Many current and former Commonwealth countries have similar common law legal systems. However, if an individual passes away domiciled in one of those countries, leaving assets registered in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), it is regularly the case that the grant of probate issued by the local court will not be recognised by the asset holder.
Resealing is a fast and efficient way to obtain recognition of a local probate document by the TCI court, which will then enable the executor or their attorney to gain access to the assets registered in TCI.
The TCI court is permitted to reseal probate documents issued by the courts of specified current and former Commonwealth countries and territories. For example, if an individual, domiciled in the Bahamas, passes away leaving a bank account and a house registered in TCI, the Bahamian letters of administration may not be recognised by the financial institution and will not be recognised by the TCI Land Registry. It follows that resealing would be an efficient way for the Bahamian personal representative to obtain TCI court authority to administer the bank account and to deal with the TCI Land Registry.
Who can apply for resealing grants of probate?
Broadly speaking, a probate document issued by a local court may be resealed if the person entrusted is one of the following:
- A person entrusted with the administration by the court of the place of domicile;
- A person beneficially entitled to the estate by the law of the place of domicile;
- The executor named in the Will.
What documents are required for resealing probate?
- The local probate document and the Will
The original probate document, a court sealed and certified copy, or an exemplification of the probate document can be submitted.
As the original Will (and any codicil) is normally retained by the first court in which it was proved, a court sealed and certified copy of the Will (from the local court of domicile) is required, plus two photocopies.
If the deceased passed away without a Will, only the probate document will be required.
- Letter of Authority or Power of Attorney
If you would like our firm to apply for resealing probate on your behalf, we will prepare a letter of authority. Alternatively, where we are also instructed to continue and administer the assets in TCI, we will prepare a power of attorney.