Few months ago, I wrote an article on “Letters of Administration: New Procedure for Application in Lagos State”.
But no sooner than I published it, the Lagos State Probate Registry changed the procedure and toughened the already tough process.
Now Death Certificates from hospitals are no more required at the Probate Registry to commence any process regarding Letters of Administration (where the deceased died without a Will) or Grant of Probate (where the deceased wrote a valid Will). Also one of the administrators is required to swear to an Affidavit of No Previous Process.
In summary, the updated requirements for processing Letters of Administration in Lagos State are:
- Certificate of Death obtained from the National Population Commission and not from Hospitals.
- Two passport photographs each of the administrators.
- An Affidavit of No Previous Process sworn by one of the Administrators at the Probate Registry of the High Court. The affidavit is to the 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 that Court or elsewhere.
- Valid means of Identification of all the Administrators.
- An Application for Grant of Letters of Administration made to the Probate Registrar, High Court Ikeja or High Court Lagos. This application letter should contain the following information:
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.
- Payment of Two Thousand naira for purchase of Application Forms (This is after the application has been considered and granted).
One sure way of making sure you are not sent back and forth to amend the Application is to:
- Ensure that the name of the deceased on the Application tallies exactly the same with his or her name in his Certificate of Death and Bank, Pension or Shares Account.
- Ensure that the arrangement of the names of the administrators are exactly same with how they are stated in their ID cards. For instance, if one of the administrator’s name is Ogunleye Seyi Ayodeji on the ID card and on the application, you state it Ogunleye Ayodeji Seyi, your application will not be considered. You must strictly adhere to this probate requirement.
- Ensure that the name the administrators are applying with is same with their names in their Bank Account and their ID cards. This is very necessary for payment purposes. Banks, Pensions and Share Registrars will close their eyes against you when it is time for payment.
- Ensure you swear the affidavit at the Probate Registry and not in any other Registry of the Court. This is very important. There are many fake Letters of Administration obtained from the ‘backyard’ of the Courts within two months. Please don’t fall a victim to their pranks. If you take those short-cuts, at the end of the day, when Banks, Pension Fund Administrators or Share Registrars conduct legal search on the Letters of Administration you obtained and it turns out fake, payment becomes impossible. Talk and negotiate with your lawyer.
- Ensure that the address of the deceased is in Lagos State or that he died in Lagos State.
If you do all these, you will overcome the lengthy delay in applying for Letters of Administration.
BENNYBONNY EUCHARIA, A Legal Practitioner based in Lagos State. email@example.com, 0806-605-3162.