Administrator-General's Act, 1925
- Commenced on 13 June 1925
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 1996.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Administrator-General's Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"Administrator-General" means the Administrator of Estates appointed under this Act and includes an Assistant Administrator-General;"Commonwealth" means—(a)the self-governing members of the Commonwealth;(b)all British Colonies;(c)all states and territories under the protection of Her Britannic Majesty through Her Government in the United Kingdom; and(d)all territories administered by governments of the Commonwealth in accordance with a mandate from the League of Nations or under the trusteeship system of the United Nations;"Court" means the High Court, or any court subordinate thereto to which jurisdiction hereafter may be given;"letters of administration" includes any letters of administration whether general or with a copy of the will annexed or limited in time or otherwise;"next of kin" includes a widower or widow of a deceased person or any other person who by law would be entitled to letters of administration in preference to a creditor or legatee of the deceased.[As amended by No. 31 of 1959, S.I. No. 72 of 1964 and No. 14 of 1968]
3. Appointment of Administrator-General
4. District Secretary to act as agent of Administrator-GeneralThe District Secretary of any District shall, at the request of the Administrator-General act as his agent within such District:Provided that nothing herein contained shall affect the power of the Administrator-General to appoint such other agents as he shall think fit.
5. Duties of District Secretary
6. Intermeddling with property of deceased prohibited
7. Cases in which Administrator-General may apply for probate or letters of administrationWhen a person dies leaving property in Zambia, the Administrator-General may apply to the Court for probate or letters of administration (as the case requires) in the following cases:
8. Administrator-General or agent may protect property pending applicationWhen any person dies leaving property within Zambia, the Administrator-General or the District Secretary within whose District such property may be, may, when he shall deem it advisable for the protection of such property, take possession thereof without any order of the Court, but shall not deal therewith otherwise than may be urgently necessary, before a grant of probate or letters of administration.
9. Administrator-General may be appointed executorAny person may appoint the Administrator-General to be executor of his will.
10. Notice of application to CourtThe Administrator-General shall cause notice of his intention to apply for probate or letters of administration to be published in the Gazette at least fourteen days before making the application and the cost of such publication shall in every case be deemed to be a testamentary expense and be payable out of the estate of the deceased, whether such estate be administered by the Administrator-General or any other person.
11. Granting of probate or letters of administrationUpon such application, the Court may grant probate or letters of administration (as the case may be) to the Administrator-General accordingly:Provided always that in any case where the Court is satisfied that danger of misappropriation, deterioration or waste of the estate is otherwise to be apprehended, or that great expense would be incurred by delay in the matter, the aforesaid notice of intention to apply may be dispensed with.
12. No bond required from Administrator-GeneralThe Administrator-General shall not be required by the Court to enter into any administration bond, or to give other security to the Court on the grant of any letters of administration to him by that name.
13. Grant of probate or letters of administration vest property in Administrator-GeneralWhere probate or letters of administration of the estate of a deceased person is or are granted to the Administrator-General, all the property of the deceased person and the rights and duties of an executor or administrator in relation thereto, as the case may be, shall vest in the Administrator-General as holder of the office of Administrator-General.
14. Administrator-General as trustee
15. Where deceased member of partnership, surviving partner to account
16. Duty to supply informationWhen the Administrator-General believes that any person is capable of giving information concerning a deceased person or his property, he may by written notice require such person to supply such information within the time stated in the written notice, and any person being capable of giving such information who fails to comply with such written notice shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to a fine not exceeding one thousand five hundred penalty units, or to both.[As amended by Act No. 31 of 1959 and Act No. 13 of 1994]
17. Grant to Administrator-General may be revoked and grant made toother personAt any time after grant of probate or letters of administration to the Administrator-General under this Act, any person to whom the Court might have granted administration if no such grant had been made to the Administrator-General, may apply to the Court for revocation of such grant, and for grant to himself of probate or letters of administration; but no such application shall be made until seven days after notice of intention to make it shall have been given to the Administrator-General.
18. Application to Court for revocation
19. Administrator-General to make inventory and keep accounts
20. Notice to creditors and claimantsIn every case where administration shall have been committed to him, the Administrator-General shall cause a notice to be published in the Gazette calling upon creditors and others to send in to him their claims against the estate on or before the date mentioned in such notice, which shall not be less than one month after the date of the publication of such notice.
21. Distribution of assetsAt the expiration of the time mentioned in the notice referred to in the preceding section for sending in claims, the Administrator-General shall be at liberty to distribute the assets or any part thereof amongst the parties entitled thereto, having regard to the claims of which he shall then have had notice, and he shall not be liable for the assets or any part thereof so distributed to any person of whose claim he shall not have had notice at the time of the distribution of the said assets or any part thereof, as the case may be; but nothing herein contained shall prejudice the right of any creditor or claimant to follow the assets or any part thereof into the hands of the person or persons who may have received the same respectively.
22. Proof of claims may be requiredWhen the Administrator-General has received notice of a claim against an estate, administration of which has been committed to him, he may by a written notice served personally or by post require the claimant prior to a date to be named in such notice, which shall not be less than one month from the service of such notice, either to institute proceedings to establish the claim, or to satisfy the Administrator-General of the validity of the claim by affidavit or otherwise; at the expiration of the time mentioned in such notice, the Administrator-General shall be at liberty to distribute the assets or any part thereof amongst the parties entitled thereto, without having regard to the claims of persons who shall have been served with such notice, but shall have failed to comply with the requirements thereof, and he shall not be liable to any such person for the assets or any part thereof; but nothing herein contained shall prejudice the right of any such person to follow the assets or any part thereof into the hands of the person or persons who may have received the same respectively.
23. Fees of Administrator-General
24. Payments to executors, etc., in country of domicileWhen the Administrator-General has been granted letters of administration of the estate in Zambia of any person who was at the time of his death domiciled, or who appears to the Administrator-General to have been then domiciled in any part of the Commonwealth other than Zambia, and probate of whose will or administration of whose estate in the place of such domicile or apparent domicile has been granted to some person there, the Administrator-General may pay over to such person the balance of the estate after payment of proved debts of creditors resident in Zambia and funeral and administration expenses, without seeing to the application of such balance and without incurring any liability in regard to such payment.[As amended by No. 31 of 1959 and No. 14 of 1968]
25. Assets received from outside ZambiaWhere administration of an estate has been committed to the Administrator-General and he receives assets which at the time of the death of the deceased were situate outside Zambia, such assets shall be treated in the same manner as assets within Zambia at the time of death.
26. Court may appoint persons to receive minor's shareWhere any person entitled to a share under the will or in the distribution of the estate of a deceased person whose estate is being administered by the Administrator-General is a minor, the Court may, upon the application of the Administrator-General, appoint the father or mother of such minor or some other suitable person to receive the share of such minor on his behalf and, upon such appointment being made, the Administrator-General may pay the share of such minor to such person on behalf of such minor, and the receipt of such person shall be a full and complete discharge to the Administrator-General so far as regards such share.
27. Assets unclaimed for twelve years to be transferred to general revenues
28. Power of President to dispose of sameIt shall be lawful for the President to dispose of or distribute either the whole or any part of the assets transferred to the Government under the provisions of section twenty-seven to or amongst any kindred of the deceased or such other persons in such shares or manner as he shall think fit.
29. Power for Administrator-General to administer where assets are less than K200
30. Administrator-General or his agents not liable for acts done in performance of their dutiesNeither the Administrator-General nor any of his agents shall be personally liable to any person in respect of goods or chattels in the possession at the time of the death of any person whose estate shall be administered by the Administrator-General which shall be sold by the Administrator-General or such agents, unless the Administrator-General or agent shall know or have actual notice before the sale that such goods or chattels were not in fact the property of the person whose estate is being administered by him, and generally neither the Administrator-General nor any agent shall be liable for any act done by him bona fide in the supposed and the intended performance of his duties, unless it shall be shown that such act was done not only illegally, but wilfully or with gross negligence:Provided always that, in case of any sale by the Administrator-General or any agent of goods or chattels belonging in fact to any third person, the amount realised by such sale shall be paid over to the owner upon proof by him of such ownership, unless the same shall have already been applied in payment of the debts of the deceased or shall have been distributed in the ordinary course of administration whilst the Administrator-General or agent was in ignorance and without actual notice of the claim of such person to the goods or chattels sold.
31. Estates being administered by Registrar of High CourtThe Administrator-General shall be deemed to have been granted letters of administration to all estates which would have been subject to this Act but which were at the commencement of this Act being administered by the Registrar of the High Court.
32. This Act not to apply to estates administered in terms of African customary law
33. RulesThe Minister may, by statutory instrument, make rules for the better carrying out of the purposes and provisions of this Act, and for regulating the proceedings of the Administrator-General.[As amended by G.N. No. 303 of 1964]
History of this document
31 December 1996 this version
13 June 1925