Jersey Wills for Non-Jersey Domiciled Individuals
Do I need to make a Jersey Will?
Although you are non-Jersey domicile it can make sense to enter into a Jersey Will if you hold assets here. A good reason for doing this is that it is likely to speed up the probate process and facilitate your executor’s access to your Jersey assets. Jersey probate can be dealt with in parallel (not consecutive) with the probate process in your own jurisdiction.
Who can make a Jersey Will?
If you hold assets in Jersey you can make a Jersey Will. Under Jersey law you must be at least 18 years old or married/ in civil partnership.
Can I draft a Jersey Will myself/download forms from the net?
Jersey law and Will formalities differ from other jurisdictions. As a non-Jersey domicile individual it is not advisable to enter into a Jersey Will without taking Jersey legal advice. You could end up with a document that is not in conformity with our laws/ formalities and therefore could run the risk of it being invalid.
When is my Will effective?
You can change the provisions of your Jersey Will, 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.
Under Jersey law an executor is only required for movable estate.
What is Jersey movable estate?
Under Jersey law movable estate will include bank accounts at Jersey banks (incorporated in or with branches in Jersey), shares in Jersey companies, insurance policies issued under seal in Jersey, debts owed by individuals and companies resident in Jersey, and tangible assets situate in Jersey. It does not include freehold/ immovable property.
What if I die without entering into a Jersey Will?
If you die without a Will (either under our jurisdiction or one that covers your worldwide estate), the Jersey probate registrar would seek guidance from the law of your jurisdiction to determine inheritance as to your Jersey assets. If you have entered into a Will in your own jurisdiction (which covers worldwide assets) your executor should in due course be able to obtain probate in Jersey.
Do I need to be careful entering into separate jurisdiction Wills?
Yes. You need to ensure the lawyer drafting your Will is aware of any other Wills that may be in place. The last thing you want to do is to revoke your existing Will(s) by accident.
Do I have any restrictions as to whom can be beneficiaries under my Jersey Will?
In general terms as a non-domiciled individual you are entitled to leave your Jersey assets to any beneficiary you wish. However please kindly note the terms of your Jersey Will will not override any claims a person/State may have under the laws of your own jurisdiction (whether that be through forced heirship rules, tax or other liability claims or the like).