Grant of Probate With Will Annexed

Table of Contents

When a loved one who held property situated in The Bahamas passes, it is first necessary that a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration be obtained from a Bahamian Court.

In the instance where the deceased person held property in The Bahamas and there has been a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in a foreign jurisdiction, the personal representative cannot move to take possession of the Bahamian situate property unless and until they have obtained a Resealing of The Probate or Letters of Administration by the Bahamian Courts.

In all instances outlined above the Court system of The Bahamas can be used so that the deceased estate can be properly distributed in order to achieve the wishes of the deceased, if known.

How to obtain a Grant of probate?

A Grant of Probate may be obtained after making an application to the Probate Registry of The Supreme Court of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

With the application should be attached a duly signed valid will of the deceased which appointing an Executor or Executrix, who has survived the deceased; where the Executor is making the application in his/her personal capacity.

The Application to the Probate Registry consists of the following:

  1. A Petition;
  2. An Oath for an Executor – this contains date and place of death. Included in a schedule attached, should be listed as succinctly as possible, the property of the deceased which will be the subject of the Grant applied for, along with the estimated value of the personal estate;
  3. An original of the will; with two (2) copies of the will signed in the margin by one of the witnesses to the will;
  4. An Affidavit of an Attesting witness in proof of the due execution of the will or codicil;

In instances where both attesting witnesses to the will have predeceased the deceased, or if for other reasons it is not possible to obtain an affidavit then it would be necessary to obtain information from others who were present at the time of the execution of the will or codicil.

In instances where it is not possible to find persons who were present at the signing of the will, in order for them to provide an affidavit, then evidence on Affidavit must be obtained of that fact and of the handwriting of the deceased and the subscribing witnesses and of anyone who may raise a presumption in favor of the due execution.

  1. In instances where the deceased died in The Bahamas – an original Death
    Certificate of the deceased or a certified copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased is required. For persons who died out of the jurisdiction of The Bahamas two (2) originals of the Death Certificate or two (2) certified copies of the Death Certificate are required.
  2. A Bond for making a return into the Registry and for paying the relevant fees; and
  3. A Return of the value of the personal estate and effects of the deceased. Note that the Return can be filed with the Court after Probate is granted.  Where the estate is based in New Providence the Return must be filed within six (6) months; in any other Bahama Island, the Return must be filed in nine (9) months.

Once the Registrar is satisfied that all necessary papers have been filed and there is no caveat entered, the Registrar, by direction of a Judge, shall fix a day for the hearing of the Application, and on the fixed date will attend before a Judge with the papers.  If the judge decides to grant the Application – the Registrar shall notify the Applicant that once Bond has been executed and filed, the grant will be issued.

If it has been more than one (1) year since the death of the deceased, and the Application for Grant of Probate, an Affidavit of Delay outlining the reason(s) for the delay must be submitted along with all the other documents required, before the Courts will grant Probate.

How long does the process take?

In uncontested matters – once all documents have been submitted – Probate is granted to the Executor(s) four (4) to six (6) months from the date of filing.

No probate will be issued less than fourteen (14) days from the date of death of the Testator unless exceptional circumstances exists.

When the Judge grants Probate of Letters of Administration the Applicant will be required (pursuant to the Probate Act) to enter a Bond with two (2) more sureties in $400, with the conditions specified in the First Section of the Probate Act.

Legal fees start at $2,500.00 but are based upon the value of the assets in The Bahamas.

Please address all inquiries to:
Yvette C. Rahming at
[email protected]
Tel.: (242) 667-5265 or 6