After the death and burial of a beloved one, the beneficiaries, dependents or nexts-of-kin of the deceased are faced with how to access the monies the deceased left behind.

They go to the deceased’s bank or Pension Fund Administrators only to be refused access to the deceased’s monies. They need authorization from the Court before they can access, use, administer or own any of the deceased’s property. They are asked to go and get a Letter of Administration.

When you hear your bank say “go and get a Letter of Administration”, you will think it is a mere letter you just get from your lawyer. Don’t let me unnecessarily indulge in writing about the rigours and stress involved in getting Letters of Administration. That will be a story for another day. For now, I will focus on letting you know the new requirements and procedures for applying for Letters of Administration in Lagos State.

Before last week, applying for Letters of Administration was not that difficult. You just do an Application Letter to the Probate Registrar, attaching the Death Certificate of the deceased, and that is all. But today, the procedure and requirements have changed, and have become complicated.

To apply for Letters of Administration, you need the following:

1. An Application for Grant of Letters of Administration made to the Probate Registrar, High Court of Lagos State. This application letter should contain the following information:
a. Full names of the deceased.
b. Date of death of the deceased.
c. The deceased’s last known address in Lagos State.
d. Names and addresses of all the administrators.

2. Death Certificate of the deceased.

3. Two passport photographs of all the administrators.

4. Valid identity cards of all the administrators.

5. Sworn Affidavit of one of the administrators to the effect that there has not been any prior application for Grant of Letters of Administration initiated or concluded on the estate of the deceased in this Court or elsewhere.

6. Payment of Two Thousand naira for purchase of Application Forms (This is after the application has been considered and granted).

I have just told you what you need and how to start to apply for Letters of Administration in Lagos State. But you need to “wear patience” because you only know when it will begin but don’t know when it will end.

A Legal Practitioner based in Lagos State.

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