The Ministry of Legal Affairs, through its Public Trustee Department, has commenced offering affordable Estate Administration Services in wake of the far too many instances when a loved one dies without first making a will.
A will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses his or her wishes as to how his or her property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution.
Those who have gone through or are going through the process can attest that it is something they would prefer to avoid since, without a valid will left by the deceased to define which relative inherits what, conflicts can arise within families.
However, scores of persons were able to access or become familiar with the service during the ‘Government Comes to You’ outreaches held in the various regions.
This disclosure was made by State Solicitor, Public Trustee Official Receiver at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Ayana McCalman, during an interview she gave to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
“Many of them are not familiar that this is actually a service that is available to them, that is affordable, so I believe that the outreach has been a really positive one that the government has done in that sense because what it does is educate people about services they have available to them” McCalman stated.
She said that it is a statutory service that the government provides to the public. However, a small administrative fee of $4,000 is required to begin the process. Any other fee related to the processing of the matter, which includes filing fees and letters of administration, are paid directly to the registry.
Similarly, when the estate has to be declared, the estate duty is paid directly to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
While many persons may seek such services privately, they are being encouraged to utilise the services being offered by the government, which is within their means. According to McCalman, “$4,000 is a very affordable fee to come to the department and we complete the entire process. That is from the declaration of the estate to GRA, application of the letters of administration, straight through to the transfer of the property, so we do not charge you separately for those services.”
She added that “we have had persons from the outreach contacting us, we have also been encouraging persons to tell others…outreaches like these are helpful because people get to know what the government has available to them that they can utilise, so it has been very positive in that sense.”
Persons from the interior locations are given priority taking into consideration that the service is being offered at the office which is in the city.
Contact can be made with the department on 592-2264946 for more enquires.