The Lagos State Office of the Administrator-General and Public Trustee (AG&PT) has trained its counsel and others in various Directorates of the Ministry of Justice on the administration and management of estates within and outside the shores of the State.
Speaking at a capacity building and training held at the auditorium of Folarin Coker Staff Clinic Alausa, Ikeja, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-bey, commended the Agency for setting the pace for others to emulate.
She said, “The Ministry is proud of the entire team of AG&PT for putting together this laudable continuous capacity building on the generality of operations and issues that affect counsel across board. The training, I believe, will not only improve the quality of service delivery by officers but will also provide an opportunity for counsel to better enlighten and educate the public on the importance of writing a will”.
In her remarks, the Administrator-General and Public Trustee, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, stated that the training is to educate the public, starting with counsel in the Ministry, about the functions of the office as it relates to administration and management of Estates, which includes securing a Letter of Administration, among others.
Her words: “In relation to obtaining Letters of Administration and grant of probate, whether someone dies intestate or testate, there must be something to fall back on. For instance, without the Letter of Administration, beneficiaries cannot do anything. Neither the monies in banks nor any other property for that matter can be accessed”.
“Where a person dies intestate, i.e. (without a will) or where there is a dispute amongst the children/family members, the importance of the Letter of Administration cannot be overemphasised. So on our part, the training aims to enlighten counsel on the process and procedure in obtaining a Letter of Administration, and on the part of the general public, it intends to educate them on the functions of the office and how to they can access our services”, she added.
She further stressed that the processes of securing a Letter of Administration should start 30 days after the demise of the deceased to ensure quick and easy access to the assets of someone who died intestate.
While stating that the training was to further propagate the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the present administration in ensuring the populace have access to justice regardless of economic or social background, Rotimi disclosed that the training will eventually be extended to all MDAs to enlighten the Public Service Community towards reducing the number of disputes emanating from inheritance.
On his part, the Director, Office of Public Defender (OPD), Dr. Jide Martins, said the training is commendable and expressed appreciation to the State Government for providing the enabling environment to have the capacity training.
He said the training offered counsel the opportunity of having an overview of expectations in terms of advising members of the public on their rights as beneficiaries and potential claimants to Estates of relatives, who died without a will or a will that is invalid.