5 Reasons Why you need to create a Will
You may have seen a lot of uncompleted buildings around your area from the time you were growing up to the time you finally left home to go and make your mark out there in the world. Some of these abandoned projects were abandoned because the owners genuinely had no money to complete them; others were abandoned because the owner of the constructions died and, since his family had no prior knowledge of the fact that they owned such a project, it is then forgotten for countless years whereas he must have dependents who can continue with it and finish it.
The above sound familiar? For many, the answer is yes.
Why do you need a Will?
That is the one question many people ask themselves: give me one good reason why I should create a Last Will and Testament. In the case of Nigeria, the case is worse. Superstitions and personal terror of the phenomenon called death has held several back from creating a Last Will and Testament that will state how their estate will be distributed when they die. Tell a typical Nigerian man or woman to get a Will created and they will ask you if you want them to die soon.
Well, there are estate planning laws, and these laws will guide how your property will be shared in the course of your death. And the estate will be distributed among your personal representatives. But the question will be: Who gets what?
So, here are five reasons why you should create a Last Will and Testament.
Appoint Guardians for your children who are minors
When you create a Will, you can appoint legal guardians for your children who are minors. These legal guardians, if and where appointed, shall have charge over your children (minors) until they attain the age of majority and can now make their own way in the world. At least, you will comfortable in the knowledge that your young children will be looked after by someone you trust, not by some random relative who will take them in out of a sense of responsibility and not give them the love and care they deserve.
To make sure that Customary Laws of succession will not apply to your wealth
If you die without creating a Will, then note that the Customary Laws of your locality will apply when it comes to the disposition of your property among your family. So, if you do not want Customary Laws to apply, then create your Will and share your property among your dependents and even friend in the way you wish (if you did not create a Will, then your friends whom you may likely want to get something from your estate will be entitled to nothing when you die).
To choose those who will inherit your property
People have things they attach a sentimental value to and they know which person(s) among their dependents will be likely to take better care of each of their properties. So, when you create a Will, you have the freedom to distribute your property expressly according to your wishes. You can even choose to exclude certain persons from your estate if that is what will make you happy.
To have peace of mind
When you create a Will, you will automatically feel confident that you have done the good you can do by the people that need you the most. You will be comfortable and happy in the knowledge that when you die, your loved ones are provided for in exactly the way you want them to be provided for. They will not have to fight over who gets what because you already have their shares of your property worked out in advance.
To protect your business
Creating a Will will enable the Testator to choose how his business will be managed, and into whose hands the management of said business will go to. A Testator knows the right person(s) that will handle his business well after he’s gone, so he will act accordingly through his Will to turn the business over to them in the even of his death.
Time to Start
Do not say that you will wait for when you are much older before you make your Will. You know why? You can kick the bucket at ANY time, and leaving your estate－especially if it is quite sizable－without any plan might mean financial and legacy suicide. Then, dependents will start fighting over who gets what; uncles and extended family members will come in and start grabbing. Is that what you want? No? Then start making your plans to secure your estate NOW.
About the Author:
Kingsley Ugochukwu Ani L.P. is a legal practitioner, blogger, corporate branding expert, and seasoned Intellectual Property expert living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. You can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org or on Linkedin, Facebook, and connect with him on Twitter. he is also a freelance writer and copyeditor.
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