Signing of Instruments (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 201-

In order to enable incapacitated people who are unable to sign wills to make testamentary dispositions through a “proxy” signature, the States voted this law through on 6th March, awaiting Privy Council approval. Once approved, the law will come into force on its being registered at the Royal Court.

The Law once registered will also apply with variations to affidavits, powers of attorney and LPAs.

Such Instruments ( there is no equivalent concept to a deed in Jersey law) will be valid if executed under the procedure and presences required under article 17A (1), with the following noteworthy addition to the domestic concept of a qualified person at article 17A (3):

In this Article, ‘qualified witness’ means –

(a) if the will is executed in Jersey, a Jurat of the Royal Court, a member of the States, an advocate, a solicitor or a notary public; or

(b) if the will is executed outside Jersey –

(i) one of the persons mentioned in sub-paragraph (a), or

(ii) a judge, justice of the peace, magistrate, mayor, chief officer of any city or municipal corporation, a barrister, solicitor, a lawyer qualified under the legal system of the place of execution, a person authorized to take oaths or affidavits or the equivalent thereof by the law of Jersey or the law of the place of execution, a British consular official (or a person for the time being discharging the duties of such an official), or, if the testator is a member of the British armed forces, an officer of those forces authorized to take affidavits.

(4) In paragraph (3)(b)(ii) –

‘barrister’ means a person who is qualified as a barrister in England and Wales or Northern Ireland or as an advocate in Scotland; and

‘solicitor’ means a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland or a solicitor in Scotland.

(5) The States may by Regulations amend paragraph (3) or (4).”.

Taking an affidavit or an LPA for use in Jersey from someone incapacitated anywhere in the world under this régime will therefore require either a recognition by the Royal Court if any different rules as to validity in the place of execution, or to find or fly out one of the professions or individuals mentioned at 3 (b) (ii).

The full text can be found here.

Peter Harris