In the previous article, we have talked about how to apply for a grant of probate with a valid will. What happens when you don’t have a legally valid will? In the case where a valid will is absent, one would have to apply for a letter of administration. As previously mentioned, applying for a letter of administration is not a simple process. As a matter of fact, applying for a letter of administration is more complicated than applying for a grant of probate.
The process of applying for a grant of probate may take up to 6 months, but applying for a letter of administration could take up to 2 years. It is certainly a very lengthy process. Hence, it is important to take note of the key information you should know before applying.
Let’s take a look at the process to go through when applying for a letter of administration.
Table of Contents
Appointing an Administrator of Estate
The person who applies for a letter of administration is usually the spouse, descendants, or parents of the deceased. The person who will be in charge of the application is called the administrator of estate. The application is usually made by the beneficiary. Though it is recommended to hire a professional probate lawyer to guide you through your application because applying for a letter of administration requires a lot more documents and attention to details than applying for a grant of probate.
Understanding The Value of The Assets
In the case where a person dies without leaving a will, their assets would be distributed based on the Distribution Act 1958. However, the distribution and allocation of their estate would differ based on the value of the assets. This is why the process of applying for a letter of administration takes longer than a grant of probate.
The value of the estate is an important thing to pay attention to when applying for a letter of administration. In Section 3(2) SEDA 1955, a small estate is a wholly or partially immovable property whose total value does not exceed RM 2 Million. If the estate is deemed as a small estate, the administrator may proceed to apply to the land office as a small estate.
If the estate is a movable property valued at RM600,000 or less, the administrator could apply for a letter of administration to Amanah Raya Bhd. Other than that, the administrator could also apply to the High Court.
Preparing Your Documents
As with other legal processes, it is essential to have your documents ready and well prepared. Preparing well for a legal application would make it a lot easier for everybody, including yourself. Always bring the original document as well as a copy of every document needed and remember to file the documents together or in an organized manner.
Applying for a letter of administration in Malaysia requires you to prepare more documents than applying for a grant of probate. The first document you would need is the death certificate of the deceased. You would also need a copy of their identification card. Next is to gather the beneficiaries and prepare a copy of all the beneficiaries’ identification cards.
If the beneficiary is the spouse or children, then you would have to bring a copy of their birth certificate or marriage certificate to verify their relationship with the deceased. It is also necessary to bring all the documents related to all the assets of the deceased and ensure that you have all the documents needed before applying for a letter of administration.
Should there be any mistakes or missing information on your application, the court will reject your application with reasoning. You would then have to revise your application and re-submit. This would prolong the time taken for the court to process the documents and give an all-clear for you to allocate the assets accordingly.
The steps above may sound brief but the process of applying for a letter of administration requires patience and attention to detail. While it is possible to apply for a letter of administration yourself, it is always recommended to rely on a professional to avoid mistakes and confusion during the process. Hiring a professional would also help you to quicken the legal process and avoid going back and forth with your application due to missing documents or details.
Talk to probate lawyer Sim & Rahman today to learn more on applying for a letter of administration!