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PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
What happens to
the property belonging in a person when he dies?
The deceased person’s property (collectively known as his estate) is
frozen and a person has to be appointed by the court to take charge of the
Where the deceased person had made a will, he would have appointed a
person(s) called an executor(s) to take charge of his estate.
Where the deceased person died without having made a will, a person(s)
would normally have to be appointed as an administrator(s) to take charge of
In order to be
recognized legally as the executor(s) or administrator(s) of the deceased
person’s estate, you would have to apply for probate or Letter of
What is Probate?
It is a Court Order authorizing the executor(s) appointed by the
deceased person under his will to administer his estate according to the
direction contained in his will.
What are Letters
It is a
Court Order authorizing the person(s) named in it to administer the estate of
the deceased person in accordance with the law and customs.
apply for probate or Letters of Administration?
apply for Probate if you are the executor(s) named in the Will of the deceased
any of your family members, who are of full age, are entitle to apply to be
For non-Muslims, the law gives priority to certain members of the family
over others, depending on the marital status of the deceased. If the deceased
person was single, his surviving parents will have priority over his brothers
and sisters to be administrators. If the deceased person was married, his
spouse will have priority over the children to be his administrator.
If I have the right to apply for Probate or Letter of Administration,
can I renounce my right to apply?
Yes, you may give
up or renounce your rights and consents to other persons applying for Probate
or Letters of Administrations by filing a Renunciation or Consent.
How do I apply for
Probate or Letters of Administration?
To apply for probate of Letters of Administration, a number of documents
have to be prepared and filed (after payment of filing fees) at the Probate
Registry of the relevant District in Brunei Darussalam (see “Must I engage a
Documents required for both Probate and Letters of Administration:
1. The Petition
2. Affidavit for Collector of Stamps.
3. Photocopy of the original extract of the deceased’s
4. Photocopies of all documents of title to assets
belonging to the deceased person
e.g. bank accounts, land property, motor vehicles, business registration, etc
5. For Letter of Administration, a letter of consent
signed by all beneficiaries, agreeing to the Petitioner’s Application.
documents required for Probate:
6. The Original and photocopy of the Will.
7. Renunciation(s) by a person(s) appointed executor(s) by the Will but who
does not wish to be the executor(s), if any.
documents required for Letters of Administration.
8. For Muslim Estates
of the birth certificates or identity cards of all immediate members of the
family must be submitted. (this is to facilitate the application of an
inheritance Certificate or “faraid” from the Kadi court.
of the beneficiaries having a prior right to apply for letters of
administration, if any.
10. Consent of the Co-Administrators, if any.
N.B. The above requirements apply in cases of simple petitions
for Probate and Letters of Administration.
What happens after the petition has been filed in Court?
If the Probate officer, or his Deputy is satisfied that all the
documents are in order, and there is no caveat filed against the petition, the
Petition for Probate or Letters of Administration will be granted.
For muslim estates, the petition will only be granted if the Original
inheritance Certificate (“fara'idh”) has been issued and received by the Probate Officer.
What should I do
after the Petition is granted?
After the Petition is granted by the Probate officer or her Deputy, you,
the Petitioner, should:-
(a) settle estate duty; where applicable
(b) settle the extracting fee.
On payment of the above, a grant of Probate or Letter of Administration
will be issued.
engage a lawyer?
provides forms of Petition and Affidavit for Collector of Stamps. A Petitioner
can complete these forms and on payment of B$80.00 filing fee, the petition
will be listed for hearing, provided the requirements mentioned above are
where the estate of the deceased is complex, you may wish to engage a lawyer.
should I do after the Probate and Letter of Administration is granted?
Probate and Letter of Administration must be shown to the relevant authority
and photocopy of the Probate or Letter of Administration be extended to them.
E.g. the bank will need to have sight of the Probate or Letter of
Administration but they keep only a photocopy of the Probate or Letter of
Administration. This procedure is true for most assets except land.
property; where the deceased person is a –
1. Muslim – his administration must seek the approval of
the Chief Kadi for division of the land. Similarly, where a beneficiary wishes
to forego his share, he has to indicate his wish to the Chief Kadi.
2. Chinese – his administrator has to consult the
“Kapitan Cina” who will ascertain the beneficiaries of the estate.
3. Other Indigenous Group - his administrator has to consult the “Ketua
Kampung” for ascertaining and confirmation of the beneficiaries of the estate.
obtaining the above can the Land Offices entertain any application to transfer
ownership of land to the beneficiaries.
some properties were not included in the petition?
Administrator or Executor will have to affirm or swear a Corrective Affidavit,
setting out the particulars of the assets which was excluded earlier. The
filing fee for this affidavit is $5.00.
If such an
application is made, the original Probate or Letter of Administration must be
returned to the Probate Registry at the time of filing the Corrective
Probate Registry concerned will assist in completing the Corrective Affidavit.
What do I
do if I object to a Petition?
object to a Probate or Letter of Administration being granted, then you may
file a caveat. The filing fee is $10.00.
filed, the caveat is valid for six (6) months. To record a continued objection
beyond six months, the caveat must be renewed by filing a fresh caveat.
beneficiaries have to attend the hearing of the Petition?
It is not
necessary for all beneficiaries to attend if they agree to the Petitioner’s
application for Probate or Letter of Administration.
beneficiary who objects to the application or a person who has filed a caveat
need to attend the hearing of the petition.
and recover all the property assets and effects covered by the grant.
all the debts due by the deceased.
the residue of the estate according to the benefiary’s share as decided by the Inheritance Certificate (‘Fara'idh’), customs or will etc.