The British Virgin Islands has introduced some new fees for probate applications, replacing the old fee structure that had been in place since the 1980s.
The new fees apply to all grant applications submitted on or after 1 November 2017 irrespective of the date of death of the deceased.
Offshore law firm Ogier said the changes reinforced how important it was for those individuals and families with assets structured through the BVIs to revisit their structures.
At the same time Ogier said the fees overhaul underlined the appeal of structuring through trusts rather than holding assets in their own name as in the past, the total filing fees for a grant application was nominal and was usually within US$100.
However, under the New Rules, the amount has increased quite substantially and the categories of fees have been expanded as well. For example, for an estate with a value of more than US$5,000, the filing fee for declaration of value is increased from US$20 to US$1,000.
Also, there used to be a standard fee of US$3 per document for almost all types of application documents with limited exceptions. Now there are various fee categories with different fee levels.
In general, for a non-BVI domiciled deceased, the following documents will need to be filed for a probate application:
1. Application for grant of probate
2. Affidavit in support with the following exhibits:
a. Death certificate of the deceased (or other proof of death)
b. Death certificate of executor being cleared off (if applicable)
c. Copy of original duly marked will.
3. Original duly marked will
4. Affidavit of attesting witness
5. Affidavit of foreign law as to the validity of the will
6. Renunciation of executor being cleared off (if applicable)
7. Declaration on oath as to value
8. Affidavit of search
9. Two newspaper notices
10. Affidavit of delay (if applicable)
11. Affidavit of translation (if applicable)
12. Any other affidavit (if applicable)
13. Draft order
14. Draft grant
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