Dealing with Shares of a Deceased Shareholder of a BVI Company



Under BVI law, the assets of a deceased person situate in the BVI can only be dealt with by a person authorised to do so under BVI law. In the case of a deceased person, only his personal representative can legitimately deal with the assets of the deceased. Under the BVI Business Companies Act, registered shares in a BVI company are deemed to be situate in the BVI. As such, if a shareholder of a BVI company dies, only his personal representative can deal with his shares.

Who can be appointed personal representative?

A person can be appointed personal representative by obtaining an appropriate grant from the BVI court. The two standard types of grant are the Grant of Probate and the Grant of Letters of Administration. The Grant of Probate is applicable where the deceased appointed an executor in his will. If the deceased did not appoint an executor or did not leave a will at all, then the applicant will have to apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration. If necessary, the court can issue a number of different grants to meet various circumstances that might be applicable.

In addition, if a grant has been obtained from a Commonwealth country, an application for the resealing of that grant should be made to the BVI Court. All the applications will have to be supported by several affidavits. The court also requires that certain documents are exhibited to the affidavits.

Time period within which the grant can be obtained

It usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks from filing to receive the grant.

Additional Application is necessary in some cases

A further court application is necessary in cases where the deceased was the sole shareholder and director of a BVI company. In such a case, there will be no directors of the company to receive the Grant, recognize the appointed personal representative as the person having title to the shares of the deceased and register him as a shareholder of the company in his capacity as personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

For further information, please contact Nadine Whyte (

This article is general in scope and is not intended to be comprehensive. It is not a substitute for legal advice.

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