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Isle of Man Probate

Can I make use of probate obtained in another jurisdiction, for my Isle of Man assets?

Obtaining probate in another jurisdiction, does not entitle the authorised representatives to use “that” grant to collect and administer the property of the deceased, which is situated in the Isle of Man. Institutions in the Isle of Man will therefore insist that a grant of probate be issued by the Isle of Man Courts before releasing the property to the relevant representative.

Passing away whilst holding property in the Isle of Man should not be a problem, however it does remain complex due to many applicants being domiciled in other jurisdictions with differing laws. Therefore, many applicants do not understand the procedure and requirements which need to be met to successfully apply for a grant of probate and as a result problems ensue.

What is the process?

Simply put, the process entails the following:

  • Collecting and collating the required information to complete and support the application;
  • Completing and swearing to the required application form;
  • Submitting the application;
  • Responding or answering to any queries raised by the probate officer; and
  • Obtaining the grant of probate.

Extensive details of the deceased, the nominated representatives, previous grants and wills, the assets held by the deceased and the interest in the estate is required to correctly complete the application.

Although the form does not change, there are different processes and requirements depending on each circumstance of the estate. These can vary and a few examples are, where the deceased was domiciled, did the person pass away in his country of domicile or elsewhere, is there a last will and testament, does that will extend to the Isle of Man property and probate, has probate been obtained in the country of domicile or should probate be obtained in the Isle of Man firstly.

Each of these circumstances individually and cumulatively define what supporting documentation will be required and how the application form will ultimately be completed.

Provision is made for an on-line application, however the physical application with the supporting documents must still be submitted to the probate office before the application will be considered. Therefore, an application form must irrespectively be obtained, completed and properly sworn to, by the nominated representatives.

Careful preparation is required before the application can be sworn, since strict compliance with the probate rules are required. These rules are vastly different from other jurisdictions and needs to be understood in order to correctly complete the form and attach the supporting documents.

Finally, only original or court certified and exemplified copies of supporting documents will be accepted by the probate office. Thus, submission can only take place via post or in person and it is an absolute requirement that the applicant has an address in the Isle of Man to which all correspondence and queries will be sent. No communication will be sent to any other address or person by the Probate office.

Do problems arise and what then?

Problems often arise when the application is completed by applicants who are unfamiliar with the intricacies required by the Isle of Man probate process. These are often due to the application being incorrectly completed, the incorrect or incomplete documentation is attached and further that the application and attachments are incorrectly sworn to.

Once this happens, correspondence requesting further information will be sent to your nominated Isle of Man address, alternatively, the entire application is returned to be corrected and re-sworn.

Queries and rejection of the application inevitably delays the probate process, but having these queries directed to a random address or service provider who does not understand the process can result in catastrophic delays, rejection of valid wills, altering the manner in which the estate devolves or having the grant of probate denied.

Why do I need a lawyer to assist with probate?

All estates and their administration vary in complexity, some if not most are relatively simple to administer, and they do not require a solicitor or lawyer to successfully deal with the assets of the deceased. Others on the other hand, may very well require a person who is well versed in the applicable laws to collect the assets, preserve them, and then ensure that they are entrusted to the rightful beneficiaries.

In most instances the difficulty and intricacy are not found in the administration of the estate, but rather in complying with the requirements to obtain the grant in the first instance.

According to the applicable probate rules, you will need an address in the Isle of Man and therefore it may be prudent for you to have an adequately qualified person in the Isle of Man who can receive the queries raised by the Isle of Man probate officer and effectively respond thereto. It therefore remains advisable that you obtain the assistance and expertise of an Isle of Man advocate or lawyer to assist and guide you through the process of obtaining the grant of probate.

Kinley Legal has a dedicated team who assists, guides, and advises people from all jurisdictions in obtaining Isle of Man grants of probate. Our team can help you complete and submit the application, and where an application has been submitted and problems have arisen, we can assist and guide you through those as well.

Contact us

Please contact us by completing our enquiry form or sending us an e-mail for further details of the requirements, and to find out how Kinley Legal can assist with resolving the Isle of Man estate of your family member or client.