Administration Of Estate: The Delicate Duties Of Lawyers.
The administration of estate is a legal procedure where the assets of a deceased person is managed and distributed.
When people die, they either leave a Will detailing how they want their assets to be distributed, or they don’t.
The Process of Administration of Estate.
Intestate Administration of Estate.
Obtaining the Letter of Administration.
To make the process easier for them, many engage legal practitioners for advice and assistance.
In Nigeria, the lawyer will usually take the following steps:
- File a formal application with prescribed documents.
- Publication in some national dailies of your client’s intention to obtain a letter of administration in respect of the deceased estate.
- Payment of administration of estate fees, charges, and other administration fees.
- Following up and collecting the letter of administration when it is finally signed.
A lot of times the process of obtaining a letter of administration does not go as smoothly as represented above.
Sometimes after an application for the grant of letter of administration and the publication in a national daily, an objection is raised.
Once there is an objection, it is the responsibility of the lawyer to get the objection out of the way.
Testate Administration of Estate.
When a deceased dies testate, the first duty is for the lawyer to help the relatives locate the will and have the contents read in court.
Identifying a Deceased Person’s Assets.
Finding the assets of a testator is easy when they are all included in a Will. But sometimes a testator fails to capture all his assets in the Will and finding it is a lot work.
Paying the Estate Administration Fees.
If people owe the deceased person, the executor and personal representatives must identify, demand and recover same. It may require going to court for such recovery.
Sometimes a deceased may be indebted to creditors. The lawyer must help the executors to identify and notify the creditors of the demise of the deceased.
One recommended way of notifying creditors is to take out an advert in a newspaper to come forth and make their claims known.
Usually the funeral, testamentary, and administration expenses are given priority over other debts.
Probate is a judicial process of validating and authenticating the last Will of a deceased person.
The procedure involves the transferring of the assets of a deceased person to the right beneficiaries.
Determining the Value of the Assets.
The demise of a person does not extinguish his liabilities to individuals, corporate bodies, and to the state.
Distributing Assets to Beneficiaries.
Accounting to Beneficiaries.
Part of the duties of an executor is to carry the beneficiaries of a Will along by accounting for all financial transaction received or expended during the process.
Resting my Case.
Any mistake can put the whole process into jeopardy and incur penalties for the estate.
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