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Isle of Man – it can be a bit of a nuisance for some estates

The Isle of Man is an interesting place from a legal point of view.  It is a British crown possession so the Queen is head of state, but it has its own common law which generally follows English law.  The Isle of Man forms part of the non-metropolitan territories of the United Kingdom, but it is not part of the EU.  Although it is not a fully sovereign state it does have a separate jurisdiction from the United Kingdom, and that means where there are assets based in the Isle of Man, the executors will probably need to obtain an Isle of Man probate.

Application is made by the executors in a statutory form on oath.  Any will referred to in the application must accompany it together with a fee which could be up to several thousand pounds!

Anyone with Isle of Man investments or other assets and who is considering a will should bear in mind the potential headaches for executors.  It might well be worth considering placing Isle of Man assets in trust or in another structure which will avoid the need for an Isle of Man probate.

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