Whether you are a beneficiary or executor of an estate, or whether the deceased wrote a will or not, you need a qualified attorney to apply for probate of a will or letters of administration of the estate of the deceased person. Our experienced attorneys have a wealth of knowledge and we can assist you in these difficult situations.
Administration of Estates and Probate and Estate Planning.
We assist our clients in organizing the affairs of a known deceased person.
If the deceased had a valid will, we will assist the executor to obtain a grant of probate.
A grant of probate is a legal document that authorizes the Executor to distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with the Last Will and Testament of the deceased.
If the deceased did not have a valid will, we assist clients to obtain letters of administration. Letters of Administration is a legal document that authorizes the Administrator to distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with the Intestates’ Estates and Property Charges Act.
We also assist clients in the preparation of their Will and Testament.
TEN TIPS to writing your Will.
It must be either handwritten or typed.
Use clear language
No need to use fancy legal or technical words. Make sure it is easy to understand and that your wishes are clearly expressed.
Appoint reliable and responsible executors
The executor is responsible for distributing your estate according to your wishes. You must choose persons who you can depend on, who would act without delay and in the best interest of the beneficiaries named in your will.
Appoint more than one executor
It is recommended that at least two executors be appointed in case one dies before you, or refuses to act in the event of your death. The person chosen may be male or female.
The signing of the will must be witnessed
The will must be signed in the presence of at least two persons. These persons are called witnesses. The two witnesses must observe when you are signing the will. It means they must be there at the same time. The witnesses are also required to sign the will. If this procedure is not followed, the document will not be valid.
The witnesses must not be beneficiaries
You cannot leave anything to the witnesses named in your will. If you leave a gift to any of the witnesses, the gift is void. In other words, the witnesses will be unable to collect that gift.
Add a residuary clause
This ensures that even property acquired after the will is completed will be dealt with by your named executors. Remember you can only give what you own.
Seek legal advice
A will is a legal document and it is always best to seek qualified advice in matters concerning the law. The lawyer will advise you, for example, in relation to jointly owned property and will ensure that your real estate and or other properties are properly described in the will.
Don’t hide your will
Ensure that your will can be found in the event of your death. If you drafted the will with an attorney, you could consider having him or her storing the document, or give it to someone you trust. Make sure the executor knows where to find the will.
Keep your will in a safe place
We live in a country prone to hurricanes, storms, and flooding. Get locking plastic storage bins and zipper-type sandwich bags to keep the will dry. It is also recommended that the will be stored in a fire-safe box.
Who can apply for a grant of probate?
The executor named in the will.
Who can apply for letters of administration?
The spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, and aunts of the deceased person, etc
What are some of the things I may need to proceed?
- The original Will,
- Death Certificate for the deceased or an affidavit from someone who was present at the funeral
- Contact information for all relevant parties
- Documents providing ownership of the assets of the deceased.