A person is said to die intestate where such death occurs without him leaving a will behind. The importance of having a will cannot be overemphasized. Apart from you being able to share your property the way you like, it also prevents situations where the property of the deceased is shared to people he never intended to be his beneficiaries in the first place.
In Nigeria, the transfer and share of properties is governed by certain laws. After a person dies without leaving a will, the share of his properties will be subject to laws of his religion, custom and the place where he resided before he became deceased.
After a person dies without leaving a will, certain persons would be allowed to apply to the court in order to be granted a document known as letters of administration. According to Section 49(1) of the Administration of Estates Laws of Lagos State, there is a priority of persons who would be granted this documents. They are listed accordingly:
1. Husband or wife of the deceased
2. Children of the deceased or grandchild whose parents died during the lifetime of the deceased
3. Father or mother of the deceased
4. Brothers or sisters of the deceased
5. Step siblings of the deceased
6. Grandparents of the deceased
7. Uncles and Aunts of the deceased or their children
8. Creditors of the deceased
9. Administrator General where all the people listed above fail.
After an application for letters of administration has been made by any of the person's listed above, such administrator would be required to:
Fill out the application form
Provide the death certificate of the deceased which will state where and when he died
Make a declaration on oath that he will faithfully administer the estate of the deceased
Bring two sureties to stand in for him/her
Provide other documents that will be required by the courts
If the registrar is satisfied with the compliance of such administrator, he will grant the letters of administration to that person.
After the letters of administration has been granted, the administrator would be allowed to manage the property of the deceased person.
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