How to Obtain Letters of Administration

The Letters of Administration is generally granted when a person dies without executing a WILL or where the testator does not appoint an executor in the WILL. A properly drafted petition along with the supporting documents as to the deceased, his legal heirs and estate must be presented before the District Judge of the competent jurisdiction. Minor cannot obtain LOA.

Thu Mar 03 2022 | HLL Knowledge Series | Comments (0)



The Letters of Administration is a document issued by a Court of Law giving authority to a beneficiary/petitioner to administer (i.e to manage, control and distribute) the estate of the deceased. It is generally issued when a person dies intestate i.e without making a Will. The Indian Succession Act, 1925 governs the procedure of grant of Letter of Administration. The Letters of Administration cannot be granted to a minor or any person who is of unsound mind.

Letters of Administration (LOA) can be granted generally in situations when the a person dies without making a WILL; when a WILL has been executed, however no executor is appointed by the testator in the WILL; Renunciation or failure on part of the executor of the Will of the deceased to accept the executorship within the time prescribed for such acceptance;  Legal incapacity or refusal to act by the appointed executor;  Death of the executor before the administration of the estate.

According to sec 234 of the Indian Succession Act, when there is no executor and no residuary legatee or representative of a residuary legatee, or he declines or is incapable to act, or cannot be found, the person or persons who would be entitled to the administration of the estate of the deceased if he had died intestate, or any other legatee having a beneficial interest, or a creditor, may be admitted to prove the Will, and letters of administration may be granted to him or them accordingly.

If the estate involves only movable assets, then generally Succession Certificate is applied for, but if the estate comprises of both immovable and movable assets or only immovable assets then Letters of Administration is required from the court in order to administer the estate of the deceased. Probate in general is granted in cases where there is a WILL in existence- to validate its authenticity and originality. However, where no executor is mentioned in the WILL, generally the Letters of Administration should be obtained by either the beneficiaries or the legal heirs of the deceased.

A petition for obtaining the Letters of Administration will be presented before the District Judge within whose jurisdiction any property, movable or immovable, is situated or the deceased resided, immediately, before his death.

Documentary requirements for filing the petition of obtaining the Letters of Administration

The petition for obtaining the Letters of Administration should be accompanied by some necessary documents which are mentioned as below-

  1. Death Certificate of the deceased.
  2. Identification documents like Aadhar Card, Ration Card, Passport etc. of the deceased.
  3. Original Will in case an executor is not appointed in the WILL or has demised or has refused to act as the executor.
  4. List of Legal heirs along with their identification documents.
  5. Documentary proofs of the assets of the deceased- both movable and immovable.
  6. Documentary proof to establish the relationship with the deceased.

Understanding the procedure for filing a petition for the grant of Letters of Administration-

Filing the Petition for obtaining Letters of Administration before the court of competent jurisdiction- The petition for obtaining the Letters of Administration should be filed before the court of competent jurisdiction incorporating the details of death of the deceased, details of other surviving legal heirs and beneficiaries, the right in which the applicant claims, description of assets and amounts, etc. along with the necessary documents as per the requirement.  

Further the court fee should be paid which completely depends on the value of the assets in the estate of the deceased.

Notice to the Legal Heirs- Once the petition is admitted by the Court, a notice is issued to all the legal heirs of the deceased calling for objections with the grant of letter of administration. The concerned court can also ask for publication of notice for the general public in a daily and local newspaper calling objections, if any.

Grant of Letters of Administration

If no objection is received regarding the grant of LOA, and the court is satisfied it will pass an order granting the Letters of Administration to the petitioner. If however, objections are received either by the legal heirs or anyone else, then the procedure takes a little longer.

To conclude, the procedure of obtaining Letters of Administration is smooth provided the petition is drafted appropriately mentioning all the necessary details as to the deceased, his legal heirs/beneficiaries and his estate. The documentary requirements should also be complete and attached along with the said petition. The procedure gets interrupted if the court receives any objections as to the said grant of LOA and hence the procedure then gets slightly delayed. LOA should not be confused with Probate as both are different. The need to obtain either of the two depends on the underlying circumstances and the manner of execution of the WILL by the deceased.


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