Death of Non-Residents
Probate (Jersey) Law
Article 19(2) of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 states that a Jersey Grant of Probate is not required if, at the date of death, the value of the Jersey assets are less than £10,000. However, some institutions may insist on a Probate being obtained.
In cases where a person dies domiciled outside Jersey and the UK, Jersey institutions will often still insist on a Probate being obtained.
In all cases where the value of the Jersey asset is more than £10,000, the Law states that a Probate must be obtained in every case. If the asset is a Jersey bank account, then no monies can be released from the account to pay for funeral expenses etc. until the Probate has been obtained. The account is frozen until Probate is granted.
If a person takes possession of or deals with the Jersey asset without a Probate having first been obtained, Article 23 of the Law states that the person will be guilty of intermeddling and shall be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.
In all cases where Probate is required, the Executor or Administrator should take legal advice from a local lawyer because they will either have to visit Jersey in person to make the application or appoint a lawyer in Jersey to act on their behalf.
Probate is not needed for joint assets. When one party to a joint asset dies, it becomes the sole asset of the surviving owner. For assets such as bank accounts, the bank may require evidence such as a copy of the death certificate.