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Resealing of Foreign Grants of Probate in the British Virgin Islands

July 2021 Robert Lindley

Where a person has died and left assets in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), 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) in respect 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 BVI, the grant of representation will be required in order to deal with those company 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:

(i)  a BVI grant of probate/letters of administration; or

(ii) the resealing of a foreign grant of representation so that such foreign grant once sealed has the same legal effect if it were a BVI grant of probate.

This article focuses on the resealing of foreign grants of representation in the BVI given the recently enacted Probate (Resealing) Act 2021 which came into force on 9 July 2021 (the 2021 Act).

 

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Resealing of Foreign Grants of Probate in the British Virgin Islands

 


Robert Lindley
Partner, Head of Cayman & BVI Private Client & Trust

British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands   +1 345 814 7360


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