It may interest you to know that a huge number of wealthy men/women don’t do the proper thing to safeguard the interest of their surviving ones in the event that they are nowhere to be found. Many of them inadvertently end up enriching their various banks. So many families languishing in penury couldn’t have been so assuming they have access to the wealth of their deceased loved ones.
A story is told of a man who has millions of naira in his account, yet not even his wife knew anything about his account. The family ended up losing all the wealth of the man upon his death as none could trace details of his wealth. The family had to even borrow to bury the man. Most times also, when the bank gets to know of the person’s death, they remain mute to know if anyone can come for the deceased’s estate (wealth). After they had waited for some periods without response, they will convert the fund for themselves.
Assuming also that the person did the right thing before his death, how would you claim his entitlements?
This will take us to one thing to wit; WILL.
It is easier if the deceased has Will prior to his death. Will simply put is a written statement of how a person’s wealth and/ or properties (estate) should be shared in the event that he is dead. The issue of properties (estate) and how it is shared most times arises after the person’s death. Hardly will you see people jostling for properties of a living person.
Where the deceased has a Will, it is very simple. The Will should be read to the family members and everyone will then take his rightful portion from the deceased’s estate.
However, where there is no Will, you have to apply for LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION. This is one of the simplest forms of retrieving the entitlements (estate) of a deceased one without fight. Letters of administration is usually made to the Probate Registry, which is a department in every High Court in a state.
How do you apply for letters of administration and what are the requirements?
→Address the letter to the Probate Registrar of the High Court in the State where the estate (property) is situate.
→Specify who the letters of administration should be granted. (Note: It is not just anyone from anywhere. Your relationship with the deceased must be stated. Most cases, you have such letters granted to the deceased dependents based on the order of closeness or family tie).
→State where the deceased lived prior to her death.
→State the date he/she died and where he/she died.
→ Attach the following documents:
- A copy of the National Identity Card of the deceased. (Or any other means of identification).
- The deceased Death Certificate.
- Means of identification of the administrators (persons applying).
For further details and guidance, do well to consult a lawyer.
Written by Eze Gabriel