When a person has died intestate (without leaving a will) a grant of letters of administration must be obtained before the estate can be administered.

Obtaining letters of administration usually takes between 6 to 12 weeks from the time we have been provided with all the relevant documents and information. If beneficiaries live abroad and there is delay in documents being returned to us or if there is disagreement between beneficiaries, the process will inevitably take longer.

Personal attendance at the Guyana Revenue Authority to declare the estate is required. If the intended administrator is not in Guyana s/he can appoint an attorney to obtain letters of administration on her/his behalf.

1.    When a person dies intestate the rules on the following page are applied to determine who will inherit the estate.

It is usual for the person or persons who are the major beneficiaries of the estate to apply for letters of administration, but if they do not do so, any other beneficiary can.

It is sometimes necessary for some beneficiaries to formally consent to another beneficiary obtaining letters of administration, for example when there are several children all equally entitled to apply.

2.   Documents and information required:

        1.   Original death certificate

        2.   Copy of marriage certificate (if applicable)

        3.   Names and addresses of spouse, children or other persons entitled to share in the estate 

       4.   Details of assets and liabilities of the deceased (immovable properties; motor vehicles; bank accounts; insurance policies; shares; amounts receivable and due etc.), together with originals or copies of transports; certificates of title; certificates of registration; share certificates etc.)

        5.   Valuations of the assets and liabilities as at the date of death

        6.   Consents of other beneficiaries (if applicable)

3.   We prepare an inventory of the assets and liabilities of the estate, a statement of assets and liabilities and declaration and deliver them to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) with a copy of the death certificate and the certificates of valuation.

4.   We arrange for attendance by the intended administrator at the GRA to declare the estate.

5.   The GRA issues a notice of the process fee payable (½% of the gross value of the estate).

6.   When the process fee has been paid, we uplift the certificate of payment and the statement of assets and liabilities as accepted by the GRA.

7.   We prepare, arrange for execution and file the application for letters of administration and administrator’s oath with supporting documents.

8.   We uplift the letters of administration with the statement of assets and liabilities attached. The administrator may then administer the estate in accordance with the intestacy rules.

9.   Our fees are 5% of the gross value of the estate plus 16% VAT and disbursements.

If there is anything that you need explaining more fully, please do not hesitate to ask a member of our estates staff or a partner. We will of course be happy to provide an update at any time.