Obtaining Probate in the Isle of Man

Obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration in the Isle of Man need not be a daunting task.    Whether you are taking out a Grant for an Isle of Man resident or are taking out an Isle of Man Grant to obtain access to the Isle of Man assets of a non-resident, Kelly Luft Stanley & Ashton Advocates will be pleased to help.

Why do I need to take out a Grant of Probate in the Isle of Man?

When a person dies, someone needs to sort out their affairs - collect in their assets, pay any liabilities, and pay the balance to the persons entitled to the deceased's estate.      If the deceased has made a Will, this will normally name the persons who are to undertake this task - such persons are called "Executors".   If the Executors take out a Grant of Representation, this is known as "Probate".       If there is no will, or the Will does not appoint anyone to be Executor, or if the named Executors do not wish to accept that responsibility, then the law allows other persons (usually beneficiaries) to take out a Grant of Representation.   This is called "Letters of Administration" and the persons who take out the Grant are called "Administrators".

Executors obtain their authority to act in administering the estate from the Will.    Executors may act in dealing with the estate immediately.     The Grant of Probate, however, provides formal proof of the Executors' entitlement to deal with the estate, and Banks and Buildings Societies will usually require to see a Grant of Probate before they will be prepared to release the deceased's funds.

Administrators are not appointed by a Will - so they obtain their authority to deal with the deceased's estate from the Grant itself.

If the deceased held assets within the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man, then unless the value of the assets is only very small, you will most likely require a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration in order to deal with those assets.

Small Estates

If the value of the deceased's estate in the Isle of Man is only small, then you may be able to deal with the estate without taking out a Grant of Representation.

Every Bank and Building Society will have it's own particular requirements, but as a general rule, if the value of the deceased's estate in the Isle of Man at the time of death was less than £5,000.00 then you will likely be able to deal with the estate without having to go to the trouble and expense of taking out any Grant in the Isle of Man.

The Bank or Building Society will likely require you to sign an Indemnity form, in return for letting you deal with the money they hold.   The Indemnity will usually state that you will personally indemnify the Bank against any losses should it transpire that you were not the person entitled to deal with the estate.

What if all the deceased's assets were jointly held?

There are two ways in which property may be held jointly - one way is called "joint tenants" and the other is called "tenants in common".     The difference between the two lies in the legal effect of one of the joint owners dying.     If one of two "joint tenants" dies, then the jointly owned asset automatically vests in the surviving joint owner.    If one of two "tenants in common" dies, then the share of the deceased joint owner passes to his estate, and is then dealt with as an asset of the estate.

If all assets were held as "joint tenants", then you should not need to take out a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration at all.

If, for example, a house were owned as "tenants in common" then the deceased's share of the house remains with his estate, and you will need to take out a Grant of probate or Letters of Administration in order to be able to deal with that asset.

How much will it cost?

There will be a fee payable to the Isle of Man Government which must be paid when the application for the Grant is lodged.   Please see the schedule of fees on the "Fees" page of this site for the current fees payable.     The amount of the application fee is determined according to the value of the deceased's estate situated within the Isle of Man at the date of the deceased's death.

If you need assistance with preparing and filing an Application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, we will be pleased to provide an estimate of the costs involved.   For an estimate, please email us at law@kellyluft.com or telephone us on 01624 674316, and we will be happy to help.