P:S If you were dropped from the sky, with no birthdate or relative somewhere on earth, then you should definitely not be reading this. For those who do not fall into the above category, then this is for you; you will find it interesting.
Heard of the saying, where there is a will, there is a way? Well, I beg to disagree because…
If you still believe making a Will is unnecessary at this phase of your life or at any phase, you should change that thought. This is because, where there there’s a (valid) Will, there is
• A Relative:: You are not an island, neither are you Silversurfer or Superman. Thus, you have relatives somewhere on planet earth. One way of showing how much you care for relatives is making provisions for them after your death. You really do not need 30 billion in the account to declare your intentions towards them. Make a Will, even if all you have is a dollar ($ 1) and do not leave what happens to your loved ones to chance.
• Peace: if you want to actually REST IN PEACE, then you should be calling your lawyer as soon as possible. Pause. A Will does not and can never bring bad omen that will lead to death, but believe it or not, death is inevitable. In addition, you can minimise all those tantrums you see displayed on Africa Magic just because an individual did not do the needful thereby leading to the application of customary laws of inheritance in the distribution of his/her properties.
Make provisions for your adorable family and avoid migraines both here on earth and in heaven.
• A capable individual: Contrary to popular opinion, a Will is not for the old. You do not want to make a Will when you are senile as this may lead to the Will being contested in court. There must be sound disposing mind at the time of making the Will and at execution. In addition, as long as you are 21 or 18 –( If you reside in Lagos, Nigeria or work in the Armed forces), you are capable of making a Will.
If you are wondering, what if I acquire a private jet next month? Don’t worry, you can make changes to your Will as many times as you wish throughout your long healthy life.
• There are at least two capable witnesses and it is properly executed; Make a valid (duly signed) Will and you are certain that both God and the law will protect your wishes after your demise. Note that no one is above the law. Yes! Not even the mean relatives in Nigerian movies;
Finally, where there is a Will,
• There is full disclosure of your intentions: A Will is not just for sharing that favorite shirt or giving your land in Eko Atlantic City to loved ones but also to let out those secrets which are probably eating you up, to give instructions, state your fears, express your wishes and any other information you would love your loved ones to know.
Thus, if all you have is some piece of clothing or you own half of Lagos, as soon as possible, call, text, email, dm, chat up or facetime your legal practitioner; fix a meeting and put those intentions in writing before it is too late. Remember, where there is a Will, there is Wisdom.
Kehinde Takuro is a graduate of the University of Lagos with particular interest in Cyber & Technology Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Property law and Commercial law practice in general. She is an avid writer and blogs in her spare-time.