Making an application

1: How do I apply for a Grant when the deceased was an Isle of Man resident?

The basic stages for applying for a Grant of Representation, i.e. commonly referred to as ‘Probate’ are set out below:

Follow this link to the online application form which has been designed to guide you through the application process by, e.g.

    • Hiding the parts of the form that are not relevant to your application (and simplifying the form itself)

    • Prompting you to remember to answer certain questions in the form

    • Checking that dates within the application make sense, e.g. the date of death is not before the date of any Will etc.; and

    • Helping you calculate the estate of the deceased and the relevant fees due.

Once you have completed the online application form you will receive an e-mail almost immediately with the completed form attached.  The e-mail itself will contain guidance regarding the next steps you need to take to finalise the submission of the application.

Before you can submit your application form it needs to be printed out and sworn or affirmed before a Commissioner for Oaths.

This can be done by any person empowered to administer oaths (for example, an Advocate or Justice of the Peace) or by staff at the Public Counter of the Probate & Tribunal Office in Murray House.  There will usually be a fee involved for the swearing or affirming of a document -please see the easy reference guide to Probate Fees.

You will need to ensure that you obtain the required supporting documentation, e.g. an original or Registry issued copy Death Certificate and the original Will (if applicable).

Please note that if the application is supported by a Will (and any Codicil(s)), the Will (and any Codicil(s)) also need to be freshly marked before they are submitted with the application form.

Marking means that they need to be signed (with full signatures) on each front page by both the applicant(s) and by the Commissioner for Oaths before whom the application is sworn or affirmed.  See Swearing of Affidavits for more information.

Calculate the appropriate application fee – the fee due is dependent on the value of the estate and the number of additional requirements, e.g. the number of certified copies required.

The fees due are prescribed by the Court Services Fees Order currently in force - please see the guide to Probate Fees.  The online application form will assist you with this.

If for whatever reason you cannot make use of the online application form, you can obtain a paper version of the Application Form (which you will have to print out) from the 'Forms' page on our website.

The Guidance Notes to assist with the completion of the application form are also available on the Forms page; once you have completed the paper application form you should proceed to the line above regarding the application being sworn/affirmed before a Commissioner for Oaths.

It is important to note that applications submitted in paper format are likely to take longer to process than those submitted via the online form.

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You can lodge any application form, together with any supporting documentation and any fee not already paid by Bank Transfer, by hand at:

Probate & Tribunals Public Counter
Ground Floor Murray House
Mount Havelock
Douglas

Please note that only cheques – which must be in GBP - and credit/debit cards can be accepted at the Probate & Tribunals public counter; applications accompanied by cash must be submitted via the public counter in the Isle of Man Courts of Justice (see below).

You may also post your completed application to:

The Probate Office
Isle of Man Courts of Justice
Deemsters Walk
Bucks Road
Douglas
Isle of Man
IM1 3AR

The preferred method of payment is via Bank Transfer and guidance on how to do this will be found in the e-mail received when completing the online form.

Under no circumstances should cash be sent through the post; should this cause you any difficulties please contact the Probate Office on +44 (0)1624 685243 between 9:30am and 4:30pm (4:00pm Friday).  Please note that cheques should be made payable to “ISLE OF MAN GOVERNMENT”.

All payments made must be in Great British Pounds (“GBP”) - if in doubt please contact the Probate Office directly.

It is strongly recommended that, where possible, when you lodge your application you keep a copy of the completed application form, and any other documents that you submit.

Draft Application Process

If you feel that your application is complex and you wish the Probate Office to review it before submission, this can be done on payment of the prescribed fee.  Please note that this process is intended to be used only where the application is not straightforward and use of this service -

  • Will add additional cost to the application process and is also likely to add time to how long it takes for the Grant to issue as you will still be required to submit a formal application after your draft application is returned to you with comments/observations.

    Does not include a detailed examination of spelling, dates and/or other minutia that could be picked up by the applicant or their representative by undertaking basic administrative checks and/or applying attention to detail when completing the application form.

    Cannot confirm that processes that have not been completed as part of the submission of the draft application, e.g. the swearing/affirming of the application form and/or the marking of any Will/Codicil, have been done correctly.

    Requires that only plain copies of all documents (for review) are submitted with the draft application.

2: What about when the deceased died domiciled* outside the Isle of Man?

The word domicile, generally speaking, means the country where the deceased had their permanent home. However it is possible to be domiciled in a country without having a permanent home there. The procedure for applying is similar in most respects as if the deceased had been an Isle of Man resident, however there are some additional documents required to support the application.

* Please note that a sworn statement of the deceased's domicile appears in the wording of the Grant of Representation. Where a country has no uniform system of law (eg in the case of Australia, Canada or the United States of America) the particular Province, State or other judicial division must be specified. Similarly the United Kingdom is NOT acceptable as a country of domicile, such must be sworn to as either England and Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland (as appropriate)

3: If the deceased left a Will

In the event that the original Will (and Codicil(s)), providing it covers the deceased’s estate in the Isle of Man*, has already been submitted to the Court having jurisdiction in the country where the deceased died domiciled, the application must be supported by the following documents:

  • A Court sealed or Court certified copy of the Grant of Probate from the issuing Registry and

  • A Court sealed or Court certified copy of the Will and (any Codicil(s)) and

  • An original Registry issued Death Certificate

  • An official certified translation of any document not in the English language

PLEASE NOTE:

  • A Court sealed copy will bear a raised or coloured seal of the issuing Registry or Court

  • A Court certified copy will be marked, usually on the reverse, with the signature of the issuing officer certifying that the document is a true copy of the original document.

It is NOT sufficient to submit plain copies of the documents, a solicitor certified copy or a copy certified by anyone else other than the issuing Court or Registry.

*IMPORTANT: The Isle of Man is NOT part of the United Kingdom, nor Great Britain but it IS part of the British Isles.

If the deceased left more than one Will, and one of the Wills covered the estate in the Isle of Man, the original Will covering the estate in the Isle of Man must be submitted with the application together with plain copies of every other Will the deceased left in relation to assets in other, separate jurisdictions.

In all instances the Will (and Codicil(s)), whether it be an original, a Court sealed copy or a Court certified copy which is submitted with the application, must be freshly marked (that is to say signed with full signatures) on each front page by both the applicant(s) and the Commissioner for Oaths before whom the application is sworn, irrespective of the fact that if it is a Court sealed copy or a Court certified copy it will already have been marked when Probate was applied for in the country where the deceased died domiciled.

Failure to provide either Court sealed or Court certified copies, or failure to have the Will (and Codicil(s)) freshly marked (signed) by both the applicant(s) and the Commissioner for Oaths, will result in delays in processing the application as the documents will have to be returned to the Isle of Man address for service for the necessary requirements to be complied with.

The address for service MUST be an address in the Isle of Man. For further information in relation to the address for service, please see Address for Service below. 

4: If the deceased died intestate (did NOT leave a Will)

In the event that the deceased died intestate (did not leave a Will), the application must be supported by a Court sealed copy or a Court certified copy of the Grant of Administration from the issuing Court or Registry in the country where the deceased died domiciled.  Please note it is NOT sufficient to simply submit a plain copy, a solicitor certified copy or a copy certified by anyone else other than the issuing Court or Registry.

If no Grant of Administration has been issued from the country of domicile of the deceased, then there must be confirmation of entitlement submitted in support of the application. The confirmation of entitlement may be in the form of an Affidavit of Foreign Law from a suitably qualified but disinterested lawyer in respect of the law on intestacy in the country of domicile of the deceased and in particular the law on intestacy as applied to the deceased. Alternatively a Court sealed or Court certified copy of a Certificate of Inheritance may be submitted in support of the application.

Failure to provide either Court sealed or Court certified copies will result in delays in processing the application as the documents will have to be returned to the Isle of Man address for service for the necessary requirements to be complied with.

The address for service MUST be an address in the Isle of Man. For further information in relation to the address for service, please see Address for Service below.  

5: The application form

There is only one application form to complete, however depending on the circumstances you may need to supply additional documentation in support of your application. The probate application form asks for details of the deceased and the applicant or applicants.

The application form together with Guidance Notes to assist on the completion of the form and the Probate Information Sheet (the "Probate Information Pack"), can be either:

  • downloaded from the forms page or

  • collected from the Public Counter at the Probate and Tribunals Office, Ground Floor, Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas or
  • collected from the Public Counter at the Isle of Man Courts of Justice or

  • obtained by contacting the Probate Office on the telephone or by e-mail and they will post or e-mail the application pack to you

6: How do I determine the value of the estate?

The application form asks you to complete an Inventory of the estate of the deceased in the Isle of Man at the date of death which will help you to calculate the gross value of the estate. The probate fee (see Current Probate Fees on the Forms page) for lodging the application is based on the gross value of the estate, however please note that if the gross value of the estate is not indicated on the application form the maximum probate fee will be charged.

You should try to obtain the full value of everything in the Isle of Man owned by the deceased or due to them from any source at the date of their death (whether or not it has already been received) including any interest or bonus which will be paid. This does not apply to property nominated in favour of any person* and joint property if the deceased’s share passed by survivorship.

The value of any real estate (house(s) etc.) that the deceased had a beneficial interest in when they died must be given as the amount which the land/property might be expected to reach on the open market if sold by a willing seller.  It is important to note that the Court may require you to provide confirmation of any property value given, e.g. by obtaining a valuation from an estate agent, or a copy of any recent conveyance of the property (within the previous 5 years).  

*An example of property nominated in favour of a person may be a pension scheme which provides for certain benefits due on death to be paid to a nominee without requiring a grant to be produced. However determining whether or not the value of certain property should be included can be very complex and therefore you should seek legal advice if you are in any doubt.

“Gross value” means the estimated price an item would fetch if sold at the date of the deceased’s death. Stocks and shares should be valued at the price at which they were quoted on the Stock Exchange on the day of death. 

7: Will I have to attend the Probate Office in person?

All applications can be dealt with via the postal system, however the Probate Office may in certain circumstances ask an applicant (or applicants) to attend in person in order to clarify certain points or gain further information.

However, if you wish you can discuss and/or submit your application at the Public Counter of the Probate and Tribunals Office in Murray House, the Probate staff will assist by checking that the application form has been completed and the correct documents submitted in support of the application. Should you choose to deliver your application to the Public Counter of the Isle of Man Courts of Justice please note that the staff there will not be able to comment or advise on the answers you provide in response to the questions on the application form, nor will they be able to comment or advise on any documents submitted in support of the application.

You may also attend the Probate & Tribunals Public Counter in Murray House to swear or affirm the application before a Commissioner for Oaths, if you have not already done so elsewhere. This service will be carried out by the staff of the Probate Office on payment of the prescribed fee (see Probate Fees on the Forms page). 

8: Address for service

Every application is required to state an address for service in the Isle of Man, irrespective of where the applicant or applicants live. Once an application has been made, the Probate Office will send all further correspondence or documents to the nominated address for service.

If there is no personal representative of the deceased in the Isle of Man you may wish to seek the permission of the organisation in the Isle of Man, with whom the assets of the deceased are deposited/held, to use their address. Organisations will normally grant permission for this, however the onus is on the applicant to check with the organisation first.

If permission has been gained from an organisation on the Isle of Man to use their address as the address for service for the application, it is strongly recommended that the applicant establish the name of the person in the organisation to whom correspondence and ultimately the Grant should be sent. This should be indicated on the application form and will help to ensure that all communication is sent directly to the correct person and therefore prevent any delays in the organisation releasing whatever assets of the deceased they hold. 

9: Probate Fees

Please refer to the current Probate Fees on the Fees page. NB, Probate fees increased on 1st April 2021. 

Please remember when calculating the fee payable to include the cost of any additional requirements you may have (for example, 4 additional certified copies of the Grant, in addition to the application fee).

PLEASE NOTE that the Probate Fee based on the Gross Estate Value includes the cost of one Court sealed copy of the Grant together with a plain copy of the Will where applicable.  

10: What happens to those documents I submit in support of my application?

ALL documents supplied in support of the application (for example the original Will, Death Certificate, etc.) will be permanently retained by the Court. Once the grant has been issued, all the information provided as part of the application will be available for public inspection in the Deeds and Probate Registry.

Once the grant has been issued any person may obtain copies of any document submitted, from the Deeds and Probate Registry, on payment of the requisite fee.

Page last updated on 09 June 2022