How to get Letters of Administration in Lagos
This article will use some technical legal terms, and so it is important that you understand the meanings of the terms, where possible we will try to use plain English so as not to confuse you.
Some Key Terms Explained
- Testate – when a person makes a valid Will before their death.
- Intestate – a situation where a person does not make a Will before their death, or made a Will that turns out to be invalid.
- Personal Representative/Administrator – a person who has been issued with a grant by the court to administer a deceased person’s estate.
When a person dies, it is either the person dies testate or intestate. This article outlines the steps and requirements to obtain letter of administration for instances where a person has died intestate.
Letters of Administration is a legal instrument authorising one or more Administrators to administer the deceased’s estate in accordance with the law where the deceased died.
Who can apply for a grant of Letters of Administration?
There is an order/priority for who can apply for a grant of letters of administration. This is legally mandated under the Administration of Estate Law of Lagos, and it is as follows:
- Surviving spouse, which could be either the husband or wife
- The children of the deceased or grandchildren of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Brothers and sisters who share the same parents with the deceased and their children
- Brothers and sisters who share only one parent with the deceased
- Grand Parents of the deceased
- Uncles and Aunts of the deceased
- Creditors of the deceased
- If there are no creditors, then the office of the Administrator-General of the State can apply.
Procedure for Obtaining Letters of Administration
Letters of administration is granted upon application by a person entitled either personally or through his legal practitioner to the Probate registrar.
Step 1 – The procedure for obtaining letters of Administration is started by making an application to the probate registrar and submitting the required information and documentation. Important documentation include the death certificate, a statutory affidavit of the next of kin, an administration bond by the applicant, sureties, particulars of the assets and debts of the deceased, etc.
Step 2 – The Probates Registry will proceed to assess fees payable on the Estate based on the information contained in the Application Form, and then the Proposed Administrators shall proceed to make payment of Assessed fee and Newspaper publication fee with bank draft at a pre-designated bank and evidence of payment i.e. Bank teller shall be furnished to the Probates Registry.
Step 3 – The Probates Registrar shall meet with the Proposed Administrators & Sureties to verify that they meet the requirements to be Administrators & Sureties, and if the Registrar approves then they are ordered to depose to the Oath of administration.
Step 4 – The application is published in a newspaper to notify anyone interested in the estate of the deceased that a grant of letter of administration has been sought by the Proposed Administrators. There is a mandatory period of 21 days after the publication which is given for anyone who wishes to oppose the application .
Step 5 – At the expiration of the 21 days, if there are no oppositions, the Probates Registry shall proceed to draft and issue the Letter of Administration.
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Therefore, no lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. It is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.