Guideline For Obtaining A Letter of Administration In Nigeria

Globalclique - Letter of Administration in Lagos

A Letter of Administration – LOA is the legal authority granted to a person (usually next of kin) to administer the estate(s) or property of a person who died without a will (intestate death).

With a letter of administration, an administrator derives his or her authority to act from the terms of the letter of administration.

Without a letter of administration, a next of kin or associate of a deceased person does not have the legal authority to act as the custodian of his or her property.

Getting a letter of administration in a city like Lagos usually takes between a period of 3 months – 7 months.

Letter of Administration can only be processed in a State or City where the deceased is resident.

It is important to note that a letter of administration cannot be inherited, neither can it be given to 1 single person, the same can only be granted to at least two people.

LOA Requirements – Lagos Example

  • Approach the Probate Registry Section of the Lagos High Court (Located in Ikeja and Lagos Island).
  • Write an application letter for the issuance of forms stating the name, address, phone number and email of each administrator.
  • Make photocopies of means of identification of each administrator -driver’s license, international passport, voter’s card or national identity card.
  • Provide a photocopy of the Death certificate of the deceased or an affidavit of loss of Death certificate and police report.
  • Get a passport photograph of the deceased (2×2).
  • Provide 2 passport photograph of each administrator.
  • Pay for the application form and follow all necessary information given at the probate Registry.

Important Remarks

There are some fees to be paid before a letter of administration can be evaluated and approved.

When rounding up the application, an estate fee of 10% of the value of the estate must be paid to the government.

This is Nigeria, the process may not be as fast as expected, hence budget 6 months as the minimum processing period for your letter of Administration – LOA

You can get a registered Estate Surveyor and valuer to help you assess what 10% of the property’s Forced Sales Value might be. This will guide you in the financial budgeting and planning for the LOA.

Final Note

The process of obtaining a letter of administration may be a bit challenging and cumbersome in Nigeria. Due to various bureaucratic procedures.

We can help you handle your LOA filing and application, our team of real estate consultants will be willing to help you out.

28 thoughts on “Guideline For Obtaining A Letter of Administration In Nigeria

  1. Okay, I need a clarification here, the 10% of the estate value acroud to the Govt, is it negotiable or not and again, does it apply to a claim of a deceased pension? And again if am employing the services of a legal officer of what percentage would be his legal fees??. Thanks in anticipation of your prompt response.

    1. The 10% is for the government, not negotiable. The government has her independent valuer that would appraise/rate the value of your property, the rate is usually lower than what you get from private valuers most times (you can consult a private valuer for an insight). This has to do with landed properties and it does not apply to a claim of a deceased person. The fee of a legal officer depends on his estimated running cost and other possible settlements he might need to make. His fee also depends on how fast you want the letter. Finally, the professional fee would be based on 3 things; Official Payment + Unofficial Payment (for faster processing) + administrative charge (depends on what she/he is willing to collect)

  2. Does the administrators listed on the LOA have to physically reside in Nigeria? Or can they administer from any where in the world?

    1. It’s not a must that you must reside in Nigeria, but at some point, the probate registry would need your physical presence for some oath(s)/allegiance(s) and you must be available to administer them. Once you do all these, you can go back to your territory. It becomes easier when you have someone overseeing it for you.

  3. Good day.
    My dad died recently ,and we(the family)were asked by his office to obtain an LOA in order to begin processing his pension benefits, but on approaching a legal practitioner,he stated that an LOA is only necessary when seeking for legal rights to administer a deceased’s properties (landed) and not to lay claim to his/her benefits.
    Please if you don’t mind ,I would appreciate if you could proffer a second professional opinion about this i.e Is an LOA necessary when laying claim to a deceased person’s pension benefits?
    Please revert,Thank you.

    1. Yes, LOA is required to lay claim on the property of the deceased. Whether physical assets or money in the bank, it is required by law. Please note, it is not all lawyers that understand LOA in detail. Cheers, and do have a pleasant day.

  4. Thanks for the detailed write up, I now understand to some degree what this is about. Now my question is can the administrators be mother and child if the deceased (father) has an only child.
    2. The 10% non negotiable fee to be paid to the government is it during the process of getting the letter of administration of after the landed property have been acquired by the administrators. Thanks will be eagerly awaiting your reply.

    1. Sure, the Mother and the Daughter can represent the deceased; they can be recognized as the legal administrators to the deceased properties. Also, the 10% is usually based on the valuation of the deceased property by the government-appointed values. Same is usually paid towards the final stage of the LOA process. Kindly note; this scenario is more applicable to Lagos, Nigeria. Thank you.

    1. There is no fixed cost, the cost will be based on a percentage of the value of the estate(s) of the deceased. If you are engaging a consultant to do this, the consultant would also charge his or her professional fee.

    1. There is no average as the cost will be based on a percentage of the value of the estate(s) of the deceased. If you are engaging a consultant to do this, the consultant would also charge his or her professional fee.

  5. Good Day,
    Kindly outline the terms of the LOA that details the functions of the Administrators.
    Also, on what grounds can Administrators be removed or the LOA revoked/ dissolved?
    Thank you for your prompt response.

    1. Hi,

      As you know, LOA can only be issued when the deceased died without a will. The purpose of the LOA is to assign the closest and the most likely beneficiaries/next of kin to the deceased as the administrators of the deceased property(ies). LOA can only be countered by the aggrieved party during the processing stage (especially when the publication is being made in the newspaper) also it can be countered when the closest family members are not on the list of administrators. The best place to resolve all probate issues is to visit the probate registry or write directly to the probate registrar where the LOA is issued. Never take this as the final advice, please make your full findings at the probate registry covering your locality/region.

      Thank you.

  6. Dear sir, thanks for the enlightenment. Please we want to engage a lawyer and pay he or she after the issuance of the LOA by the court because there is presently no money available.
    what percentage of the estate do lawyers usually charge as their professional fee in this kind of payment arrangement?
    Kindly advice sir, thank in anticipation of your response.

    1. Dear Sir,

      Fees payable to the lawyer are not fixed. It depends on the individual arrangement, a standard fee arrangement is better. It is advisable to tell the lawyer to submit his/her fee quote ahead of the processing. It is better to negotiate before the work starts, then you prepare his/her mind that fees would be paid upon completion. It might be dangerous to negotiate when LOA is ready.

      Thank you.

      1. Good day.can the LOA fee be deducted from the account of the deceased in case where administrators can’t afford the 10% charge for issuance of LOA?

        1. Capital No Sir.Except you make a special arrangement with your lawyer, or the person helping you to process the LOA (that you would pay him for his service when you receive the LOA). The government is less concerned about the money in the deceased account, you have to pay the appropriate statutory fee. Thank you.

  7. If an adverse party comes to tender title to the land, can’t the existing title suffice?…tho the owner is deceased..

    Is it strongly necessary to obtain Letter of Administration for that land?

    1. Thank you for your comment, if an adverse part comes to tender Title to the Land, first you have to confirm if the title is registered or not, i.e. if it is a C of O or Registered Deed of Assignment or Land Certificate where the case may be. You have to verify their document at the Land Registry if it is genuine or not. This is also applicable to the existing title document. Government cannot issue different title documents to a single land, either one is original and the other one is fake. In this case, the original title document will be recognized. And this document can only be defended by those who are legally assigned by the Letter of Administration. If you have the Legal Title without a Letter of Administration, you cannot defend the Land Legally. Anyone with the original document needs a letter of administration to back it up.

  8. Hi, my mother and I are the administrators of my father’s estate
    Now she was the “principal” and I was the other member

    Now she is late what happens to the letter of administrator?

    1. The letter of administration is still valid, as long as there is a biological tie between you and your mother. Also, try and always provide the death certificate of your mother alongside the letter of administration.

  9. Hello I would like to know what is the fee for the lawyer/legal officer/agent that does all the work to help obtain the LOA for the deceased family ??
    I know some have a set fee price , others do it via % of deceased estate assets . What I want to know is it the % of what the “court” value the estate (bank balance and property) at OR the actual market value of the property(asset) ??

    1. Yes, you have partly answered the question. Government has a standard rate they charge per each state of the federation. So what is applicable in Lagos State is not applicable in Ogun State. You need to make an enquiry from the probate registry for your Region/State. For example Lagos State government has her own landed property market value spreasheet for assessing the deseased estate(s).

  10. what is the cost and procedures of processing letter of administration why by the decease has no landed properties or and Estate. The decease has only money in His/Her BANK account?
    And how ling does it take for the letter of administration to be issued?

    1. Good Day Sir/ma, the cost for the processing depends on the State of the Nation where the deceased resides before his / or death. The process for Oyo state is different from that of Lagos, and that of Enugu is different from that of Benue. If you are to use an agent, please budget between 5% – 18% of the value of the deceased assets as what you would pay for the processing

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