My dad died without a Will. My mom too. Every day, I bless God for the lives they lived and for the family I was raised in. You see, my dad in particular, was one of the most structured human beings I’ve known. Because he’d had some health challenges before his death, he made his kids co-signatories to his accounts. My mom did too. My dad also had this brown suitcase where he kept important documents. So, after his death, my siblings and I had a record of everything he owned, arranged in order.
However, because my mom and dad passed away within a short period of each other and had made each other “next-of-kin”, small wahala dey!
Bank accounts were not an issue. Remember I mentioned the kids were already co-signatories. Now that I think of it, that was a testament to the kind of kids my parents raised. I’m not sure every parent can give their kids access to their bank accounts without fear or worry. The problem was fixed assets and work related benefits. Then, there were assets my dad inherited which were co-owned with his own siblings. Another level of complication. So, as there was no Will, my siblings and I held a family meeting.
I bless God I don’t have an older brother who is one kain or greedy. In less than 15 minutes, we had appointed executors within the family and also decided to seek a Letter of Administration from the courts validating them. That’s how we entered Nigeria’s legal system. In summary, there were costs, many months of simply waiting and then more costs. A Will would have minimised these.
I have learned from this experience. Last year, I documented everything I owned and began my Will. Here’s why…
I am not married and my dad was my next-of-kin when he was alive. If anything happens to me, I need a clear executor to dispose of my assets. I have very clear ideas of who my beneficiaries are and my desires for them.
I have an equity stake in a few companies. If I die intestate (without a will), I’m going to create unnecessary hold ups for partners and shareholders. I need a Will.
I have cryptocurrency assets. I must not die without putting in place a method for accessing my secret keys. I shouldn’t have wealth floating around in cyberspace.
If you have assets, investments or equity in companies, YOU NEED A WILL. If you have loved ones who depend on your income, you need a will. (Next-of-Kin is not the same thing as a legal will!) If you have worked hard and don’t like the idea of people reaping where they did not sow (should you die intestate) then, you need a will.
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For more of my random thoughts about life, you should get my book, UNSCRIPTED.If you have assets, investments or equity in companies, you need a will. Click To Tweet If you have loved ones who depend on your income, you need a will. Click To Tweet