Did your client die domiciled in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey or the Isle of Man with an asset in Jersey? Has a Grant of Representation been issued in the deceased’s country of domicile? If so, then there is a ‘fast-track’ probate system available in Jersey whereby an application can be submitted for a Greffier’s Certificate.
In such cases, the documents required are straightforward. The following documents would be required by The Royal Court of Jersey in order to consider any application for a Greffier’s Certificate:
1. A court-sealed and court-certified copy of the original grant issued by the probate registry in the deceased’s country of domicile (this is a specific document: it must be sealed by the probate registry and certified by the probate registrar that it is a true copy of the original grant and signed with an original signature by them on the reverse of the grant);
2. If the deceased made a will, then a court-sealed and court-certified copy of the will (and any codicils) issued by the probate registry in the deceased’s country of domicile is also needed (again, this is a specific document: it must be sealed by the probate registry and certified by the probate registrar that it is a true copy of the original grant and signed with an original signature by them on the reverse of the grant);
3. An original, or certified copy of, the death certificate;
4. Confirmation of the value of the net movable assets situate in Jersey in the name of the deceased at the date of death and evidence (in the form of a bank statement, share certificate, or letter from the bank or registrar);
5. Payment of the probate court fee (calculated on the net value of the movable estate in Jersey as at the date of death in accordance with the scale of statutory fees in force at the time);
6. An oath, in specific format, executed by the executor(s) or administrator(s).
All documents submitted in support of the application in Jersey will be retained permanently in The Royal Court records so it is important that the specific documents requested are provided.
The list of documents is by no means a definite guide and additional documents, may, in certain circumstances be required. Specific advice will need to be obtained in each individual case. When all the documents are ready, and the stamps to cover the payment of the probate court fee obtained, then all the paperwork can be sent to your lawyer in Jersey to submit to the probate registrar.
Once the papers have been accepted by the probate registrar, then the Greffier’s Certificate will be issued and annexed to the court-sealed and court-certified copy of the grant and will (if any) issued by the probate registry in the deceased’s country of domicile.
The Greffier’s Certificate is usually available within seven days of the application being submitted. The original Greffier’s Certificate should then be registered with the Jersey asset holder who will act on the instructions given by the person named in Greffier’s Certificate.
Article 3(1)(d) of the Probate (General Rules) 1998 sets out the probate court fees payable.
If the net value of the movable estate is sworn:
(a) Not to exceed £10,000: No fee(b) Not to exceed £100,000: £50 for each £10,000 or part of £10,000(c) To exceed £100,000: £75 for each additional £10,000 or part thereof
In addition there is a court registration fee of £80 applicable in all cases.
The application for a Greffier’s Certificate cannot proceed until the following facts are established. This is the starting point and your lawyer in Jersey cannot advise without the relevant information:
1. Is there a Jersey movable asset? If so, what is the date of death value?
2. What is the deceased’s country of domicile?
3. Did the deceased executed a will covering worldwide assets?
4. Has the deceased’s will been submitted to probate in their country of domicile?
5. Did the deceased executed a separate will dealing with his movable assets situate in Jersey only? If so, where is the original will and who is the executor?
It is important to note that Jersey does not form part of the UK. Making a will dealing with Jersey assets only should be considered if your client is not domiciled in any of the countries mentioned above, since the ‘fast-track’ probate system is not applicable and the Jersey court will look to the documents issued in the country of foreign domicile. This may be a lengthy and costly process, which could be avoided if a separate Jersey will is made.
Anne Hembry is manager of probate and estates at Voisin Law, and Sarah Hope is assistant, probate and estates there