Get to know Tina

04 May 2017

Tina is a legal assistant within the Wills & Estates team. She is involved in obtaining grants for both testate and intestate estates, whether the deceased client is domiciled in Guernsey or offshore.

Tina also provides full administration services for deceased clients in Guernsey dealing with the winding up of all of their personal and real property, whether acting as professional executors or attorney administrators or advising and assisting others to wind up estates.

How long have you been in the Wills & Estates team at Collas Crill?

I have been in my role as an Estate Administrator/Legal Assistant in the Wills & Estates team since 2005.

How did you get into your role?

I started working in the legal sector following a move from The Bank of Bermuda (Guernsey) Limited where I had worked for the previous five years as a secretary.

I was employed by Advocates Winter, Palmer & Denziloe in December 1989 as secretary to Advocate P R Winter where I remained until the firm was taken over by Collas Day, now Collas Crill, in 2004.

During the transition from Winter, Palmer & Denziloe to Collas Day, Advocate Winter, having already reduced his hours, retired from the practice. I moved down to Collas Day before the other staff at Winter, Palmer & Denziloe and was very lucky to work for Advocate Sarah Wallis as her secretary.

Several years later I made the decision to join Rose Ogier in the estates team. With my children growing fast, I felt that this was the perfect time to take up a new role away from secretarial.

The role in the estates team was a huge learning curve which I took on with relish and I have not looked back.

What does your day to day role involve?

My role involves assisting clients from Guernsey, Jersey, UK and overseas to obtain Guernsey Grants. These can either be testate applications (where a Will has been executed by the deceased) or intestate applications (where no Will has been executed by the deceased).

An intestate application is a far more complex matter to deal with, involving ascertaining who is first entitled to take up the appointment and subsequently attend to liquidation of the Guernsey asset(s).  In these circumstances, additional documentation is required by the Ecclesiastical Court to progress the application.

All Grant applications involve corresponding with clients requesting the required documentation, preparing and filing the application with the Registrar of the Ecclesiastical Court, arranging for the Court documents to be executed by the client(s) and returned to us for filing with the Court. At this time the matter is placed before the Court when the Grant is subsequently issued. In these circumstances clients do not need to attend Court in person all Court required documentation is dealt with by way of post and is called a postal application.

When we are assisting Guernsey clients we accompany them to Court in order to put them at ease with the Court procedure. Issue of the Grant enables the person entitled to take up the administration to be in a position to call in the asset(s) held in Guernsey.

We also deal with estate administrations for Guernsey clients which you can read about in more detail here.

During the course of the administration of an estate, we may also need to apply for Grants in other jurisdictions, possibly in Jersey, UK, Isle of Man or Ireland.

One day I may be dealing with an overseas probate application involving a Saudi deceased and the next day I may be assisting a Guernsey family who have lost a loved one. No two days are the same, which is the reason why I love my role in the Wills & Estates team.

Where do you fit into the wider Wills and Estates team?

I provide support to Joanne Seal who heads up the Wills & Estates team, as well as the wider property team on occasion, on all estate matters.

Favourite part of the job?

Full estate administrations play to my forte and is my favourite part of my job.  I am a naturally organised and conscientious person who works in a methodical and timely manner. Working through the above processes is an enjoyable challenge.

Any unusual requests dealt with?

I dealt with an estate which included a very large number of Koi fish (in excess of 150 which seemed to multiply by the day!). The fish had to be sold during the course of the administration and we placed a for sale advert in the Guernsey Press for interested parties to come forward. After many visits showing prospective purchasers the fish (and catching the fish!) all fish were sold or distributed.