What is the Isle of Man Probate Office?
The Isle of Man Probate Office forms part of the Civil Division of the High Court in the Isle of Man. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business, that is where there is no dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant.
Information in relation to obtaining Probate in the Isle of Man is available via the menus on the left hand side. Alternatively, the same information is available in a booklet entitled Information on obtaining Probate in the Isle of Man.
Covid-19 Information – Updated 16 April 2021
Following the announcement made by the Chief Minister on Thursday 15 April 2021, the public counter of the Probate Office will be open in line with it's normal opening hours with effect from Monday 19 April 2021.
In order to provide as smooth a transition from the current lockdown arrangements into a normal business as usual environment, please can you consider the following points:
Staff of the Probate Office have had limited access to facilities in Murray House during lockdown and as a consequence it will take a short period of time for services to get back to normal and during this period we would be very grateful for your continued patience and co-operation. Should you have a question regarding an application that you have already submitted, please can you contact this office by e-mail on email@example.com rather than by telephone.
Due to the limited space available at our public counter and in order to ensure all of our customers feel safe when using our public facing facilities we will, until further notice, be employing an 'appointment only' protocol at our public counter. If it is your intention to call into the Probate Office with a substantive query, i.e. other than simply to drop off/pick up post, e.g. to submit an application, or with a query before you submit an application, we would encourage you to contact this office, in the first instance, by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and if we cannot resolve your question by e-mail or over the phone we will arrange an appointment time for you to attend the office.
The Probate Office is committed to providing you with a safe and appropriate environment for you and should you have any questions regarding any aspect of the above, please don't hesitate to contact this office on email@example.com, or if your query is urgent please call +44 (0)1624 685941.
Applications for Probate.
Applications should continue to be submitted as normal, bearing in mind any relevant time limits. Should you require to have an application Sworn or Affirmed, please see the above protocol for attendance at our public counter.
Do I really need a Grant of Representation (Probate or Letters of Administration)?
Before making an application to the Court it is vitally important that you check with the asset holder, e.g. bank, building society or life assurance company, that they really do need a Grant to release the asset(s).
As an asset holder it is extremely important that you undertake due diligence to ensure that the asset is held in this jurisdiction and furthermore that your own internal procedures, or the laws under which you operate, require the person that is administering the estate of the deceased to obtain a Grant of Representation (in this jurisdiction) in order for you to release the asset.
If as an applicant you make an application, or as an asset holder you inform an administrator/executor that you require them to obtain a Grant of Representation, and later (even before the Grant has issued) you discover that a Grant is not actually needed, it is very important that you appreciate that the Court will only issue a refund in exceptional circumstances and a failure to confirm with the administrator and/or asset holder that Probate is not necessary is unlikely to be considered exceptional circumstances.
As an Executor (named in the Will), an administrator or a person representing one of the aforementioned individuals, as a minimum you should ask yourself the following questions:
Has the organisation holding the asset in the Isle of Man confirmed to you that they require you to supply them with a Grant of Representation in order that they can release the asset (belonging to the estate of the deceased) to you? Is there is no other internal process that the asset holder has by which they could release the asset to you? It is very important to note that it is not the Courts decision as to whether you need 'Probate', it is the responsibility of the asset holder(s) to make that decision.
If the deceased's usual place of residence was not in the Isle of Man and it is likely that they will have been considered as being 'domiciled' elsewhere, e.g. in England & Wales, you should consider whether you will need to obtain a Grant of Representation in that 'jurisdiction' before making an application in the Isle of Man. There are many reasons why this would be good practice, not least because most Courts require the original documents and once you have filed them with a Court you are unlikely to get them back and Courts in other jurisdictions, i.e. where the deceased was not domiciled, are more likely to accept Court issued copies of documents from the Court having jurisdiction where the deceased died domiciled.
Have you read very carefully our general guidance notes and notes in relation to filling in our form? Members of staff in the Probate area of the Court are prohibited from giving advice that could be construed as being legal in nature and as such are limited to only giving general guidance in relation to making an application.
Warning - Probate Scams
Please be aware that it is not uncommon for there to be Probate 'scams' in operation via the Internet. A number of these operate from countries outside the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. Many of these will inform the recipient that they are the beneficiary of a substantial legacy but will ask for fees and/or taxes in advance of sending more information or the release of funds.
These will always be fraudulent and on no account should you make any payment or transfer any funds. You can obtain further information and advice concerning such scams on the The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority website, or the Financial Intelligence Unit website. You will also find information about reporting such activity to the police, as the police may be able to close down the e-mail accounts concerned.