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How to Obtain Letters of Administration for a Deceased Person’s Estate? – The Black Examiner

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Summary:

  • The process of obtaining Letters of Administration, as explained in a recent UBCTV Uganda LegalFacts interview, involves appointing a suitable administrator, securing a Certificate of No Objection, and petitioning the family court for approval. It requires meticulous documentation and adherence to legal procedures to ensure the fair and transparent administration of the deceased’s estate.

In the wake of a loved one’s passing, the complexities of managing their estate often loom large. From the intricacies of legal proceedings to the emotional toll it takes on families, the journey towards settling an estate can be daunting. Today, we delve into the realm of letters of administration, shedding light on their significance, acquisition process, and the responsibilities they entail.

Letters of administration serve as a crucial document granted by a competent court, empowering an appointed individual to administer the estate of a deceased person. This legal instrument is especially vital in cases where the deceased did not leave behind a will, a scenario all too common in today’s world.

Joining us to demystify this legal terrain is Terry K. Kakuma, an esteemed lawyer well-versed in matters of estate administration. In our discussion, Terry elucidates the essence of letters of administration, emphasizing their role in streamlining the management of a deceased individual’s assets.

“At its core, a letter of administration is a document bestowed upon a designated individual, enabling them to oversee the estate of the deceased,” Terry explains. “It serves as a mandate from the court, authorizing the appointed administrator to carry out the necessary tasks in accordance with the law.”

The process of obtaining letters of administration begins with a comprehensive understanding of the deceased’s circumstances. In cases where no will exists, family members, beneficiaries, or other interested parties convene to select a suitable candidate for the role of administrator. This initial step underscores the importance of unanimity and transparency within the family circle.

Upon designation, the appointed administrator embarks on a formal application process, seeking a certificate of no objection from the Administrator General’s office. This certificate attests to the absence of any legal impediments and serves as a precursor to the subsequent legal proceedings.

Crucially, the administrator must compile a dossier of essential documents, including identification papers, a detailed inventory of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, and a list of beneficiaries. These documents form the backbone of the petition filed with the family court, signaling the administrator’s earnest intent to fulfill their duties diligently.

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However, the journey towards obtaining letters of administration is not without its hurdles. A mandatory notice period of 14 days is mandated, during which objections may be raised by any interested parties. This window allows for due diligence and safeguards against potential disputes or irregularities.

Ultimately, the issuance of letters of administration represents a pivotal juncture in the estate settlement process. It signifies the court’s endorsement of the administrator’s credibility and competence, paving the way for the orderly distribution of assets and resolution of legal complexities.

Yet, amidst the legal intricacies and procedural formalities, the overarching principle remains one of service. Administrators shoulder the weight of responsibility with integrity and impartiality, guided by a commitment to honor the wishes of the departed and uphold the tenets of justice.

When a person dies without leaving a valid will, there is a process for beneficiaries to follow which includes the following;

1) Please get a death certificate following the passing of the intestate person (a person who passes away without leaving a legal will)

2) Hold a family meeting to appoint an administrator.

3) After that, proceed to the Administrator General‘s Office and open a file for the estate of the deceased.

4) There is a form in the file that you can use to notify the Administrator General of the death of the deceased.

5) The report contains full particulars as to the property of the deceased as far as ascertainable, names of the deceased’s children with their corresponding age, surviving relatives, persons who wish to apply for Letters of Administration, whether the deceased left a Will or whether they believe the will exists among others.

6) It’s on this form that the intending administrators apply for a Certificate of No Objection (CONO) from the Administrator General.

7) Upon the return of the file containing report of death to the Administrator General’s Office, it is allocated to a State Attorney who causes a meeting of the family members either to be held at Administrator General’s Office (Georgian house) or at the Chief Administrative Officer’s office of the district where the deceased was resident.

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8) In that meeting, questions (including but not limited to the following) will be asked;

  • Whether the deceased left a will.
  • Whether the deceased left a widow or a widower.
  • Whether the deceased had any the dependents.
  • Whether the deceased was survived by any Children and the ages of the children.
  • Whether the deceased gave out some of the property before his or her death
  • Persons who the family has chosen to be granted a Certificate of No Objection.

9) The beneficiaries have to sign a consent to that effect.

10) After the family meeting by the Administrator General, if he is satisfied with the information provided, he will then grant a Certificate of No Objection to the persons selected to be Administrators. The purpose of the CONO is to show that the Administrator General does not object to the grant of Letters of Administration to the Applicants.

11) After this the person given the Certificate of no objection will petition Court for a grant of Letters of Administration. The petition should be in English.

The Court in which to file is determined by the estimate of the pecuniary value of the estate.

12) In the Petition:

  • State the time and place of the deceased’s death.
  • Attach a death certificate
  • State the Children and other relatives of the deceased and their respective residences.
  • State the right on which the Petitioner founds his claim.(The relationship of the Petitioner with the deceased)
  • Name the property left by the deceased and also state that the property is within the jurisdiction of the Court where the application is filed.
  • State the estimated value of the estate.
  • State that the Petition is consented to by all the beneficiaries and is not objected by the Administrator General.
  • Attach minutes of the family meeting and the Certificate of No Objection.
  • Indicate that the Petitioners are above 18 years, fit and proper persons to apply for the same and that are desirous of administering the estate.
  • The petition needs to be signed by the petitioners and verified by either a Magistrate, Judge or Commissioner of Oaths.
  • The Petition should also be accompanied by a declaration by the petitioner.
  • In the declaration, the petitioners swears to administer the estate lawfully, exhibit a true and perfect inventory (report) as per the law.
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The application (Petition) is filed together with a Notice of Application for grant of Letters of Administration.
13) The Petitioner has to pay court filing fees for the application.

14) When the application has been duly filed and the Notice of application signed by either a Magistrate, Chief Magistrate, Registrar or Deputy Registrar, the Applicants are required to advertise the notice in the Uganda gazette and a Local Newspaper for a minimum of 14 days.

15) Any person who wants to object to the grant of Letters of Administration must notify the Court advertising the application for letters of Administration within 14 days from the time the application is made.

16) Any person (with a good cause) objecting to the application can lodge a caveat to that effect.

17) The Applicant has to a file a copy of the newspaper that has the advert with Court.

18) When filing the applicant must file; a copy of the Newspaper, the applicant must also file an of identification form duly verified by the Area Chairperson L.C.I, an introduction letter from L.C.I and also a copy of the Administration Bond.

19) The Applicant is then given a date on when to appear for identification.

20) Where a caveat is lodged, Court shall not grant Letters of Administration until it has heard the person objecting, and determine whether or not the person has a good cause for objection.

21) If there is no reasonable cause, Court will proceed to grant Letters of Administration.

22) Where no caveat has been lodged, the Applicant will be identified by either a Magistrate, Chief Magistrate, Registrar or Deputy Registrar depending on the Court filed after 14 days of the advert.

23) Court if satisfied will make the applicant sign an Administration bond and then proceed to grant Letters of Administration.



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