedings can take place in Jersey. Upon application for Jersey Grant of Probate, Jersey Court will require a court sealed and certified copy of the will and the Grant of Probate (or equivalent) issued in the country of domicile. It can take some time to obtain official documentation from the courts in the place of domicile, which results in substantial delays in extracting the Jersey assets. In addition, if applicable, the costs must be met of having the documents translated into English by a professional translator.

Probate of your Jersey will

Having a separate Jersey will assists, in that the Jersey estate is dealt with quickly and effectively: the only original documentation required to apply for Jersey Grant is the Jersey will and the death certificate. Only photocopies of any other wills in relation to your estate situate outside of Jersey will be required and that is merely to demonstrate to the Court that the Jersey will has not been inadvertently revoked by a subsequent will.

Your executor can, therefore, access your Jersey assets more swiftly and in priority to the assets tied up in probate in the country of domicile. This can help with payment of any debts or tax liabilities you may have in other jurisdictions.

The process is even more efficient if you appoint a Jersey resident as your executor. It resolves the issue of the executor having to come to Jersey to make a personal application for probate or to execute a power of attorney appointing someone else to act on their behalf.

It is advisable that the will is drafted by a Jersey lawyer who will ensure that the document is validly drafted in compliance with Jersey law.

You have no will in place

If you have no valid will, then, upon your death, it will be necessary to obtain a Jersey Grant of Letters of Administration before your Jersey estate can be dealt with. The requirements are identical: the intestacy process must be completed in the country of domicile and a court sealed and certified copy of the Letters of Administration (or equivalent) must be presented to the Jersey Court at the time of making the application for Jersey Grant. The person entitled to apply for the Jersey Grant of Letters of Administration will be determined by the law of your domicile. This may be difficult to ascertain and it can be an additional reason for you to consider making a will specifically relating to your Jersey estate.

If there was no requirement to make application for the Letters of Administration in another jurisdiction, then an affidavit of law sworn by a lawyer qualified to practice in the place of your domicile will be required. The document will have to confirm who would be entitled to inherit your intestate estate in that jurisdiction.

Or, your existing will does not cover Jersey assets

In a situation when your existing will is limited to one jurisdiction, it will render you intestate in relation to your Jersey estate. In such event Jersey Grant of Letters of Administration will be required and, as above, an affidavit of foreign law will be necessary to confirm who is entitled to apply for the Grant in Jersey.

Contact us

Making a will exclusively relating to your Jersey estate will help your executor/heirs avoid any potential issues and will ensure that dealing with your Jersey estate is far easier, quicker and cost effective. Parslows Jersey offer a fixed fees, no surprises Jersey Will service.

For advice, assistance or further information on Jersey Wills please do not hesitate to call 00 44 15434 630530 or email us on wills@parslowsjersey.com

Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is designed to provide you with an outline of the legal services we offer.  Whilst we endeavour to ensure our information is correct and useful, we make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information offered.  Information on our website does not constitute legal advice and Parslows Jersey accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising out of, or in connection with, the information found in this website.  Please consult a lawyer at Parslows Jersey in the event that you require professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of the same, is correct.

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