A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” – Confucius.
If you wonder whether you need to plan for the future, the answer is most probably YES! No one wants trouble that could have easily been avoided. When you fail to plan, you end up with chaos and poor results. Planning ahead mentally prepares you and gives you confidence to do what needs to be done.
You can plan ahead with a Will. It gives you the opportunity to lay out how things should go on in your absence. Who gets what money, property or asset, who the guardian of underage children should be and so on. Never ever believe that it’s too early to write a Will. Or that you don’t have enough money or properties to pass on in a Will. Things as little as money left in the bank, shares, insurance, pension and gratuity, cars etc, they can go a long way to provide relief in the lives of loved ones left behind.
Planning ahead with a Will is also a good way of preventing disputes against your estate. You may want to include a no-contest clause, to keep beneficiaries in peace and harmony and from contesting your will.
On the other hand, a Power of Attorney can aid future planning by making short- or long-term decisions. The appointed person will also manage your affairs to the best of your interest. This person can handle your financial affairs when you’re ill, have an accident or are away from home for a while. They are also beneficial if it so happens that you can’t make decisions regarding your usual affairs. A power of attorney can be given to your relative, trusted friend, attorney or a reputable organisation.
As illness, injury, old age is almost certain in our lives, a power of attorney can come in to ensure there’s no stopping on your usual activities. Therefore, it will be his or her top priority to plan your affairs. The duties of the power of attorney will depend on the type of power you sign off on. There are different types of power of attorney and each type has different levels of control. For example you may want to place your medical power of attorney in the hands of one your cousin Tunde, who is a renowned medical doctor. You might also have a close family friend who is an experienced accountant. This person might be in a better position to assist with your investments if you became unable to do so.
A power of attorney is responsible for keeping accurate records of all transactions that he or she makes on your behalf. Thankfully, part of the law states that the power of attorney has to make decisions that are in your best interests. So any doubts of mismanagement or insensitivity should not bother you.
Planning for the future with a power of attorney in Nigeria basically ensures that your most important decisions are handled by someone you have appointed. Someone who you know and trust. The person will be dealing with personal financial affairs so they need to be trustworthy. It will be costly for all parties if you select just anyone who doesn’t have similar management goals and values as you.
A power of attorney in Nigeria is separate from a Will and ends when you pass on. If you’re intentional about passing on wealth to your loved ones there are major things to consider as discussed above. If you fail to plan, how do you intend to provide for their independence and a solid future?
One thing you should take away from this article is that you don’t need to have a fortune for you to write a Will or plan ahead.