Before you file, make sure you:
There are different types of applications for letters of administration. This website only covers the process for cases where the deceased did not leave a valid will and the applicant is a beneficiary entitled to a share of the estate.
If you wish to apply for other types of letters of administration, you may wish to seek legal advice.
Refer to the following on how to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.
Who can file
A beneficiary entitled to a share of the deceased's estate.
When to file
Within 6 months from the deceased’s date of death.
Note: If you are filing after 6 months, you must include the reason for the delay in the application form.
How to file
How long it takes
Approximately 2 to 3 months, depending on case complexity.
Which court to file with
For estates worth up to $5 million: The Family Courts.
For estates worth above $5 million: The Family Division of the High Court.
You need to submit these documents to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration:
You will also need to attend before a lawyer to certify true copies of all of the following:
Application fees vary depending on the case. If you are filing through the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau, the estimated fees for estates worth up to $3 million include:
Item or service
Search for probate cases and caveats when filing the Originating Summons
File an Originating Summons
File the Statement
File the Schedule of Assets
File a certified true copy of a death certificate
File for renunciation
File other supporting documents (such as the certified true copy of the inheritance certificate or divorce certificate)
You will need to search the court's record of probate cases and caveats filed in relation to the deceased's estate.
Refer to the following on how to conduct a search.
Where to go
How to do it
Provide the deceased's identification number.
When to do it
The search must be done on the day you file the letters of administration application and for the present year.
You must attach all of the following to your Originating Summons:
Note: You may wish to seek legal advice if there are pending cases or caveats in force against the estate.
Submit the prepared documents at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau on the same day that you conduct the search on probate cases and caveats.
The Service Bureau will prepare the Originating Summons, Statement and Schedule of Assets using the information you provide, and will file the documents on your behalf.
Your application will be considered by the court after you file.
The LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau will notify you via email or SMS of whether your application documents have been accepted by the court. You will need to return to the Service Bureau to collect your documents after that.
If the application is in order, the court will accept the documents, assign a case number to your application and schedule a hearing date.
The court will issue sealed versions of the Originating Summons, Statement and Schedule of Assets. These will bear a court seal. You will need to visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to collect the documents.
You will need to prepare and file a Supporting Affidavit within 14 days after filing the Originating Summons.
If there are errors with the application, the court will reject the documents and indicate the reasons for rejection. You will need to visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to collect the rejected documents and reasons.
You will need to correct the errors and submit the documents again.
Refer to the Probate and Administration Toolkit (PDF, 1206 KB).
Generally, there can only be one valid grant in relation to an estate at any time. If there are competing or contested applications for the same estate, the parties will have to decide how to proceed. You may wish to seek legal advice if there are competing or contested applications for a grant.
The court requires information regarding other cases or caveats in relation to the deceased's estate as these may prevent the court from issuing a grant of probate or letters of administration.
A caveat acts as a formal notice that there is an interest in the estate. The court is required by law to give the person who has filed the caveat the opportunity to contest or challenge any application for a grant.
The caveat search will show all of the following:
You may wish to seek legal advice if there are caveats in force against the estate.
You need to declare all the assets making up the deceased's estates through the Schedule of Assets (Form 226 of the FJC Practice Directions). The court will use the document to confirm the value of the estate, determine the fees you need to pay for the application and determine the value of the administration bond for letters of administration in certain circumstances. The Schedule of Assets may also be used by beneficiaries and creditors to ascertain the assets of the estate.
You must declare the assets accurately. To obtain the required information, you may contact the relevant institutions that deal with the assets. (Note: These institutions may impose fees or conditions for providing information.)