What happens after my partner/ parent/ legal guardian has died and he/she made a will? - Justice Centres Uganda
black person writing a will

What happens after my partner/ parent/ legal guardian has died and he/she made a will?


When a person dies, they either die testate or intestate. A person dies testate when he or she wrote and left a valid will concerning the distribution of his or her property upon their death. A person dies intestate when they pass away without leaving a valid will.

When one of your parents dies and there is a will from the person, there is a process to go through with the following steps:

  1. The people with whom the deceased left his/her will, must notify your family that they have his/her last will.
  2. The will must be read by all family members. The executor named in the will must apply to the court to prove the will and Grant of Probate. An executor is a person appointed within the will by the deceased person to carry on the distribution and management of the estate in line with the deceased’s will.

    JCU helps clients to draft petitions for grant of probate and represents the clients to the logical conclusion of the matter.

  3. The court makes sure that the appointed person is capable of administering the testator’s will.
  4. The petition to court to apply for Grant of Probate should include the following:
      • A petition in the English language containing the place and date when the testator died, and that this was his/her last will.
      • State that the person applying is the executor named by the will;
      • A list of all properties left by the deceased and their value;
      • A list of the dependent relatives who survived the testator;
      • The application must be signed by at least one of the witnesses to the will;
      • A copy of the will;
      • A postmortem report, death certificate or LC letter confirming the death of the testator;
      • A declaration of compliance that requirements of the law and payment of estate duty have or will be complied with;
      • For applications at Magistrates Court: an affirmation that at the time of his/her death the deceased had a permanent home or owned property within the area of operation.

Note: If the will was written in another language you need to hand in an English translation of it!

JCU helps clients to translate the will.

6.  When you file petition for letters of administration or probate, a 14 days’ notice shall be given to you for purposes of publishing in one of the news papers in Uganda. There is no need for notice to the Administrator General.

JCU pays for such adverts in the newspapers and fixes the matter for identification upon the completion of the 7 days.

7.  After receiving the Grant of Probate authority, the executor holds the property in trust for the beneficiaries and must distribute the property to them. Beneficiaries can be widow(s) /widower, customary heir, children of the deceased, and dependent relatives.

8. A list of all assets of the deceased must be provided to court six months after the Grant of Probate was granted.

JCU prepares such a list on the behalf of the client.

9. A list of all assets and how they have been distributed must be provided within one year after receiving the authority.

Where to apply for a Grant of Probate:

Magistrate Grade 1 Court Estate value under 20 million. UGX
Chief Magistrate Court Estate value under 50 million. UGX
High Court Estate value over 50 million. UGX

Download the template of a will (computer version)

Download the template of a will (for hand writing)

For more information and support contact JCU on our toll-free lines!

Read more:

How to make a will and why

What happens if no will was made before passing away?


Legal Sources – Succession Law:

The law applicable to succession in Uganda is: