WHY DO I NEED A GUERNSEY GRANT OF PROBATE OR ADMINISTRATION?

Guernsey is an independent legal jurisdiction for estate administration purposes. When a person dies leaving assets in Guernsey it is likely their personal representative will be required to obtain a Guernsey Grant of Probate or Administration in order to receive the Guernsey assets. If the value of the estate is under £10,000 the local institution may be willing (but is not obliged) to release the funds to the personal representative in return for an indemnity.

The Guernsey Ecclesiastical Court issues a Grant of Probate if the deceased left a Will or a Grant of Administration if they died intestate.

EXCEPTION

If assets are held in joint names, the assets will usually pass to the surviving account holder on production of the death certificate.

WILL OR INTESTACY

If the deceased died without making a Will he is said to have died “intestate”. Under these circumstances it is necessary to establish who is entitled to administer the deceased’s estate. This will need to be established by an affidavit on intestacy sworn by a Guernsey advocate.

WHAT IS AN EXECUTOR/ADMINISTRATOR?

An Executor is the personal representative of the deceased who is named in the Will. An Administrator is the person appointed as the personal representative in an intestate estate or where the Executor named in a Will is not applying for probate. An application for a Grant for the estate of a Guernsey domiciled individual requires a personal appearance at the Ecclesiastical Court by the Executor or Administrator or their duly appointed attorney. In the event the Executor or Administrator is not resident in Guernsey the Ecclesiastical Court can prepare a postal oath to be sworn outside of the Island before a notary public or someone authorised to administer oaths. Carey Olsen Client Services (Guernsey) Limited is our in-house executorship company which provides an independent estate administration service including acting as agent for a non-Guernsey Executor or Administrator.

WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED?

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WHAT DOCUMENTS MAY BE REQUIRED?

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All original documentation will be retained by the Ecclesiastical Court.

COSTS

There are no death duties, estate duties or inheritance taxes, capital gains taxes or value added taxes on estates.  The Ecclesiastical Court charges its fees based on the value of the estate. The value of the estate is always taken as the gross value (i.e. before deduction of debts and liabilities) of worldwide assets.

The value is always taken at the date of death. The deceased’s assets to be valued for these purposes are his movable assets. Real estate situate outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey may be included in the unlikely event of there not being a previous foreign Grant. Real estate situate in the Bailiwick of Guernsey is not included in the value of the estate.

By way of guidance the Ecclesiastical Court charges its fees on a sliding scale where for an estate of £20,000 a fee of £59 will be charged, for an estate of £80,000 a fee of £155 will be charged and for amounts over £80,000 add for each additional £10,000 or part thereof, £35. There are small charges for certified copies, powers of attorney, oaths, deeds of renunciation, the details of which can be provided on request.