Applying for probate in Jersey
Being appointed as an executor of a will can be a daunting task, especially if someone has not done it before. Let’s briefly consider what is involved.
Once the death certificate is available an executor will need to apply to the court to be granted probate. This gives them the power to act as executor and deal with the deceased’s assets.
To obtain probate the executor needs to swear an oath to follow the terms of the will and pay court stamps based on the value of the deceased’s assets. They will then be issued with a probate document which proves to any asset holders (for example banks or investment companies) that they have the authority to act as executor.
How does an executor apply for probate in Jersey?
Applying for probate in Jersey can be done in three main ways:
Firstly, The executor can apply themselves directly with the Probate Registry.
Once the executor has the original will, they need to make an appointment with the Jersey Probate Registry to present the documents and prove the value of the assets. They will then need to make another appointment to swear the oath at the registry. This process normally takes six to eight weeks depending on the workload of the court. This is the cheapest option as you don’t pay any legal fees only the court stamps. It’s worth noting that, if the executor doesn’t live in Jersey, they’ll need to come to the island several times in person to be appointed.
Alternatively, the executor can attend one of Viberts’ Probate appointments with one of our advocates.
We have a standing probate appointment every two weeks at the registry on a Wednesday morning. We would draft all the documents and purchase the court stamps leaving the executor to come along to our next available appointment and be sworn in immediately. The process usually takes just a few weeks and it can all happen under a reasonable fixed fee.
Finally, it’s quite simple for Viberts to draft a document for the executor to appoint someone else to act on their behalf. This can be an individual or a professional executor.
Should the executor choose our in house executor company we can deal with the whole estate including dealing with the assets and the beneficiaries on their behalf. We’d normally charge this service on a time or fixed fee basis, depending on the complexity, which is usually more than just attending one of our appointments.
What are the executor’s options?
The executor’s options are:
1. to apply themselves to the registry;
2. attend one of our appointments; or
3. appoint someone else, such as Viberts on their behalf.
We would advise an executor to wisely consider what is best for themselves and the beneficiaries. Sometimes what appears to be the cheapest option, may not be in the long run.
Should there be any questions about this I would be happy to help.