Isle of Man • London

A guide to obtaining probate in the Isle of Man

Posted 14 March 2017 in Private Client

Where a deceased person, wherever resident at the date of death, held assets in the Isle of Man such as an insurance bond, insurance policy or monies in a bank account, it will be necessary for the personal representatives of the deceased person's estate to obtain a Grant of Representation – either a Grant of Probate (where the deceased left a will) or Letters of Administration where the deceased died intestate (leaving no will) – before the financial institution will release the assets to them to be administered.

Applying for a Grant

When someone dies living outside the Isle of Man leaving a will and a Grant of Probate has been obtained or is being applied for in the place of residence, the Isle of Man Probate Court requires the applicant(s) to file (with a sworn application) a Court Sealed or Court Certified copy of the original Grant. The Court also requires a similarly sealed and certified copy of the will, if applicable. These copies must bear the Court Seal and be certified true copies by the Court (the Registrar) which issued them. Certification by a solicitor is not acceptable. An official Registry issued certified copy of the Death Certificate must be filed with the application.

If any of these documents are not in English a certified translation must also accompany the application.

Where someone dies living outside the Isle of Man intestate (leaving no will) an application for Letters of Administration is made in a similar way to a Grant of Probate with a Court Sealed or Court Certified copy of the original Letters of Administration which have been obtained in the place of residence.

If no Grant is necessary in the place of residence, the Isle of Man Court requires an official Registry issued certified copy Death Certificate and the original will (if applicable), with a sworn application. If the deceased is intestate the application to the Isle of Man Court is for Letters of Administration which is granted to the next of kin.

In order to prepare an application for swearing by the personal representatives the following information is required:

(a) the full name, address, occupation, nationality and place of domicile of deceased (former occupation if retired or marital status if female) of the deceased and the personal representative(s) who are making the application;
(b) the relationship of the personal representatives to the deceased; full details if any Executor named in a will is not applying;
(c) the size of the Isle of Man estate; and
(d) whether a minority interest arises in the estate
(a potential beneficiary aged under 18 years).

On receipt of the documents as above and the required information, an application is prepared, which is forwarded to the applicants for swearing.

Where a deceased person dies living outside the United Kingdom, it is often quicker and more convenient for the executors or next of kin to appoint an attorney in the Isle of Man to act on their behalf in obtaining a Grant or Letters of Administration in the Isle of Man. Simcocks can prepare a Power of Attorney document for this purpose to be signed by the executors or administrators appointing a director of Simcocks to make the necessary application. All the above mentioned information and documentation would be still required.

Current anti-money laundering regulations require us to obtain proof of identity of our clients; this should consist of a copy of each executor's passport or driving licence, bearing a photograph and signature and certified by a solicitor, and also two original recent utility bills or official letters confirming current address of each executor.

The timescale for obtaining a Grant of Probate from the date the application is made to the General Registry is approximately four weeks subject to matters being fairly straightforward.

Fees and Disbursements

At Simcocks, we are happy to provide a competitive quote which will depend upon the type and complexity of the service required.

Probate application fees payable to the probate office will vary according to the value of the estate.

If you would like to instruct Simcocks to act on your behalf then please contact Laura Connolly, Probate Manager at Simcocks, on 01624 690356 or by email at lconnolly@simcocks.com

This memorandum is intended to provide a brief guide in relation to Isle of Man probate for non-Isle of Man residents. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide any specific legal advice and should not be acted or relied upon as so doing. Professional advice appropriate to the specific situation should always be obtained.