Jersey Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration were issued to Executors and Administrators from 74 worldwide jurisdictions last year, underlining the international aspect of probate and estate work in the Island.
The Jersey Court Service Annual Report has revealed that 2016 saw Grants or Letters issued involving people who had died in Jersey and 74 other jurisdictions around the world – the year saw 1,817 grants issued (an increase on the previous year) with a combined value of £287,041,499.
Ogier's Head of Probate and Estates, partner Julie Melia, says that the firm regularly receives instructions from those who need to access Jersey assets following the death of a non-Jersey owner.
Julie said: "Jersey law is very clear on the requirements for the lawful release of assets held in the Island to executors and administrators, however it is not always the case that the Jersey institutions which hold the assets are aware of what they need to see. In all cases where the Jersey assets of a non-domiciled deceased value more than £10,000, a Grant or Letters must be obtained before the assets are dealt with.
"It is crucial that this requirement is fully understood as there are serious consequences for parties who deal with assets without due authorisation. Where the international owner of a Jersey asset dies, the party who holds that asset must ensure that Jersey Grant or Letters has been obtained before accepting any instruction.
"The only exception is where the deceased was domiciled outside Jersey and the Jersey assets have a value of less than £10,000, in which case they can may be released provided that the holder has established that the applicant appears to be entitled under a will or intestacy. Even in these cases, a Jersey Grant or Letters may be asked for to ensure that there is sufficient evidence of entitlement.
"In the case of a Jersey domiciled deceased, a Grant or Letters is always required."