By Marcus Leese, Wisdom Hon

Shares in a British Virgin islands (BVI) company, held personally or via a nominee arrangement, will be effectively frozen on the passing away of the individual shareholders. A BVI grant is required to transfer the deceased shareholder’s shares. The BVI has entirely revoked its old probate rules, which had been used for more than 30 years, and the new rules, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Non-Contentious Probate and Administration of Estates) Rules 2017, came into effect on 1 November 2017.

There are no fundamental changes to the BVI probate process – but there are numerous important changes to a range of the documents and steps involved, and clarification on a number of significant issues.