Donna Withers

Head of Probate and Wills

Donna has been advising private clients for many years in relation to estate planning and post death matters. She leads an experienced department providing Jersey wills, probate, executor and vulnerable client services with both a Jersey and international focus.

For Jersey clients, Donna advises on wills and estate planning, guiding families through issues of forced heirship ("legitime"), family sensitivities and the impact of particular asset classes or structures on estate plans.  She is passionate about protecting the wealth and welfare of elderly or otherwise vulnerable clients, having been appointed by the Royal Court as Curator/Delegate (formerly Curator) for incapacitated clients and advising on the preparation and use of lasting powers of attorney. She also advises executors and beneficiaries following death as to their responsibilities and entitlements and assists with requirements for probate and registration of immovable wills.

For international clients, Donna collaborates with other professional advisers as to the intricacies of private international law on wills, domicile, succession, capacity, lasting power of attorney, probate and inheritance issues.  Her team provides Jersey wills, probate and registration of foreign powers of attorney for hundreds of non-Jersey domiciliaries per year, providing a streamlined and efficient service.

Recognised for her expertise, Donna has been invited to speak on ITV Channel News, BBC Radio Jersey, the STEP Special Interest Group Conference in London and the Jersey branch.  She also co-authored the Jersey chapter in the Oxford University Press textbook "The International Protection of Adults" and is a co-opted member of the Jersey Law Society Sub-Committee on Capacity and Succession.

Before joining Bedell Cristin, she practised in the top tier private client department of Hill Dickinson LLP in England following which she advised in-house in a Jersey wealth structuring company.

Donna works alongside partner and head of the International Private Client practice group Edward Bennett.


  • Solicitor* - England & Wales
  • Member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • STEP Advanced Certificate in International Succession and Probate - Distinction
  • Member of the Law Society Capacity and Succession sub-committee
  • Not qualified in Jersey


Industry focus
  • Co-authored the Jersey chapter in the Oxford University Press textbook "The International Protection of Adults".
  • We would like to thank you for your commitment, sensitivity and efficiency in finalising the Jersey estate. It has been quite complex for us being in Australia, and dealing with two different jurisdictions. You have made it much less stressful for us
    Client of Bedell Cristin
  • I must say it was a pleasure to work with Donna. She is a consummate professional and I was constantly surprised by her ability to connect and communicate with her client who suffered a severe cognitive impairment. She acted with the utmost integrity and was tenacious in ensuring that our client's best interests and welfare were paramount to all concerned. It is obvious that she cares deeply about the welfare of vulnerable clients and provided a service which went well beyond that which would normally be expected
    Client's social worker
Capacity Law: a first year in the Royal Court
Wills & Probate 06 Mar 2020 Jersey

In an exciting first year, the Royal Court’s examination of this developing area of law has been useful for international estate planning and reassuring to practitioners, says Donna Withers, Head of Probate and Wills, Bedell Cristin.

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Intermeddling - Second bank fined for contravention of Probate Law
Wills & Probate 03 Oct 2019 Jersey

A second international bank in Jersey has been fined for the offence of intermeddling under the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 (the "Probate Law").

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Leaping forward
Wills & Probate 15 Apr 2019 Jersey

Donna Withers, Head of Wills & Probate writes about how Jersey's new mental capacity law further protects vulnerable clients in this month's STEP Journal.

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STEP event 'The New Capacity Law in Jersey - opportunities, responsibilities and when it all goes wrong' - 17 January 2019
Wills & Probate 11 Jan 2019 Jersey

Donna Withers, head of wills & probate at Bedell Cristin, to speak at STEP event on 'The New Capacity Law in Jersey - opportunities, responsibilities and when it all goes wrong'. The presentation will be held at the Pomme d'Or Hotel, Jersey on 17 January ...

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Bank's costly error highlights the importance of following due probate process in Jersey

For the first time, a financial institution in Jersey has been sentenced in the Royal Court for the offence of intermeddling under the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 ("the Probate Law"). This article explains the lessons to be learnt.

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Lasting powers of attorney law available in Jersey
26 Sep 2018 Jersey

A new piece of legislation introducing lasting powers of attorney ("LPAs") to Jersey is a welcome addition to the Island’s legal framework.

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Bedell Cristin's Head of Wills & Probate to speak at STEP 2017 conference on mental capacity
Wills and Estate Planning 23 Nov 2017 Jersey

Donna Withers, Head of Wills & Probate at Bedell Cristin, has been invited to speak at two STEP Special Interest Spotlight sessions being held on 30 November 2017 at The Montcalm, London.

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Bedell Cristin appoints new Partner in London and makes nine other promotions across the Group
04 Sep 2017 Jersey London Guernsey

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Wills & Successions (Amendment No.2) (Jersey) Law 2013
Briefings | 06 Nov 2018

The Wills & Successions (Jersey) Law 1993, as amended (the "Law") was the subject of a Report by Professor Meryl Thomas ("Professor Thomas") dated 12 October 2009, which was commissioned by the Jersey Community Relations Trust in 2009 (the "Report"). The Re...

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Making a will in Jersey for non-Jersey domiciled individuals
Briefings | 06 Nov 2018

This briefing explains when you should make a Jersey will if you are not domiciled in Jersey. It only deals with movable assets in Jersey and not, therefore, land or other immovable property situate in Jersey.

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Making a will in Jersey for Jersey domiciled individuals
Briefings | 06 Nov 2018

This briefing provides answers to some of the key questions which you may have regarding the need for you to make a will. It should be noted that this briefing only applies to individuals who are domiciled in Jersey.

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Jersey Lasting Powers of Attorney
Briefings | 11 Oct 2018

The Capacity and Self-Determination (Jersey) Law 2016 (the "Capacity Law"), which came into effect on 1 October 2018, has introduced lasting powers of attorney ("LPA") to Jersey. A Jersey LPA is a new instrument whereby a person (the "donor") appoints ano...

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Jersey takes a step closer to modern mental capacity law
Briefings | 04 Oct 2018

The Capacity and Self Determination (Jersey) Law 2016 (the 'new Law'), which came into force on 1 October 2018, radically alters the way in which mental health issues are dealt with in Jersey.

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Powers of attorney
Briefings | 02 Oct 2018

The Powers of Attorney (Jersey) Law 1995 (the "Powers of Attorney Law"), which came into force on 1 October 1995, effected a number of significant changes to the previous law on powers of attorney in the Island.

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Change in the Channel
Articles | 20 Apr 2018

Donna Withers, Head of Wills & Probate writes about the upcoming legislation in Jersey and how it is set to empower the island's vulnerable population. Published in the STEP Journal - April 2018.

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The hidden costs of DIY wills
Articles | 07 Sep 2017

It is often suggested that it is easy to write your own Will if your wishes are simple and your financial situation isn’t complicated - Donna Withers discusses. Published in Gallery Magazine - September 2017.

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Peace of mind
Articles | 15 Jun 2017

Donna Withers explores Jersey's new mental capacity law. Published in STEP Journal - June 2017.

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Jersey takes a step closer to modern mental capacity law
Articles | 16 Feb 2017

Donna Withers looks at a new law scheduled to come into force in April 2017 which will radically change the way the Island responds to mental health issues. Published in the JEP Law and Accountancy Review - 16 February 2017.

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