“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
With a heavy heart, how do you focus on probating the estate of your loved one in the Virgin Islands? Why should you spend energy on probate? Well, probate comes with its benefits. The probate process provides evidence of title transfer, protects creditors, and distributes the loved one’s property after the creditors are paid.
In the Virgin Islands, a few processes can be used to probate an estate. The processes are summary administration, disposition of estate without administration, ancillary administration, administration of a testamentary estate, and administration of intestate estate. Provided below is a broad overview of the prerequisites for each process.
The summary administration process is the quickest. The value of the estate must be below $100,000. Look at the property’s tax bill to get an idea of what the property may be worth. This process may be pursued with or without a will. If there is a will, the will needs to provide for the executor (or administrator C.T.A.). Further guidance can be found at 15 V.I.C. § 167, 15 V.I.C. § 191, and Virgin Islands Rule of Probate and Fiduciary Proceedings 22.
Disposition of Estate Without Administration:
Here, the heirs agree to take on the loved one’s debts (or the loved one had no debts). This process may be pursued, according to 15 V.I.C. § 191 if there is no will. Further guidance can be found at 15 V.I.C. § 191 and Virgin Islands Rule of Probate and Fiduciary Proceedings 23.
This process is pursued if the loved one lived outside the Virgin Islands but owned property in the Virgin Islands. The will is ordinarily first probated in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the person lived. Next, the ancillary probate process begins. There are two types of ancillary administration – 1) recognition of a foreign will and 2) ancillary probate with administration. Virgin Islands Rule of Probate and Fiduciary Proceedings 24 can provide further guidance.
Administration of Testamentary Estate:
This is the administration of an estate where the loved one left a will. This process is used when the processes above cannot or should not be used. Virgin Islands Rule of Probate and Fiduciary Proceedings 3 may be used for further guidance.
Administration of Intestate Estate:
This is the administration of an estate where the loved one did not leave a will, and the above processes cannot or should not be used. Virgin Islands Rule of Probate and Fiduciary Proceedings 4 may be used for further guidance.
Probating the estate of your loved one can have many benefits. Speak to an attorney about which probate process may be right for you.
It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstance. Come see us at CPLS, P.A. Attorney Jalicha Persad is a member of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Group. Contact Attorney Jalicha Persad at 407-647-7887 or email her at email@example.com