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

Rule 194. Grant of letters; bond; notice to creditors

(a) Upon compliance with all of the formal requirements preliminary to the granting of letters testamentary, the proponent of the will shall make proof before the judge of the Territorial Court that the will was executed with the formalities required by law. Such proof of the proper execution of the will may be by the sworn testimony of the attesting witnesses appearing personally before the judge of the Territorial Court, by deposition of such attesting witnesses taken wherever they may be located or by affidavit of the subscribing witnesses, executed at or subsequent to the execution of the will in pursuance of the provisions of 15 V.I.C. ' 22. Such affidavits of the subscribing witnesses shall be admissible to establish the contents thereof related to the execution of the will, but the weight to be accorded such affidavits shall be determined by the judge of the Territorial Court. Thereafter, the proponent may present for the signature of the judge an order for probate. Similarly, a petitioner for administration may present an order for administration after he has complied with the prescribed preliminary procedure. Letters Testamentary or of Administration will be issued upon the basis of the order for probate or administration; provided that letters shall not be issued until bond is furnished or waived as hereinafter provided.

(b) The order for probate or administration will recite the amount of the bond to be required of the executor or administrator, or else that bond is waived. Bond will be waived only when a testator has so directed. Where the probable value of the estate is not more than $2,000, a prayer in a petition for probate or administration that the executor or administrator be permitted to file his own bond without sureties may be given favorable consideration.

(c) Every executor and administrator shall, immediately after his appointment, give notice that he has been appointed and that all persons having claims against the estate are required to present them, duly verified by affidavit, to him at a place within the territory specified in the notice within six months from the date of the notice, and that all persons indebted to the estate are required to make prompt payment to him. The notice shall be given by publishing it once a week for four successive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation published in the judicial division and jurisdiction in which the decedent died or, in case he did not die in the territory, in which he left assets, and by posting it in at least three public places in such judicial division and jurisdiction one of which shall be at or as near as may be to the post office nearest the residence of the decedent at the time of his death if he resided in the territory. Such newspapers and places of posting will be designated by the Territorial Court from time to time by standing order, pursuant to section 391 of Title 15 of the Virgin Islands Code, and no special order of designation will be required for individual estates. The notice to be thus published and posted shall be in substantially the following form:

Estate of , deceased

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has been appointed executor (or administrator) of the above estate. All persons having claims against the estate are required to present them within six months verified by affidavit, and all persons indebted to the estate to make payment promptly, to

___________________

Executor (or Administrator)

19 at

Esquire

Attorney for the Estate

, V.I.

--Added Dec. 17, 1976.

Statutory References

Bond of executor or administrator, see 15 V.I.C. ' 239.

Failure of executors to accept or qualify, see 15 V.I.C. ' 234.

Issuance of letters testamentary, see 15 V.I.C. ' 233.

Priority in appointment of administrators, see 15 V.I.C. ' 236.

Priority of husband as administrator, see 15 V.I.C. ' 237.

Qualifications of executors and administrators, see 15 V.I.C. ' 235.

Special administrators, see 15 V.I.C. ' 238.

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