Resolve any probate disputes quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively

Our team of probate experts can help you get the result you want in your probate dispute.

Contentious Probate
Wills, Succession and Inheritance Disputes

Parslows deal with all manner of contentious Jersey probate issues.

As contentious probate solicitors we deal with any dispute relating to the administration of a deceased person’s estate.

A Jersey probate dispute can include:

  • making or defending a challenge to a Jersey Will’s validity, whether it be on the grounds of incapacity, lack of valid execution, or undue influence
  • issue of proceedings if as a child or spouse of the deceased you have been left out of a Jersey movable Will, or the provision left for you in the Jersey movable Will is insufficient under the Jersey law of légitime (a right to inherit a portion of the movable estate)
  • applications to issue and warn off caveats to prevent the granting of Jersey probate
  • actions to remove executors

Whether you are involved in a dispute over the value of estate assets, wish to apply for legitime or a caveat or need to remove an executor, we can help.

We aim to resolve contentious probate disputes quickly and cost-effectively .

What is Jersey Contentious Probate?

Contentious probate is any dispute relating to the administration of a deceased person’s estate. This can be anything from a dispute over the value of estate assets, a dispute on the basis you have been left out of a Jersey Will or an action to remove an executor.

How can I challenge a Jersey Will?

If you have cause to believe that a Jersey Will is invalid then you can contest it by relying on one or more of the following grounds:

  • the Will has not been properly executed in accordance with Jersey Law
  • the person who made the Jersey Will lacked mental capacity to make it
  • the testator lacked knowledge and approval of the contents of their Will
  • the testator was subject to undue influence
  • the Will is forged / fraudulent

In order to protect your position you should enter a caveat against the estate to ensure that a grant of representation cannot be issued pending the determination of the challenge.

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a mechanism for preventing the making of a Jersey Grant. A caveat is lodged at the Jersey Probate Registry to prevent the issue of a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

How do I prevent a Grant of Probate for Letters of Administration from being registered?

Subject to having grounds, you can lodge a caveat to prevent a Grant of Probate for Letters of Administration from being registered. You must have an interest in the moveable estate of a deceased person and wish to oppose the making of a Grant.

What can you do if the wrong Jersey Will is probated?

If you consider the wrong Jersey Will has been probated you should take immediate legal advice as to the veracity of your claim. It may be necessary to issue Royal Court proceedings.

Does Jersey have forced heirship rules when it comes to inheritance?

Jersey law recognises the concept of forced heirship (Jersey Légitime). It restricts the freedom to leave Jersey movable estate to the detriment of a spouse/partner and or children. There is no automatic right to Jersey Légitime; it must be claimed by taking out proceedings in the Royal Court.

How do I prevent my spouse from leaving me out of the Will?

Your spouse may provide under their Will as they so wishe. However, upon death, if you are unhappy with the provision made in the movable Will you can apply to the Royal Court to have it adjusted so that it operates per the Jersey Légitime rules. This is called an action to reduce the Will ad legitimum modum.

How do I prevent my parent from leaving me out of the Will?

If one of your parents passes away and you find you are excluded from his or her Will of movable estate you are entitled to apply to the Royal Court to have the will reduced ad legitimum modum and this in accord with the rules on Légitime.

What are the rules on Jersey legitime?

Jersey Légitime operates as follows:

  • deceased dies leaving a spouse/partner – the spouse/partner can claim two thirds of the net movable estate
  • deceased dies not leaving a spouse/partner but children – the children can claim two thirds of the net movable estate
  • deceased dies leaving a spouse/partner and children – the spouse partner can claim one third and the children can equally between them claim one third of the movable estate
  • the last third of the net movable estate is free to be left to anyone.
How do I remove the Executor of a Will?

In exceptional circumstances and upon application to the Royal Court, the Attorney General can remove the Executor to a Jersey Will. While friction or hostility is a relevant consideration, it is not, on its own, a reason to remove an executor or Administrator of a Jersey Will. It is only when the proper administration of the estate or the welfare of the beneficiaries is being adversely affected that removal will be considered. Clear evidence of misconduct, particularly with financial matters, will strongly influence the decision of the Royal Court.

What can I do if the Will fails to carry out the stated intentions of the deceased?

There are various possibilities. If the Jersey Will fails to carry out the testator’s intentions in consequence of a clerical error, an application can be made (with sufficient evidence) to the Royal Court to acknowledge the intentions of the deceased. If the Jersey Will has been drafted in such a way as to be negligent of the deceased intentions, then it is possible to issue proceedings against the Jersey lawyer or will writer.

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