Jersey Law 18/1993

 

WILLS AND SUCCESSIONS (JERSEY) LAW 1993

 

ARRANGEMENT OF ARTICLES

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1.

Interpretation

PART II

SUCCESSION ON INTESTACY

2.

“Représentation”

3.

Right of maternal relatives in collateral succession

4.

Heirs take as tenants in common

PART III

RIGHTS OF SURVIVING SPOUSE AND ISSUE

5.

Right of surviving spouse to life enjoyment of matrimonial home

6.

Devolution of immovable estate on intestacy

7.

Devolution of movable estate

8.

Spouses living apart

PART IV

COMMORIENTES

9.

Declaration of survivorship or simultaneous death

10.

Effect of declaration of simultaneous death

11.

Testamentary direction as to survivorship

PART V

ABOLITION OF CERTAIN RULES OF CUSTOMARY LAW

12.

Abolition of année de jouissance

13.

Concubines

14.

Right of principal heir to demand possession of movable estate

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS

15.

Costs of administration

16.

Testamentary dispositions and appointments revoked by divorce

17.

Will made by a minor

18.

Liability of heir, devisee or legatee

19.

Non-discrimination

20.

Rights of purchaser for value

21.

Administration of estates of persons dying before this Law came into force

22.

Manorial and other rights

23.

Amendment of “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”

24.

Repeals

25.

Citation and commencement

FIRST SCHEDULE – Amendment of “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”

SECOND SCHEDULE – Enactments repealed

 


WILLS AND SUCCESSIONS (JERSEY) LAW 1993

____________

A LAW     to amend the law relating to inheritance, wills of movable and immovable estate, and the administration of estates of deceased persons, to abolish certain rules of customary law, and for other purposes connected therewith sanctioned by Order of Her Majesty in Council of the

 

12th day of may 1993

____________

 

(Registered on the 25th day of June 1993)

____________

 

STATES OF JERSEY

____________

 

The 27th day of October 1992

____________

THE STATES, subject to the sanction of Her Most Excellent Majesty in Council, have adopted the following Law –

PART I

PRELIMINARY

ARTICLE 1

Interpretation

(1)           In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires –

“the Court” means the Royal Court;

“immovable estate” means immovable estate situate in the Island;

“intestacy” includes partial intestacy and “intestate” shall be construed accordingly;

“lease” includes a sub-lease;

“matrimonial home” means a dwelling place situate in the Island occupied as their principal residence by a person and that person’s spouse which is –

(a)     a bien-fonds owned by that person or by that person and that person’s spouse as tenants in common;

(b)     held under a lease for a term of years exceeding at its commencement nine years under which that person is the tenant or that person and that person’s spouse are the tenants; or

(c)     a bien-fonds owned, or held under a lease for a term of years exceeding at its commencement nine years, by a corporation of which that person holds or that person and that person’s spouse hold –

(i)      all the issued and outstanding shares; or

(ii)     a share or shares the holding of which, whether or not coupled with the grant of a lease or licence, confers an exclusive right to occupy the dwelling place;

“tenant” includes a sub-tenant and a transferee of the tenant’s interest under a lease;

“usufruit of the matrimonial home” includes a usufruit of the interest of a deceased spouse in a matrimonial home where in relation to the dwelling place constituting the matrimonial home the deceased spouse and the surviving spouse were –

(a)     the owners of a bien-fonds as tenants in common;

(b)     the tenants under a lease; or

(c)     the holders of a share or shares in a corporation owning the dwelling place or holding it as tenant under a lease.

(2)           A reference in this Law to an Article by number only, and without further identification, is a reference to the Article of that number in this Law.

(3)           A reference in an Article of this Law to a paragraph or sub-paragraph by number or letter only, and without further identification, is a reference to the paragraph or sub-paragraph of that number or letter contained in the Article in which that reference occurs.

(4)           Unless the context otherwise requires, where this Law refers to an enactment, the reference is to that enactment as amended from time to time, and includes a reference to that enactment as extended or applied by or under another enactment including any other provision of that enactment.

PART II

SUCCESSION ON INTESTACY

ARTICLE 2

“Représentation”

In every collateral succession on intestacy, whether to movable estate or acquêts, any surviving descendant of a deceased brother, sister, uncle or aunt, whether of the whole or the half blood, shall be entitled to a right of représentation of such brother or sister or uncle or aunt, the division being par souche.

ARTICLE 3

Right of maternal relatives in collateral succession

In every collateral succession on intestacy, whether to movable or immovable estate, the rule by which the paternal side excludes the maternal side in equality of degree is abolished.

ARTICLE 4

Heirs take as tenants in common

(1)           Subject to the provisions of this Law and subject to the operation of the right of représentation, the immovable estate as to which a person dies intestate shall devolve in equal undivided shares between the heirs at law and such heirs shall take as tenants in common (en parts égales en indivis pour eux et leurs hoirs respectifs).

(2)           In every collateral succession of immovable estate, relatives of the half blood whether consanguin or utérin shall each have a half share and relatives of the whole blood shall each have a whole share.

PART III

RIGHTS OF SURVIVING SPOUSE AND ISSUE

ARTICLE 5

Right of surviving spouse to life enjoyment of matrimonial home

(1)           Unless under the provisions of Article 6 or 7 the surviving spouse is entitled absolutely to the matrimonial home and subject to the provisions of Article 8, where a spouse dies intestate as to the matrimonial home, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a usufruit of the matrimonial home with the usual rights and obligations of a usufruitier.

(2)           Notwithstanding any provision in a lease requiring consent to the transfer of such lease, the surviving spouse shall not require such consent to take a transfer of the lease of demised premises in pursuance of paragraph (1).

ARTICLE 6

Devolution of immovable estate on intestacy

(1)           Subject to the provisions of Article 8, where a spouse dies intestate as to immovable estate the surviving spouse shall be entitled as follows –

(a)     where there is no issue of the deceased spouse, to the whole of the immovable estate;

(b)     where the deceased spouse leaves issue, to an equal share with each of the surviving children of the deceased spouse and each child who has predeceased the deceased spouse leaving issue surviving the deceased spouse.

(2)           For the purposes of sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (1), the issue of a deceased child shall take the deceased child’s share by représentation.

(3)           Where a spouse dies intestate as to immovable estate the surviving spouse shall not be entitled to dower or viduité in any immovable estate as to which the deceased spouse died intestate.

ARTICLE 7

Devolution of movable estate

(1)           Subject to the provisions of Article 8, where a spouse dies intestate as to movable estate it shall devolve as follows –

(a)     where the deceased spouse leaves a surviving spouse but no issue, the surviving spouse shall take the whole of the net movable estate;

(b)     where the deceased spouse leaves a surviving spouse and issue, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to –

(i)      the household effects;

(ii)     other movable estate to a value of thirty thousand pounds; and

(iii)    one-half of the rest of the net movable estate;

and the issue shall take the other half of the rest of the net movable estate.

(2)           Subject to the provisions of Article 8, where a person dies testate as to movable estate and survived by –

(a)     a spouse but no issue, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to claim as légitime

(i)      the household effects; and

(ii)     two-thirds of the rest of the net movable estate;

(b)     a spouse and issue –

(i)      the surviving spouse shall be entitled to claim as légitime the household effects and one-third of the rest of the net movable estate; and

(ii)     the issue shall be entitled to claim as légitime one-third of the rest of the net movable estate;

(c)     issue but no spouse, the issue shall be entitled to claim as légitime two-thirds of the net movable estate.

(3)           For the purposes of this Article, the division of movable estate among issue shall be par souche.

(4)           For the purposes of this Article “household effects” means articles of household or personal use or ornament normally situate in or around the matrimonial home, but excludes –

(a)     any motor vehicle;

(b)     any article used wholly or principally for business purposes;

(c)     money or securities for money;

(d)     any single article or any single group of similar or related articles forming a set having in either case a value over ten thousand pounds; and

(e)     any article of personal use or ornament which is the subject of a specific bequest under the will of the deceased spouse.

(5)           For the purposes of this Article, moneys received under a policy of insurance taken out by the deceased spouse on the deceased spouse’s life for the sole purpose of repaying or reducing indebtedness which is secured either by a simple conventional hypothec or a judicial hypothec against immovable property owned by the deceased spouse alone or with another or others, shall not be deemed to form part of the net movable estate to the extent that they are used to repay or reduce such indebtedness or interest accruing thereon to the date of repayment.

(6)           The States may from time to time make Regulations altering the sums specified in –

(a)     clause (ii) of sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (1);

(b)     sub-paragraph (d) of paragraph (4).

ARTICLE 8

Spouses living apart

(1)           The provisions of Articles 5, 6 and 7 operating to confer property or any usufruit, interest, right or title in or to property on a surviving spouse (in this Article referred to as “the surviving spouse provisions”) shall not apply where –

(a)     at the date of the death of the deceased spouse the deceased spouse and the surviving spouse were not residing together; and

(b)     either –

(i)      the surviving spouse had deserted the deceased spouse without cause and such desertion was continuing; or

(ii)     a decree of judicial separation with respect to the surviving spouse had been granted by a court to the deceased spouse.

(2)           Where, by operation of the provisions of paragraph (1), the surviving spouse provisions do not apply to a surviving spouse, any property of the deceased spouse to which the surviving spouse provisions would otherwise have applied shall devolve as if the surviving spouse had died immediately before the deceased spouse.

PART IV

COMMORIENTES

ARTICLE 9

Declaration of survivorship or simultaneous death

(1)           Where two or more persons appear to have died in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other or others, any interested person may apply to the Court for an order declaring that the persons who appear to have died in such circumstances shall be deemed to have died sumultaneously or, as the case may be, declaring that one or more of those persons survived another or others.

(2)           Where any application is made under this Article –

(a)     notice thereof shall be given in such manner as the Court may direct, and any other interested person may intervene and be heard;

(b)     the Court shall examine the evidence produced by the applicant and by any person intervening and may order such other persons to be convened, such additional evidence to be heard and such further enquiries to be made as the Court thinks necessary.

(3)           In any proceedings under this Article –

(a)     the onus of proving the survivorship or predecease of any person shall rest on the party asserting it;

(b)     in the absence of corroborating evidence, the Court shall not be bound to accept the accuracy of any statement specifying the time of death of a deceased person contained in any certificate issued, or register of deaths maintained, by any person or authority, or in any report of an inquest or other official inquiry.

(4)           On any application for an order under this Article the Court shall not make an order in respect of any deceased person unless it is satisfied that –

(a)     at the time of death the deceased person was domiciled in the Island; or

(b)     at the time of death the deceased person owned, or was entitled to an interest in, movable or immovable property situate in the Island; or

(c)     the right of the deceased person to any movable or immovable property or to any interest therein was, or could have been, affected by the death of another person in respect of whom the Court has power to make an order on an application under this Article.

(5)           If at the conclusion of proceedings under this Article the Court is of the opinion that the sequence in which some or all of the deceased persons named in the application died has not been established beyond reasonable doubt, the Court shall make an order declaring that such persons shall be deemed to have died simultaneously.

(6)           If at the conclusion of proceedings under this Article the Court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that a deceased person named in the application survived another deceased person therein named for any period of time, the Court may make an order declaring that the one survived the other.

(7)           An order made under paragraph (5) or (6) shall be binding on all persons for all purposes affecting the title to –

(a)     the immovable estate situate in the Island of a deceased person named in the order who died domiciled in the Island or elsewhere;

(b)     the movable estate wherever situate of a deceased person named in the order who died domiciled in the Island;

(c)     the movable estate situate in the Island of a deceased person named in the order who died domiciled outside the Island where the devolution of such movable estate is not governed by the law of any other country or falls to be governed by the law of the Island by virtue of the law of any other country, whether by application of the doctrine of renvoi or otherwise.

ARTICLE 10

Effect of declaration of simultaneous death

(1)           Where the Court has made an order under paragraph (5) of Article 9 the estate of any deceased person named in the order shall, subject to the provisions of this Article, be held or distributed in the way that it would have been had no other deceased person named in the order survived that deceased person.

(2)           Where deceased persons named in an order made under paragraph (5) of Article 9 owned property jointly, their joint ownership shall, subject to any order of the Court, be deemed to have become ownership in common in equal shares at the time of their decease:

Provided that this paragraph –

(a)     shall not apply in any case where deceased persons named in the order owned property jointly with another person who survived them;

(b)     shall not be construed as derogating from the rule of customary law relating to avancement de succession.

(3)           Where a will contains a gift which is to take effect only in the event of some person having predeceased the testator, the gift shall not fail solely by reason that the Court had made an order declaring that the testator and such person shall be deemed to have died simultaneously, but it shall take effect in the same manner as if such person had predeceased the testator.

(4)           An order made by the Court declaring that an intestate and his heir shall be deemed to have died simultaneously shall not deprive any descendant of the heir of any right to represent the heir in the distribution of the estate of the intestate which the descendant would have had if the heir had predeceased the intestate:

Provided that if the heir leaves a surviving spouse, that spouse shall have the same rights in respect of the immovable estate of the heir as that spouse would have had if the heir had died after the death of the intestate.

ARTICLE 11

Testamentary direction as to survivorship

Nothing in this Part of this Law shall be construed as derogating from the right of a testator by express provision in a will to direct that if two or more persons named in the will shall have died in circumstances rendering uncertain which of them survived the other or others then one or more of such persons shall be deemed to have survived the other or others, and in any such case the will shall be construed without regard to any contrary provisions of this Law.

PART V

ABOLITION OF CERTAIN RULES OF CUSTOMARY LAW

ARTICLE 12

Abolition of année de jouissance

(1)           Subject to paragraph (2), the année de jouissance is hereby abolished.

(2)           Paragraph (1) shall not affect an entitlement to an année de jouissance arising in respect of a death which occurred before the coming into force of this Law.

ARTICLE 13

Concubines

The rule under customary law that all gifts to a concubine are null is hereby abolished.

ARTICLE 14

Right of principal heir to demand possession of movable estate

The right under customary law of the principal heir to interpose and demand possession of the movable estate from the executor of a deceased person’s will on depositing with the executor the full amount of the bequests made under the will, together with the debts and other charges of the administration, is hereby abolished.

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS

ARTICLE 15

Costs of administration

The costs of administration of the movable estate of a deceased person shall be paid out of the gross movable estate unless his will provides otherwise.

ARTICLE 16

Testamentary dispositions and appointments revoked by divorce

If a will contains a devise, legacy or other gift in favour of the testator’s spouse or appoints the testator’s spouse as executor of the will, such devise, legacy, other gift or appointment shall, subject to any provision to the contrary contained in the will, be revoked, if after the execution of the will the marriage of the testator and the testator’s spouse is dissolved or annulled.

ARTICLE 17

Will made by a minor

No will made by a person under the age of majority shall be invalid by reason only of that fact if such person is married at the time of the execution of such will.

ARTICLE 18

Liability of heir, devisee or legatee

The liability of an heir to, or a legatee or devisee of, the movable or immovable estate of a deceased person for the debts due by such deceased person shall in no case exceed the value of the estate or part of the estate accruing to that heir, legatee or devisee.

ARTICLE 19

Non-discrimination

Notwithstanding any rule of law or enactment to the contrary, the estate, whether movable or immovable, of a person dying testate or intestate shall devolve without regard to the nationality of –

(a)     the person so dying;

(b)     any beneficiary; or

(c)     any person through whom (“à la représentation de laquelle”) a beneficiary claims.

ARTICLE 20

Rights of purchaser for value

No bona fide purchaser for value of any movable or immovable estate shall be disturbed in ownership by the registration of a will subsequent to the expiration of a year and a day from the date of death of the testator.

ARTICLE 21

Administration of estates of persons dying before this Law came into force

Notwithstanding the provisions of this Law, or any repeal effected thereby, the estate of a person who has died before the coming into force of this Law shall continue to be administered in accordance with the law and procedure in force prior to the coming into force of this Law.

ARTICLE 22

Manorial and other rights

Nothing in this Law shall affect the privilèges, amortissements and préciputs which are by custom attached to certain houses and manors in the Island.

ARTICLE 23

Amendment of “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”

The “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”1 shall be amended in the manner set out in the First Schedule to this Law.

ARTICLE 24

Repeals

The enactments specified in the first column of the Second Schedule to this Law are repealed to the extent indicated in the second column of that Schedule.

ARTICLE 25

Citation and commencement

(1)           This Law may be cited as the Wills and Successions (Jersey) Law 1993.

(2)           This Law shall come into force on such day or days as the States may by Act appoint and different days may be appointed for different purposes or different provisions of the Law.

 

C.M. NEWCOMBE

 

Deputy Greffier of the States


FIRST SCHEDULE

(Article 23)

Amendment of “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”

For Article 1 of the “Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”2 there shall be substituted the following Article –

“ARTICLE 1

Toute personne ayant capacité pour faire un testament de biens-meubles pourra disposer par testament de ses immeubles.”.


SECOND SCHEDULE

(Article 24)

Enactments repealed

 

(1)

(2)

Title of enactment

Extent of repeal

“Loi (1834) sur le retrait foncier”3

The whole Law

“Loi (1851) au sujet du droit de succession”4

The whole Law

“Loi (1851) sur les testaments d’immeubles”5

Articles 5 and 10

“Loi (1862) relative au partage d’héritages”6

Articles 1 and 4

“Loi (1873) (Amendement) au sujet du droit de succession”7

The whole Law

“Loi (1880) sur la propriété foncière”8

In the last sentence of Article 11 the semi-colon following the word “nom” and all the words thereafter

“Loi (1891) sur le partage d’héritages”9

The whole Law

“Loi (1926) sur les héritages propres”10

The whole Law

European Communities (Jersey) Law 197311

Paragraph (2) of Article 6

 



1     Tomes I–III, page 188.

2     Tomes I–III, page 188.

3     Tomes I–III, page 62.

4     Tomes I–III, page 186.

5     Tomes I–III, page 189 and 190.

6     Tomes I–III, page 278 and 279.

7     Tomes I–III, page 360.

8     Tomes I–III, page 394.

9     Tomes IV–VI, page 110.

10    Tomes IV–VI, page 591.

11    Volume 1973–1974, page 104.


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