What to do when a deceased person has assets in the Cayman Islands: resealing of foreign Grants of Probate

Where a person has died and left assets in the Cayman Islands, it is not possible to deal with those assets without first obtaining a grant of representation from the relevant local Court. The rule applies to all forms of property (including shares and intangible property) irrespective of where the deceased died, where they resided during their lifetime, and whether or not they left a Will.

This means that where an individual held shares in a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, a grant of representation will be required in order to deal with those shares. Generally, until such a grant is obtained, the shares will effectively be frozen as they cannot be transferred, their voting powers cannot be exercised, and dividends paid on the shares cannot be distributed.

A grant of representation can take two forms, being either:

  1. a Cayman Islands grant of probate; or
  2. the resealing of a foreign grant of representation so that such foreign grant once sealed has the same legal effect if it were a local grant of probate.

For individuals whose Cayman assets form only a portion of their overall estate, the resealing of a foreign grant is likely to present the more logical option, being swifter, simpler and less expensive.

Robert Lindley

Partner, Head of Cayman & BVI Private Client & Trust

British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands

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