Wills _ Probate by Levone


									                                                                                                                                   April 2010

                                                                                Wills & Probate
                                                                                                             B U L L E T I N

                             Just for you

In Brief                                                                                                          MEET THE TEAM

Welcome to the first Voisin Wills and Probate bulletin.
The bulletin aims to bring you news and information on Wills, Probate and Curatorship matters
and details of the department’s recent and forthcoming events.

Jersey’s Wills and Succession Law
                                                                                                                    Anne Hembry
An amendment to the Wills and Succession (Jersey) Law 1993 was approved by the States of Jersey                  Manager - Probate & Estates
on 23 March 2010. The Wills and Succession (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 201- represents ‘Phase 1’ of                    T: +44 (0) 1534 500328
the review by the Legislation Advisory Panel of Jersey Inheritance Law and seeks to open succession             E: annehembry@voisinlaw.com
rights to illegitimate children. Such children will, under the new Law, be placed on the same footing
as legitimate children for the purposes of succession.

‘Phase 1’ effects a long awaited and very significant reform of the Jersey law of succession rights
and brings the law into the 21st Century.

‘Phase 2’ of the review will deal with the wider issues surrounding Inheritance Law in Jersey,
including, for example, ‘légitime’. It is thought ‘Phase 2’ will be considered by the States later this
year once ‘Phase 1’ has been resolved. We will keep you advised of further developments.

For further information on Wills or probate in Jersey, please contact either Janina Porter (janinaporter@
voisinlaw.com) or Anne Hembry (annehembry@voisinlaw.com) of Voisin.                                                 Janina Porter
                                                                                                              English Solicitor - Probate & Estates
                                                                                                                    T: +44 (0) 1534 500352
                                                                                                                E: janinaporter@voisinlaw.com
Jersey Wills and Probate for Clients Domiciled Outside Jersey

Janina Porter is an English Solicitor in the Probate and Estates team at Voisin, which has wide
experience in dealing with the Jersey assets of international clients who have died domiciled outside Jersey and whose
beneficiaries require assistance to release the Jersey assets for their benefit. Voisin are able to provide a sympathetic and
expedient service to beneficiaries at what is a difficult and often perplexing time.

When a person who owns assets in Jersey in their sole name dies domiciled in another jurisdiction, the Probate (Jersey) Law
1998 (‘the Law’) dictates that a Jersey Grant of Probate must be obtained.

Article 19(2) of the Law provides that a Jersey Grant is not required if the value of the Jersey assets1 are less than £10,000.
However, it is left to the individual institution’s discretion whether they insist on a Jersey Grant being obtained. In cases where
a person dies domiciled outside Jersey and the UK2, Jersey institutions will often still insist on a Jersey Grant being obtained.

If a person takes possession of, or deals with the Jersey assets without a Jersey Grant having first been obtained, Article 23 of
the Law provides that person ‘shall be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both’.

There is a general school of thought that if there are Jersey assets, a Jersey Will should be prepared. This is not always the case.

If the Jersey assets are held in trust, or held in joint names with another, the assets do not form part of the deceased’s estate.
In both cases, a Jersey Grant will not be required so there is no need for a Jersey Will.

If a person dies domiciled in the UK2 and a UK Grant has already been obtained, an application for a Greffier’s Certificate of
Jersey Grant of Probate, or Letters of Administration (if the person died intestate) can be applied for. The Certificate is obtained
through the ‘fast-track’ procedure and as the name suggests, the Certificate can be obtained quicker and at less expense than
applying for a Jersey Grant. In the case of a UK domiciliary therefore, a Jersey Will is not always recommended. If there is a Jersey
Will, the ‘fast-track’ procedure is not available. An application for a Jersey Grant will instead have to be submitted. Add to the
cost of this application the cost of having the Jersey Will prepared in the first place, and often the combined cost exceeds the
costs associated with the ‘fast-track’ procedure. However, a Jersey Will may be appropriate if, for example, the UK domiciliary
wants different beneficiaries to inherit the Jersey assets, from the beneficiaries named in the ‘UK’ Will, (or the beneficiaries
inheriting under the applicable intestacy rules), or, if it is desirable for the Jersey assets to be obtained prior to the ‘UK’ Grant
being obtained, perhaps for UK inheritance tax purposes.

There are circumstances in which a Jersey Will is always recommended.

We would always advise people domiciled outside Jersey and the UK, owning assets in Jersey, to have a Jersey Will prepared.
The fast-track procedure is not available for non-UK domiciliaries. The Jersey Will will deal with the assets situate in Jersey only
and will work concurrently with any other Will or Wills the person has in place dealing with their assets situate outside Jersey.

If there is no Jersey Will, the application for a Jersey Grant cannot proceed until the Grant of Probate, or Grant of Letters of
Administration (or equivalent) has first been obtained in the deceased’s country of domicile. If, for example, a person died
domiciled in South Africa, Letters of Executorship must first be obtained in South Africa, in Chile, the Certificate of Actual
Possession, and in the United Arab Emirates, the Certificate of Inheritance, or Certificate of Heirs. In cases where there are no
requirements to obtain a local Grant, perhaps because there are no assets in the country of domicile requiring a local Grant,
an affidavit of foreign law must instead be obtained. A lawyer practising in the country of domicile executes the affidavit. The
affidavit confirms who is entitled to inherit and administer the estate under local law.

Once a Court sealed and certified copy of the local Grant (or affidavit) and the death certificate have been obtained, together
with official translations of any documents not in the English language, the person or persons entitled to administer the estate
must also sign a Power of Attorney, formally appointing a solicitor in Jersey to act on their behalf and apply for a Jersey Grant.

The application is more involved than the ‘fast-track’ application discussed and the costs involved are significantly higher. In
the meantime, the Jersey assets are frozen which can cause considerable upset for family members and perhaps also financial

If the deceased has a Jersey Will in place, the Jersey Executors can proceed to apply for a Jersey Grant as soon as the Executors
have obtained a copy of the death certificate. The Jersey Will allows the Jersey assets to pass to the intended beneficiaries a
great deal quicker, in a straightforward way and at a greatly reduced cost.

1 For the purposes of this article, ‘assets’ refer to movable or personal assets which include shares, units in investments funds,
bank accounts, investments and other tangible assets other than ‘immovable’ assets – land and buildings on land, etc.

2 For the purposes of this article, ‘UK’ comprises England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey and Isle of Man.

For further information on Wills or probate in Jersey, please contact either Janina Porter (janinaporter@voisinlaw.com) or Anne
Hembry (annehembry@voisinlaw.com) of Voisin.

Have an interest in Your Will!

Anne Hembry, Manager of Voisin’s Probate and Estates team, looks at the importance of keeping your Will up-to-date.

When was the last time you reviewed your Will? I reviewed my Will recently and happily the terms of that Will still meet my
requirements and expectations as circumstances have not changed significantly recently. Does yours? Have you considered
how the death of a close relative or friend may affect the terms of your Will? Has a change of family circumstances affected
the rights or possible inheritance of other members of your family? Divorce and remarriage are common factors in complicating
estate arrangements and any disputes will result in time and expense, in addition to emotional upset. Do you wish to make
more gifts to friends and charities or to a religious organisation?

You should review your Will every time that there is a change in your personal situation.

A review of the terms of your Will should go hand in hand with a review of your financial situation. Have you considered how
a fall in the value of your house or investments may affect the gifts left to your beneficiaries? You may, for instance, have left
£25,000 to a close friend. That legacy could now constitute a larger proportion of the value of your net estate than when your
Will was first prepared. Does that legacy need to be reviewed? Do you have any significant debts? Do you own property or
other assets outside Jersey? Have you made Wills dealing with your assets in separate jurisdictions? In the current uncertain
economic climate, more people are setting up their own small businesses: have you considered who should carry on and inherit
your business when you die?

All of these questions should be part of the overall review of your personal and financial situation. Whilst it is not a subject many
people wish to think about, by failing to review your Will you may be placing an additional burden on the loved ones you leave
behind after your death that may compound the emotional strain at that time.

We all like to think that life will carry on in the same manner without its highs and lows. Have you considered what will happen
if something unexpected happened? A short while ago I suffered anaphylactic shock, completely unexpectedly, due to a severe
allergic reaction. Fortunately the ambulance attended in time to save the day and the outcome was a happy one (hence this
article!). There may have been a different result. Would I have been ready for the consequences of leaving a Will that I made in
2005? The answer to that is ‘Yes’ as I had recently reviewed my Will.

If you have not made a Will are you tempted to make a ‘do it yourself’ Will? Don’t! Homemade Wills are open to mistakes,
misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Many people believe that making a Will with a lawyer is too costly. Have you asked
your lawyer for a quotation for making a Will? Present them with the facts and then ask for a quote. Lawyers are willing to
discuss fee arrangements and will to talk to you without charge to establish your requirements before taking instructions.

It appears, from recent statistics, that only one in five people actually make a Will. There is therefore a large percentage of the
population whose assets may not devolve upon the people they would like to inherit upon their death simply because they
either don’t want to think about it or assume that the cost is prohibitive to making a Will. Whether you have £6,000 or £6
million, or any figure in between, the principles of making a Will are exactly the same, i.e. to ensure that your estate passes
to those that you would like to inherit, subject to (in Jersey) the provisions contained in the Wills and Successions (Jersey) Law

The process of making a Will is not daunting. The first thing you should do is contact your lawyer to make an appointment to
discuss your personal and financial situation and your requirements and to obtain an estimate for their cost in drafting a Will on
your behalf. They will advise you on the law and will guide you through the process.

For further information about making your Will, please contact either Anne Hembry (annehembry@voisinlaw.com) or Janina
Porter (janinaporter@voisinlaw.com) of Voisin for a free consultation.

Anne Hembry rewarded for long service

Anne Hembry is one of Voisin’s longest-serving members of staff. In recognition for her nearly twenty-nine years service to the
firm, the Partners of Voisin have rewarded Anne with two extra weeks of holiday, which she is planning to use during a month
in Australia in early 2011.

Anne joined the firm in 1981 working in the Private Client department drafting Wills, administering estates and undertaking
curatorship and other private client matters. In 2003, Anne joined associated trust company Volaw for a three-year contract,
where she gained experience in administering a variety of trusts and companies incorporated in Jersey and in other offshore
jurisdictions. She returned to Voisin in 2006, where she continues to manage the Probate Department.

Anne is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is also responsible for dealing with all enquiries relating
to intellectual property, including the registration of Patents, Trade Marks and Designs in Jersey.

Outside of work, Anne is an Associate of the London College of Music in pianoforte and will be joining some musicians as part
of a delegation from Jersey to Bad Wursbach in Germany on 28 April 2010 for the sixty-fifth anniversary of the liberation of
Islanders interred in that town during the Second World War.

Contact Anne (annehembry@voisinlaw.com) for assistance with Wills, probate or intellectual property matters in Jersey.

           Open Wills Clinics
           Voisin’s Wills and Probate team hold Open Wills Clinics at Voisin’s offices at Templar House, Don Road,
           St Helier, twice a year. At no charge, you can drop in and have a chat with one of our team about
           making your Wills.

           Events start at 9.30 with a presentation by English Solicitor Janina Porter on the process of making a Will, and
           the Voisin team will then offer ten minute consultations giving impartial advice and information on making
           your Will. Everyone is welcome and no appointment is necessary.

                                                          For further information about the next
                                                          event, please contact Georgina Jeffries
                                                          Voisin’s head of Marketing.
For further information about our firm and the services offered,
please visit our website at www.voisinlaw.com
Telephone:         (+44) (0)1534 500300
Facsimile:         (+44) (0)1534 500350

  www.voisinlaw.com                               Voisin, Templar House, Don Road, St. Helier, Jersey, JE1 1AW, British Channel Islands

    Voisin, Advocates, Solictors & Notaries Public Limited is a law firm regulated by the Law Society of Jersey

     To enquire about further Voisin publications or to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please email georginajeffries@voisinlaw.com

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