Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
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Rules Governing the
Superior Court of the Virgin Islands

Rule 210. Recording foreign will; petition for recognition of devisees and legatees; settlement of inheritance tax

(a) Where real or personal property, or both, or an interest therein, situated within the Virgin Islands has been devised or bequeathed by the written will of a nonresident testator executed in conformity with the laws of the testator's domicile and the will has been established or admitted to probate at the testator's domicile and has there been filed or recorded as prescribed by the laws thereof, and thereafter an authenticated copy of the will and of the proofs or of the record thereof has been recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds in the judicial division in which such property is situated, the devisees or legatees entitled under the will to the property in the Virgin Islands may apply to the Territorial Court, as authorized by 15 V.I.C. ' 198, to be recognized and placed in possession of such property. Such application shall be by petition setting forth (1) the name and residence of the testator, (2) the date of his death, supported by death certificate when available and procurable, (3) the date of his will and the date when the Court in which it was established or admitted to probate, (4) the name and address of the domiciliary executor or administrator, (5) the date when and the office of the recorder of deeds in which the will was recorded in this territory, (6) the names and capacities of the devisees or legatees entitled under the will to the property in the Virgin Islands and the proportions due to each, and (7) that there are no unpaid debts owing by the testator or that the petitioners choose to and do assume and will pay such debts as may be owing by the testator which may not be paid by the domiciliary executor or administrator and which are or might become a charge upon or payable out of such property. The petition shall end with a prayer that the petitioners be recognized as the persons entitled under the testator's will to the property in the Virgin Islands and that as such they be placed in possession of such property. There shall be annexed to the petition a true copy of the testator's will and an inventory and valuation of his property in the Virgin Islands sworn to by two responsible persons, as provided by 15 V.I.C. ' 192.

(b) Before the presentation of such a petition to the court for consideration it shall be submitted to the Attorney General who, if satisfied as to the correctness of the valuation as shown by the inventory and sworn to, shall approve the valuation in the margin of the petition and certify the amount of inheritance tax to be paid to the territory. If the Attorney General refuses to approve the valuation, the petitioners may apply to the court for the issuance of a rule on the Attorney General ordering him to show cause why the valuation should not be approved and the inheritance tax fixed.

(c) After publication of notice to creditors once a week for four successive weeks and four weeks' notice by certified mail to the domiciliary executor or administrator and upon the approval by the Attorney General, or by judgment on rule, of the valuation, petitioner shall cause the amount of the inheritance tax to be deposited with the clerk of the court and not until after such notice has been given and proof thereof filed and such deposit has been made shall the petition be considered by the court and judgment pronounced thereon. After judgment has been rendered by the court, the clerk of the court shall pay the inheritance tax to the proper fiscal officer for the account of the territory and file the receipt therefor with the petition and judgment.

(d) In the judgment recognizing the persons entitled to the property of the testator in the Virgin Islands and placing them in possession of it, the property, if real estate, shall be described in detail. A registration in the office of the recorder of deeds of the proper judicial division of said judgment shall, as provided in 15 V.I.C. ' 195, be prima facie proof of title to said property in the persons named therein.

(e) As part of the judgment herein, the Court shall assess a fee of $500.00 as costs, regardless of the valuation of the estate.--Added Dec. 22, 1976; amended Dec. 1, 1996.

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