A Will is not something we tend to think about on a day to day basis but it is hugely important. This article highlights some very important reasons why you should take the time to make a Will.
A Will Makes Your Family Legally Safe
No-one likes to think about death, especially our own death or that of someone close to you, whether family or friend. However, having a Will in place if the worst does happen can help your immediate family immensely. Should you die intestate, that is without a Will, your property will be distributed following the rules of Nigeria’s law.
For the majority of cases, your properties will be passed onto your next of kin. Your property is made up of any assets owned by you minus any liabilities e.g loans or debts to be paid. A person’s property can amount to a few belongings such as jewellery and a small amount of savings or can be vast and include many assets such as property, land, shares, savings and cars.
Without writing a Will can you be sure the correct people will receive your Properties?
Here are 2 common examples where the person you may think will inherit your properties may actually be excluded if they are not specified in a Will:
If you are living with a partner but are not married, they may not be entitled to your home without it being specified in a Will. You may think of them as your next of kin, but legally they are not. An ex-wife or ex-husband will have more claim to your property.
Any step-children that you may love and think of as your own will have no automatic legal rights.
If you have invested in property other than your family home it will be treated as free estate and will be distributed in the following strict order of succession:
Your children come first
If you have parents and siblings they share your free property
If you only have parents, they take your free property
If you have siblings, but no parents, they inherit (or their children if they have predeceased)
If you have no children, parents or siblings your surviving spouse comes next
If you really don’t want your immediate family to inherit your properties, then you must write a Will. They only way your best friend or chosen charities can inherit is if they are clearly stipulated in a Will.
Having a Will written and checked by a Solicitor makes it less likely that it can be contested by another member of your family.