Letter of administration in Nigeria – Did you just lost someone very dear to you? Is it your father, your mother, your wife, your husband, your uncle or your auntie?
Secondly does any of these lost ones (also known as deceased persons) has money in the bank, shares with the stock broker or other companies, landed assets and buildings are aware of its various locations?
Finally did any of these lost ones (also known as deceased person) keep a will or not? If there is a will what next? When there is no will, what’s next too?
Many questions right? Ok let’s get it down to daily application but before then the following will form our basic subheadings for today’s Finance Dropbox discussion.
- What is Letter of Administration
- What is a testate situation?
- What is an intestate situation?
- What to do when a someone dies
- How long does it take to obtain letter of administration in Nigeria
- How much does it cost to get a letter of administration in Nigeria
- Can you contest letters of administration?
- Do you need a lawyer to get a letter of administration?
What is Letter of Administration?
This is a Legal document given in an intestate condition to a new administrator on an estate by the probate registry which transfers the ownership of the deceased estate to this new administrator.
This brings us to the terms Intestate which means to have dies without will. The Opposite of Intestate is testate and this means that the deceased left a will before his or her demise.
The above lines answer the questions what is an intestate situation and what is a testate situation respectively.
Please pause here and listen. Letter of administration only function on demise cases where the deceased did not leave a will on his/her estates.
Once there is a will, letter of administration is not needed.
Where can one get Letters of Administration
LA issuance is the sole responsibility of the probate registry. This means that Probate registry is responsible for the issuance of LA.
What to do when someone dies
If you are reading topic because you are seeking for answers on how to recover your demised one’s estates, please first of all accept our condolence.
On the contrary if you are reading this because you want to get knowledge, be rest assured that you time here will not be wasted.
Whether it is for recovery or for knowledge please hook up attentively.
…for money in the bank on Obtaining letter of administration
Please take the following steps:
- Look up for the deceased bank slips. This only serves the purpose of getting you ready with the various banks the deceased banked with when he/she was alive.
- Visit the probate registry of the state where the deceased person opened the account. It is a probate law that the letter of administration must be secured from the probate registry in the state where the estate is located.
- The probate registry in some cases requires the presence of the Next of Kin since the Next of Kin is believed to know the mindset of the deceased which is also his unwritten will
- The probate registry will give you a balance inquiry slip. You are to go those banks the deceased had accounts and obtain his balance in all.
- Take it back to the Probate registry whose job now is to process this through the office of the concerned authorities of the probate registry (The probate Registrar) and probate court (The Judge in charge of Probate Court).
- These offices will carry out assets or estate evaluation of the deceased estates under consideration.
- Afterwards inheritance tax which is 10% of the evaluated assets net worth will be charged on the estate (Money in the bank, Shares, lands and buildings). This amount is taken upfront and it is paid into the coffers of the probate registry.
- One this is done, a letter of administration will be issued to the person or persons as the case may be. In most cases letter of administration is issued to multiple names which will be the names of the most important beneficiaries. This is to avoid diversion of funds, shares and estates.
- When the beneficiaries get hold of the LA, they should take it to the bank, submit it, opens an Estate Account in the name of the deceased like, “Estate of Mr. Donald Goodman’s Account”.
- The money in the deceased customer’s account will be immediately transferred to the estate account where the beneficiaries can now withdraw from in line with their mandate. All the beneficiaries quoted in the LA must be signatory in the mandate but the all of them must not sign to withdraw. The choice of who signs is their personal decision.
- After the money is transferred from the deceased customer’s account to the estate account, the deceased account is closed except when fund is expected into it. In such case, the bank must be duly notified.
Banks like Polaris Bank limited pay amount from N150,000.00 to N0.00 to the Next of Kin of a deceased customer account across the counter without Letter of administration in Nigeria.
The Next of Kin only has to write formally or fill a form for the process and finally indemnify the Bank.
This is Polaris Bank’s sign of goodwill so that the family of the deceased will not have to spend from this little fund.
…for shares with the stockbroker or in the stock market
The process is the same except that instead of visiting the bank you visit the stock broking firm managing the stocks of the deceased or the companies whose share the deceased bought.
From there, you proceed to probate registry to do the needful.
…for other estates like lands and buildings
The process is the same except that you will first visit the Trust Firm managing the stocks of the deceased. The surveyor in charge of the deceased estate should be visited too.
From there, you proceed to probate registry to do the needful.
How long does it take to obtain letter of administration in Nigeria
There are two basic things that determine how long it takes to get LA namely:
- The different laws of each state probate registry.
- The bottleneck witnessed in all government ministries, departments and agencies.
Without these, obtaining LA is very easy but considering these bottle in Nigeria, it will take the 2 to 3months to get Letter of administration in Nigeria
How much does it cost to get a letter of administration in Nigeria
Anyone seeking to obtain Letter of Administration will pay two different types of charges and fees:
- Inheritance Tax which is 10% of the evaluated assets net worth will be charged on the estate (Money in the bank, Shares, lands and buildings). This amount is taken upfront by the probate registry and it is paid into the coffers of the probate registry.
- Bank fee: The bank debit the customer’s account the charge incurred by them (transport, LA confirmation fee and other logistic fees). The total cost is not above N10,000.00
- Other Service fees like Lawyer fee if you use the services of a lawyer.
Can you contest letters of administration?
Yes Letters of administration can be contested on the ground that it was obtained via falsehood.
All that one needs to do is to approach the court with your proof and secure a court order vacating as a legal document that was gotten fallaciously.
You can contact your lawyer here too for a more refined touch.
Do you need a lawyer to get a letter of administration?
The need for a lawyer is not a mandatory one in the desire for the acquisition of letter of administration but it may serve as a guide.
Simple put lawyers may be necessary here but not mandatory since you can do this all by yourself and still achieve 100% result.
Letter of Administration is not the only document required by banks for transfer of deceased estates. There is another called probate search but in truth, letter of administration is the cheapest.
It does not require the professionalism of a lawyer but Probate search does and the lawyer gets paid.
… solve this financial problem the cheap and the easy way by going for LA.
Please read: Will-writing-in-Nigeria
FinanceDropbox is the brain child of Okekeobi Chisom Ferdinand, a seasoned Banker. He holds in his treasure box a whopping 13 years of Banking experience from which you are being furnished with the very best of financial information and blogs.
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Be assured of my unalloyed availability anytime you need me.
Okekeobi Chisom Ferdinand