Nigerian Law Forum
Many people strive daily to create a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their beneficiaries. However, it's common to forget the importance of preparing a will, a legal directive for your asset redistribution after your passing. We shall delve deep to appreciate the true value of a will.
There exist numerous misconceptions about will preparation which often paints it distastefully. Creating a will isn't beckoning demise; it's smart planning. A will guarantees the protection and wellbeing of your loved ones, even in your absence. Consider it as an emotional assurance to those you hold dear, intending to secure them financially.
Preparing a will has less to do with confronting mortality and more about managing your belongings after your demise. Pose this question to yourself: would you prefer deciding the fate of your wealth or entrusting that responsibility to the law?
If you meet your end without a will, legally known as 'intestate,' the state laws ascertain your asset redistribution. This could lead to unwanted heirs or unsatisfactory tax proportions. Hence, a will empowers you to control your asset distribution, adhering strictly to your preferences.
Many believe that only the aged or affluent need a will, leading younger individuals to delay drafting their will. This belief is fundamentally flawed. Every adult, regardless of age or asset value, needs a will. The importance rests not in the asset value but its significance to those it can benefit.
Creating a will is paramount for individuals with dependents. It caters to spouses, children, or even pets in your absence. In essence, establishing a will ensures a seamless execution of your last wishes and mitigates potential family disputes.
Creating a will ought to be everyone’s priority. It preserves your voice in your absence and prevents family feuds over your estate. Although perceived as discomforting, creating a will is crucial to ensure your beneficiaries' peace of mind and secure their future.
A will, contrary to common belief, isn't just a list assigning ownership of your assets posthumously. This perception only grazes the surface of its actual role. A will is more than a tool for dividing your estate; it is a plan for emotional assurance and peace of mind.
4.1 Personal Control
A well-constructed will provides a sense of control. It guarantees that your desires, regarding issues ranging from dependents' care to asset distribution, will be enacted faithfully upon your demise.
4.2 Preventing Disputes
A will also provides lucid directives, thereby eliminating misinterpretation or confusion. This aspect is critical as it prevents emotional conflicts among family members during times of grief, preserving unity in the process.
4.3 Emotional Assurance
To sum it up, presenting a will to your beneficiaries is akin to providing them with a layer of emotional protection during challenging times. It communicates your earnest concern for their future, particularly with their financial security.
5.1 Legal Distribution of Assets
In the absence of a will, the distribution of your assets would adhere strictly to statutory laws. This process, also called intestacy, often fails to mirror your desires accurately.
5.2 Potential Family Feuds
Lack of a will often sparks off disputes among family members, which can potentially give rise to long-standing familial feuds. This is mainly due to the absence of clear directives regarding your wishes.
Crafting a will does not need to be intimidating. First, list all of your assets. They can range from properties and cars to jewelry and artworks. Even items of lesser value but high sentimental relevance are important. Decide who will receive these assets after your death. The chosen individuals are called beneficiaries. They might be family, friends, or even organizations.
Second, choose an executor for your will. This must be a person you trust. They have the task of managing your estate and ensuring your will is executed as you wish.
Third, get a lawyer to check your will. You can draft a basic will alone, but having it reviewed by a legal expert is wise. They will confirm its legality and whether your intentions are clear. The lawyer can also spot any potential legal issues you might have missed and suggest changes.
Finally, know that a will isn't an unchangeable document. Life changes such as marriage, divorce, births, or deaths may need you to update your will.
Crafting a will ensures the observance of your final desires. This document extends solace to those you've left behind. It fosters a tranquil division of your assets. Considering its significance, we encourage all adults to reflect on its necessity.
This involves safeguarding your legacy and defending those dear to you. It is prudent to solicit legal counsel for the security of your will. This measure may confirm its robust, dispute-free standing in the judiciary. Our legal team is prepared, willing, and equipped to provide further direction on this matter.
Michael Akerele, LLB, MICL, BL
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