Can the provisions of a Jersey Will of Movable Estate be varied after death?

Can the provisions of a Jersey Will of Movable Estate be varied after death?


Under Jersey Law it is possible in certain circumstances to vary the distribution of assets to beneficiaries under a Will or in cases of intestacy (no Will) as the Royal Court has a discretionary power to vary any disposition of the movable estate of a deceased person. This only relates to movable estate. There are no provisions under the law to vary a Will of Immovable Estate.

Why would a beneficiary wish to have their loved one’s Jersey Will varied?

A Jersey Will tends to be entered into many years before death. As such it is possible the bequests set out in a Jersey Will may, for example, impact on the beneficiary’s tax in their home jurisdiction or fail to provide for grand children or the like.

How can you vary a Jersey Movable Will?

An application is required to the Royal Court of Jersey under Article 25 of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 (the “Law”).

This application takes the form of a Representation, presented by a Jersey Advocate. A Representation is a means of applying to the Royal Court to bring an issue to its attention and to ask the Royal Court to order the variation (akin to a “petition” in other jurisdictions).

What requirements are necessary to present the Representation to the Royal Court?

The Representation:

  • must be made to the Royal Court of Jersey within two years of death
  • must set out the variation requested precisely

Consent to the variation:

  • consent must be obtained from all parties that are affected by the requested variation. The Royal Court will require the consenting parties to either attend in person or be represented at the hearing

What is the effect of a successful variation?

A successful application to the Royal Court for a variation, will have effect retrospectively on the estate, as if it were a disposition effected by the deceased person’s Will or under the law of intestacy.

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