Have you ever wondered why women in most parts of Nigeria pass through “hell” when their husbands die?
The world we are living in is a chauvinistic world, where the men dominate every sphere of life. This is why it seems men don’t usually pass through hell when their wives die.
You don’t need to wait to be old or at the point of death especially in the sick bed (bedridden) before you think of WILL writing.
The writing of a Will does not mean that you will soon die! This notion has kept back many people from writing Wills; thinking that once they write their Will death comes calling.
Do the needful! Write your Will TODAY!
WHAT IS COVERED IN A WILL?
Some types of property, including certain insurance policies and retirement accounts, generally aren’t covered by Wills. This is because when an individual takes out these insurance policies or opened the accounts, part of the process is to list the beneficiaries of the account. The most important things to provide for in your will are who will be your executors, who will be the beneficiaries of your assets, and in cases where there are minors – who the guardian(s) of the minors will be.
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT WRITING WILL BEFORE DEATH IN NIGERIA
If an individual should die without leaving a valid Will, he/she has died intestate. That usually means that the individual’s estate will be settled based on the Administration of Estate Laws of the state of domicile of the individual.
Mostly, village custom has been upper hand in this.
These Laws determine who inherits what.
When an individual dies and has left a Will, the process to administer the deceased estate is known as obtaining probate. By this probate, the court grants the executor(s) who have been appointed under the Will, the right to administer the estate of the deceased. In the case of a death without a Will, since there is no executor named, a judge appoints an administrator to serve in that capacity. An administrator also will be named if a Will is deemed to be invalid. The administrator will exercise the powers over the estate in accordance with the Administration of Estate Law of the State.
It will save your beloved wife and precious children the pains and trauma after your demise.
Nobody knows when death will come calling; it can be sudden or after a brief/ protracted illness.
Do it now that you are sound and fit!
What do you need to write a valid Will?
It is very simple, below are some of the requirements for writing a valid Will.
REQUIREMENTS OF A VALID WILL IN NIGERIA
A Will must be written by a person who is 21 years and above. Any Will written by a person below the age of 21 years is invalid except in a special circumstance example those who are in active Military Service.
2. Sound mind
A Will must be written by a person of sound mind. The testator must be mentally sound for him or her to make a valid Will. He must understand the nature of the act he was performing and appreciate the effect of his disposition.
3. Absence of undue influence
A Will ought to be made devoid of any undue influence or pressure from any of the beneficiary to the Will. In the event of any form of undue pressure or coercion on the testator (writer of the Will) the Will be declared null and void.
1. Written Will
Every Will must be in writing to guard against fraud. The only people who can make an oral Will are people in active Military service.
A will must be signed by the maker of the Will (Testator) in the case of a man or (Testatrix) in the case of a woman. Where the Testator or Testatrix as the case maybe is an illiterate and cannot sign the Will but can make a thumb print, an illiterate Jurat must be included in the Will duly signed by the interpreter. The signature comes at the end of the Will.
The Testator’s signature must be acknowledged in the presence of at least 2 witnesses. It can be more than 2 witnesses but not less than 2 witnesses. These 2 witnesses must all be present at the same time when the Testator is signing the Will. Failure to follow this procedure renders the Will invalid.
Who Can Benefit from a Will in Nigeria?
In as much as you are at liberty to include anyone in your Will as a beneficiary, these following people MUST not be left out in your Will. They are;
- The deceased surviving spouse
- The deceased former spouse who has not remarried
- The child or children of the deceased including illegitimate and adopted children whether they are above 21years and married
- A person who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to any marriage of the deceased e.g. a child of the deceased’s wife by a former marriage.
How Can I Revoke/ Cancel my Will in Nigeria?
You can revoke or change or cancel your Will in the following ways;
- By destruction of the Will, the destruction must be an intentional one and not destruction by accident.
- By making a new Will or codicil.
- By subsequent marriage of the Testator.
NOTE; Any personal estate or Real Estate which cannot be affected by Testamentary disposition under Customary law cannot be disposed by Will e.g unpartitioned family property.
We at Veraz Advocates can help you prepare your Will. Contact us today!