The registration requirements when inheriting Immovable property (real estate) under Jersey law
Where there is a Jersey Immovable Will and the real estate is left to heirs at law
The Will should be registered with the Public Registry, however in theory the Will doesn’t have to be. A registered Will confirms the heirs’ title to the property. If it isn’t registered it may delay a transaction if and when the property is sold.
As long as the heirs-at-law receive the entitlement in the same proportion as Jersey law dictates there will be no stamp duty payable, only a registration fee.
Where there is a Jersey Immovable Will and the real estate is left to third parties who are not heirs at law
The Will should be registered with the Public Registry. It is only upon the registration of the Will that the ownership will pass to those named in the Will.
Stamp duty and a registration fee is payable on the registration of the Will. Please note that any Stamp duty payable must be paid at sale and cannot be delayed post completion.
Where there is no Will (intestate)
When a person dies, who owns Jersey immovable property, the property automatically vests in the heirs-at-law. There is no registration in the Public Registry.
If you intend to sell the property the purchaser lawyer will require ‘proof of ownership’. The heirs-at-law will be requested to provide the following:
- deceased’s death certificate
- affidavit confirming information regarding the heirs at law
- family tree
Year and a day registration rule
If an inherited property is sold within a year and a day of registration (or date of death in cases of intestacy) the sale remains open to possible challenge by third parties asserting claims.
In these circumstances it is usual for a purchaser lawyer to insist upon one of the following options pending:
- the proceeds of sale being held in escrow till the expiry of the year and a day
- insurance to be obtained to provide cover to the purchase should someone make a challenge after the sale. The cost of this cover tends to be calculated by reference to the value of the property being sold and the time left before expiry of the year and a day