Our sincere condolences if you have just lost a loved one.
What happens now? To your knowledge, there is no will (and therefore no executor appointed), and you have been told that your loved one’s estate will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146) (the “Act”).
But who will administer the division of assets?
Generally, the persons who are entitled to apply to be appointed as administrator of the deceased’s estate (and are granted with the letters of administration) are the persons who are entitled to receive distributions under the Act, i.e. in the following order of priority:
- biological or legally adopted children;
- brothers and sisters;
- nephews and nieces;
- grandparents; and
- uncles and aunts.
What if the persons ahead of you in the list are still in grief, incapable of administering the estate, or are simply not interested in doing so?
Even if you do not have the highest priority in the order above, you may still be appointed as administrator if you obtain the consent of the beneficiaries who rank more highly in the list than you. Their consent, however, should be recorded in writing and attested (i.e. signed under oath).
Please let us know if you require our assistance.