Isle of Man Probate

Obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration in the Isle of Man need not be a difficult 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?

If a person dies domiciled in the Isle of Man (or if they are domiciled elsewhere but have assets in the Isle of Man), then you may need to take out a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration in the Isle of Man in order to deal with their assets in the Isle of Man.

If the Deceased has left a Will, it will normally include the appointment of Executors (the persons who are charged with the responsibility and authority to administer the deceased's estate - collecting in assets, paying liabilities, and distributing the estate to the Beneficiaries).     Although Executors obtain their authority from the Will itself (on the death of the person making the Will), unless the value of the estate is very small, it will usually be necessary to take out a Grant of Probate in the Isle of Man in order to be able to deal with their Isle of Man assets.

Banks, Building Societies, Pension companies, and other financial institutions will need to be satisfied that the Executors are indeed entitled to deal with the Deceased's estate, before they will release information or pay over any funds.   This means that they will normally require you to produce to them an Isle of Man Grant of Probate as proof that the Executors are legally entitled to deal with the Deceased's assets in the Isle of Man.

If the Deceased did not leave a Will, or if the Will did not appoint Executors, or if the Executors have died before the Deceased or have declined to act as Executors (ie "renounced" probate), then a different type of Grant may be needed.     A Grant made to someone other than the Executors named in a Will is called a Grant of Letters of Letters of Administration.     There are different types of Grant of Letters of Administration, depending on whether or not the Deceased left a Will.

Administrators are not appointed by a Will - so they obtain their authority to deal with the Deceased's estate from the Grant itself.     Banks, Building Societies etc will accordingly need to see an Isle of Man Grant of Letters of Administration, therefore, before they can release information or funds.

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.