It is estimated that two thirds of the population of Britain do not have a valid will, and experience suggests that the figures are similar in Jersey. Whether it's because they presume their assets will automatically go to certain people after they pass away, or because they simply haven't got round to it, many islanders risk their wishes being ignored after their death by putting off making a will.
If you pass away without a will (known as "dying intestate") your assets are allocated to your heirs according to Jersey law. Those heirs may well not be who you think they are, and many people are unaware that a "common law" relationship gives no legal entitlement to a claim a share. Having a valid will not only gives you the reassurance that all your loved ones will be looked after when you're gone, it also spares them awkward conversations, difficult decisions and complex procedures at a difficult time.
At Ogier we understand that making a will can feel like a daunting task, and that you might not be sure where to start. We also know that in 2019 people want a modern, digital solution to cut through the complexity of Jersey law. That's why we have launched a new online portal to turn the process of making a Jersey will into a straight-forward one that can be done at home with the support of Jersey-qualified Advocates.
The new service uses an online questionnaire to provide what we need to prepare a draft will for you to review before we have a face-to-face meeting for final review and signature. The process is not just cheaper and quicker – it also runs at your own pace and gives you the time and space you need to gather all the necessary information.
The online system also prompts you to think about funeral wishes and digital legacies (social media accounts and photos, documents and music stored online), which do not always form part of a traditional will.
Putting together a will doesn’t need to be complex or costly, and this new service lets you do the bulk of the decision making in your own time, while giving you the reassurance of having a Jersey Advocate review all of the documents with you when you are ready.
Making a will is an important thing to do, and Jersey law is very different to the law of England & Wales in this area. Our clients know that we have a legal team who are experts in Jersey law on wills and probate who will help them to ensure that their wishes are accurately reflected in their will and will be carried out.
No-one likes thinking about their own mortality, but this really is a straightforward method of making sure that your assets pass to the correct person, and provides your family with the comfort of knowing that your wishes are being carried out when you die.