HOW TO OBTAIN LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA

In Nigeria, a letter of administration is the formal authorization given by the Probate Court to a person known as the administrator or administratrix to oversee the assets of a person who passed away intestate.

6/27/2022 3 min read

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HOW TO OBTAIN LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA

In Nigeria, a letter of administration is the formal authorization given by the Probate Court to a person known as the administrator or administratrix to oversee the assets of a person who passed away intestate. When someone passes away without leaving behind a legally binding Will, this is referred to as dying intestate. When the letters of administration are not awarded, the properties of the deceased are presumed to be vested in the Chief Judge of the State. The administrator then derives his or her authority to act from the terms of the letters of administration.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION

The essence of obtaining Letters of Administration, will give you the privilege to be able to manage assets and funds on behalf of the Estate. With this document, you can access the decedent’s finances and make management decisions accordingly. The Letters of Administration will also allow you to delegate assets and funds to relatives. If there was no Will, state law will determine the property you can distribute after receiving the Letters.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION

The administration of Estate Law of Lagos state stipulate persons who can apply for Letters of Administration as thus:

● A surviving spouse which could either be the wife or the husband

● The children or grandchildren of the deceased

● Parent of the deceased

● Brothers and sisters of the same parent with the deceased and their children

● Half siblings of the deceased

● Ground parents of the deceased

● Uncles and aunts of the deceased

● Creditors of the deceased

● Office of Administrator-General of the state can also apply

WHEN WILL THE COURT ISSUE OF LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION?

An application for Letter of Administration can only be obtained when the court is satisfied that:

● When the deceased dies without a Will

● Where the will is invalid.

● Where no executors are named in the will.

● Where the executors named in the will are unwilling or unable to carry out their duties.

PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION

An individual who qualifies may apply for letters of administration directly to the Probate Registrar or through his or her counsel. Typically, the applicant is given forms to complete and return to the probate registry. Every application for grant of letters of administration is typically published to allow for objections and the filing of caveats. Grant of letters of administration would not be given within three (3) months (in Lagos state) following the death of the testator when he died intestate. It should be emphasized that letters of administration cannot be passed down via families or purchased. Furthermore, letters of administration cannot be provided to a single person. Only two individuals are eligible to receive it. With a Trust Corporation, there is only one exception.

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 followed with the death certificate. These forms will be provided after the application has been submitted.

● 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

● Inventory

● Passport photographs of applicant

● Justification for sureties

● Schedule of debts and funeral expenses

3) Submission

4) Publication would take place in the newspaper or gazette. This essentially serves as a request to the public or any interested party to submit a caveat to the granting of letters of administration to the applicant.

5) Objection may be raised within specified period for filing a caveat

6) Once no objection, upon the payment of the estate duties, the letters of administration would be granted.

CONCLUSION

The application for Letter of administration can only be filed in a state where the deceased testator was domiciled before his demise i.e where he has his permanent residence.

It is a sad fact that so many people pass away without having an estate plan, as this abruptly places surviving family members in a legal environment they are probably unfamiliar with. You can prevent this by creating a Will and appointing an Executor of Estate to take care of these duties.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080