Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
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Superior Court of the Virgin Islands

Rule 192. Citation to heirs at law and next of kin; waiver

(a) If the deceased dies testate, there may be filed with the petition for probate, a waiver or waivers consenting to probate and the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration and signed by the heirs and next of kin who would inherit in the absence of a will, or by so many of them as will sign. Waivers should be in form substantially as follows:

I, the undersigned, being one of the adult heirs at law and next of kin of , deceased, having read and being fully acquainted with the contents of the will of said decedent, dated , 19 , and having read and being fully acquainted with the contents of the petition of and for the probate of said will and for other purposes, dated , 19 , do hereby waive citation or publication of advertisement insofar as I am concerned, and do hereby consent and request that the said will be admitted to probate and record as a will of real and personal estate; that and be appointed executors of the estate of , deceased; and that the court act upon and grant all the prayers of said petition without further notice to me.

___________________

___________________

(b) If any heir or next of kin shall not have signed a waiver, the petitioner or his attorney shall, upon filing of the petition for probate, cause to be issued by a judge of the Territorial Court a citation to each such heir or next of kin requiring him to show cause, if any he may have, why the prayers of the petition should not be granted. A copy of the petition shall be annexed to each citation and the citation shall be returnable not less than ten days after the date of its issuance and shall be served not less than five days before said return day. Citation may be served by the petitioner or by his attorney or agent, or by the marshal in the same manner as process generally is served. If service is by a person other than the marshal, acknowledgment of service must be endorsed upon the original citation by the person served and the original citation, thus endorsed, shall be returned to and filed with the clerk of the Territorial Court. If the person served is outside the jurisdiction, service may be by certified mail and an affidavit of mailing with a signed return receipt attached shall be filed as proof of service. The citation herein provided for shall be in form substantially as follows:

To:

Greeting

If you have any cause to show why the document, dated the day of , 19 , purporting to be the last will and testament of , late of , deceased, should not be admitted to probate and record, and why Letters testamentary should not be granted to and , the executors named therein, you will appear and make such cause known before the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands at , on , the day of A.D., 19 .

Witness, the Honorable , this day of , A.D., 19 .

Attest:

___________________

Judge of the Territorial Court

Attorney

(c) If actual notice cannot be given to any heir or next of kin as hereinbefore provided, any judge of the Territorial Court, upon the request of the petitioner or his attorney, shall issue an order directing notice to be published in three consecutive weekly issues of a newspaper of general local circulation in the judicial division in which the deceased last lived or had assets and returnable not less than 20 days after the date of first publication. The notice shall be in form substantially as follows:

Application having been made to the Territorial Court for probate of the last will and testament of said deceased, and for letters testamentary on said estate, by and it is ordered this day of A.D., 19 , that and all others concerned are directed to appear in the Court on , the day of A.D., 19 , at 10 o'clock a.m., to show cause why such application should not be granted.

___________________

Judge of the Territorial Court

Attorney

The petitioner shall cause the notice to be published according to its tenor and shall file proof of publication at the expiration of the period thereof.

(d) If the deceased died intestate, and the person seeking letters of administration for the estate is a person primarily entitled to such letters under the provisions of the Code, no waiver or citation is required. If several persons have equal right to administer an estate, the petition for administration shall be endorsed at the end thereof with a declaration of consent or acknowledgment of notice signed by the other person or persons equally entitled. Otherwise, or if a creditor shall apply, notice shall be given in the same manner as in the case of a petition to prove a will. In every case, a copy of the petition for administration shall be delivered personally or by mail to the surviving spouse, children and any other next of kin of the deceased. Proof of such delivery shall be by affidavit which shall be filed with the clerk of the Territorial Court.

(e) Pursuant to the prayer of a petition for probate or administration, or upon separate petition of any interested person, the Court may, if appropriate, appoint a guardian ad litem for any infant or incompetent heir or next of kin. When such a petition is filed, or thereafter, the person who has custody of the infant, if within the Virgin Islands, and the infant, if he shall be 14 years of age or older and within the Virgin Islands, shall appear before the judge of the Territorial Court for examination concerning the appointment of a guardian ad litem. The examining officer, when satisfied in the premises, will issue an order appointing a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem shall make careful investigation of the rights of his ward or wards, examining the terms of the will, if any, and the circumstances of its execution, and then shall file a verified response to the original petition for probate or administration. This response, designated "Answer of Guardian Ad Litem," shall show the consent or objection of the guardian on behalf of his ward or wards to the admission of the will to probate and to the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration. The answer, if consenting, shall state the actual steps taken by the guardian ad litem to satisfy himself that the interests of his ward or wards will not be prejudiced.--Added Dec. 17, 1976; amended Oct. 14, 1994, eff. Nov. 16, 1994.

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