PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION IN RIVERS STATE.
IN NEED OF LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
Letter of administration in Nigeria is the legal authority granted by the Probate Court to a person called the administrator or administratrix to administer the estate or property of a person who died intestate.
A person is said to have died intestate when he dies without leaving behind a valid Will (Meaning that the Will must meet all the legal requirements). The administrator then derive his or her authority to act from the terms of the letters of administration, and where the letters of administration is not granted, an administrator lacks the authority to act as the properties of the deceased are deemed to be vested in the Chief Judge of the State.
The Administration of Estate Law laid down the persons that can apply for a grant of letter of administration in order of priority and where they are of equal priority, the court has discretion to select anyone who in its view is most suitable. These persons are generally called NEXT-OF-KIN of the deceased. It is the next-of-kin of the deceased that is entitled to apply for letters of administration in the following hierarchy:
– Surviving spouse(s) of the deceased
– Children of the deceased
– Parents of the deceased
– Brothers or sisters of the deceased of full blood or the children of such brother or sister who died in the life time of the deceased.
– Brother or sister of the deceased of half-blood or the children of such brother or sister who died in the life time of the deceased
– Grandparents of the deceased
– Uncles and aunts of full blood or their children.
- PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
Letters of administration is granted upon application by a person entitled either personally or through his legal practitioner to the Probate registry. In Rivers State we have probate registry in High court premises and in the Ministry of Justice. Usually forms are issued to the applicant to be returned upon completion, to the probate registry.
Grant of letters of administration would not be made within three (3) months from the death of the testator where he died intestate and every application for grant of letters of administration are usually published to allow for objections and the filing of caveats.
It must be noted that letters of administration cannot be transferred or inherited. Furthermore, one person cannot be granted letters of administration. It can only be granted to at least two people. The only exception is where a Trust Corporation or the administrator general is appointed as sole administrator.
The procedure for the application is as follows:
1) Application is made to the probate registrar. The letter should contain the following;
– Full names of the deceased
– Date of death of the deceased
– Place of residence of the deceased shortly before his death
– Name of proposed administrators
2) The application shall be accompanied with the death certificate. Upon submission of the application, then forms will be given. Such forms includes:
– Oath of Administration by the applicants
– Particulars of landed property left by the deceased
– Administration Bond to ensure that the grantee makes proper inventory, distributes the estate accordingly and pays out of all just debts.
– Affidavit/Declaration as to next-of-kin
– Bank certificate
– Passport photographs of applicants
– Justification for sureties
– Schedule of debts and funeral expenses
3) The forms upon filling them would be submitted to the probate Registrar
4) Publication would be made in the gazette or newspaper. This is to invite and give the public or any interested person the opportunity to object and file a caveat to the grant of letters of administration to the applicant.
5) Objection may be raised within specified period for filing a caveat
6) If there is no objection, upon the payment of the estate duties, the letters of administration would be granted.
- COST OF LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
There are various fees to be paid before letters of administration application can be evaluated and approved. Once letters of administration is approved by the Probate Registry, an Estate fee of 5% to 10% of the value of the Estate, depending on the State must be paid to the State Government where the Letters of administration application is made and approved.
The entire process of obtaining Letters of Administration of an Estate can be cumbersome and grueling especially for persons not familiar with the process, because it deals with inheriting an estate of intestate persons. However, the administrative of estate laws operated by different states in Nigeria have provided minimum guidelines on how the estate falling into intestacy can be carefully administered by the deceased next of kin.
The above listed procedures and steps differ from State to State, it is now left for you as an applicant to locate the Estate Law that governs your State and follow the steps.
FOR FURTHER QUESTION AND INFORMATION……….
Call : 08035492685