How to obtain letter of administration in Nigeria
Letter of administration – If you’d ever lost a loved one, father, mother, brother, sister, aunty, uncle etc and such person had money in his/her bank account, is wealthy with properties and investments and you happen to be the executor/beneficiary being that he/she dies either testate/with a Will or intestate/without a Will. You will quickly come to terms with letter of administration.
WHAT IS LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
A Letter of administration is a written authority given to a person called the executor by a probate registry/court, giving such person(s) the right to access or lay claims to a deceased funds in his/her bank account, properties or other investments as owned by the deceased or dead person.
However, before an executor can access this letter of administration he/she had to meet certain requirements otherwise everyone in the deceased close associate becomes an executor, which in actual sense projects people claiming executorship or beneficiaries of the dead when actually they do not have any business with such arrangement.
To access a letter of administration, two dynamics are obtainable:
- When the deceased died testate: The word testate means the deceased died with a written Will, which indicate who should be the executor in event he/she dies. In this case, it’s advisable to pursue the letter of administration through a lawyer.
- When the deceased died intestate: The word intestate means the deceased died without a written will, this situation is usually a difficult one. People solve this issue via traditional means which varies across ethnicities and settings. Determining an executor is not always that easy, however, it’s advisable to use a lawyer for smooth operations, while tradition stands where necessary.
HOW TO OBTAIN LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION FROM A PROBATE REGISTRY
On arrival at the probate registry/high court, you will write an application to the probate registry officially, you will be given a form to fill which after you will be required to provide the following
- Full name of the deceased
- Date of death of the deceased
- Place of domicile of the deceased shortly before he/she died
- Name of the proposed or supposed administrator(s)
- Accompanied with the deceased death certificate
The probate registry will in turn give you probate registry account balance enquiry slip, having completed the above processes.
With this account balance enquiry, you will proceed to the banks. Once you arrive at the bank, they will go through your document and forward to their legal department, which after careful review and certified Ok they will instruct the branch to go ahead and write down the balance in the account of the deceased.
You are at liberty to take this slip and instruction to every Nigerian bank deemed necessary, just in case the deceased had other bank accounts elsewhere you never knew, every bank will honor it.
Having collected all the account balances, you will then revert to the probate registry.
ADVERTORIAL ON LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
The probate registry will require you to place an advert on any National daily of your choice, this is to declare and ascertain that the said deceased is actually dead. A period of about 21 working days will be given to see if anybody will show up to counter the claim, you are expected to give probate registry a copy of the newspaper advert.
Having completed this process, the probate registry will charge you 5% to 10% of the total amount domiciled in the deceased various bank accounts as a single charge depending though. After which they will then issue you a letter of administration to enable you access the Estate of the deceased.
FAQ ON LETTER OF ADMISTRATION
LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION FROM THE HIGH COURT
This refers to the same letter highlighted above issued by the probate registry.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
The probate registry will usually charge between 5% and 10% of the deceased Estate depending.
ADMINSTRATION OF ESTATE LAW IN NIGERIA
This is the management and settlement of estates of an intestate. This is usually done under court supervision by appointing a person duly qualified and legally appointed.
Administration of an estate law in simple language, is the practice whereby a person who dies without a Will gets his money/property being transferred to a perceived right benefactor not mentioned in any Will under legal and due process.
LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION WITHOUT WILL
This is a document issued to a person who will administer the estate of someone who dies without a standing Will.
This letter authorizes the administrator to settle the deceased person’s estate according to the state’s intestate succession laws.
Banks, brokerages and government agencies often require a certified copy of the letters before accepting the administrator’s authority to collect the deceased person’s assets.
However, if the deceased has a surviving spouse, this individual will have a priority in receiving a letter of administration over others including children. Letter of administration is often challenged.
INTESTATE SUCCESSION IN NIGERIA
This is the practice where an administrator executes the estate of a deceased.
Letter of administration is a must criteria in accessing the estate of a deceased, this is to put the bank in safe condition against any future mitigation that may arise on the aftermath of such event. Kindly follow up with my subsequent post to see “How to access a deceased person’s money in Nigerian banks, having gotten a letter of administration.”
Raphael is a seasoned and dynamic writer, with interest in Banking, personal finance, entrepreneurial development. A councillor and motivational speaker.