NEXT OF KIN AND INHERITANCE: HOW IT WORKS IN NIGERIA

Nigeria is a very cultural society and sometimes we the citizens rely on the traditional customs for daily norms and ways of life. Each culture has its norms, values and way of life and it would be almost impossible for some individuals to live their lives without a little cultural influence. It is evident in our mannerisms, greetings, business dealings, planning and celebrations amongst others.

Some cultures do not take into proper consideration things like passing on wealth, assets or properties. They believe the first child or male child should inherit all. This by itself is a flaw as you should be free to make preparations for your loved ones as you deem fit. You shouldn’t leave cultural norms to decide how your inheritance is distributed.

Another common belief is that ‘I do not need to write a Will as I have my spouse or child as my next of kin on all forms/documents’. Naming someone as your next of kin doesn’t guarantee that they will receive your assets and properties should anything happen to you. Only a Will can do that.

Your next of kin can be your spouse, child, relation or friend and in some instances it is possible to name more than one person as your next of kin. In cases of emergency, accident or death your next of kin would be notified and kept informed about your condition and treatment. Your next of kin is not entitled to inherit from you neither is such person superior to the beneficiaries you may have listed in your Will. Lastly, your next of kin has no legal right against anything that concerns you.

If you want to ensure your assets and properties end up with your loved ones you can do so but not by listing the individual as your next of kin. The fool proof way to set this in motion is by having a valid Will that protects and provides for the future of your immediate family; your spouse and children, as well as your other loved ones.

 

A Will does keep your home peaceful, stops unnecessary problems and can save your loved ones fees from court cases and what not. Most importantly, a Will has the necessary legal backing and will see that your investments and property do not go to the wrong hands when you are no more.

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