Why Do You Need A Will?
Williams died suddenly last year after a massive stroke at the age of 55. He was a very vibrant, charming, energetic and vivacious gentleman, a professional to the core. Unfortunately, he had absolutely no foreknowledge or premonition of death. He was most unprepared for his transition. Immediately after his death, his brothers dispossessed his wife Nora of the house built jointly by both of them. They did not stop at that they wrote to Williams’ employers demanding that his final entitlements be paid to them. Unfortunately, Williams did not write a will as he did not expect to die so soon. He died intestate.
The situation described above depicts uncertainty for Williams’s survivors. We also expect that rancor and strife are spelt out in no uncertain terms.
Tamuno had worked in several blue-chip establishments in the course of his 25 year work history in paid employment. In each of the organizations, he was mandate to open a salary bank account. In all, he had a total of 6 current bank accounts to his name, all of which he maintained even resigning from the establishments. He set up his own chain of businesses after retirement. In addition, over the years, he had acquired a substantial volume of shares in 13 publicly quoted companies, all of which were doing well in the stock market. He had also invested in real Estate all over the country. Being particularly business savvy, most of his properties were located in choice areas in the country’s major commercial nerve centres. There was also his country home he built, located in his town of origin. His father had insisted this was ‘a task that must be done’. Tamuno built a set of edifices on 2 acres of land allocated to him on his father’s land. On the business front. Tamuno had some foreign investors partnering with him in his manufacturing outfit. Equity participation was spelt out clear terms. Bank facilities were being serviced regularly. Everything was working for Tamuno. Very soon, his son, Ibirobo would join him in the business, he reasoned.
However, the unexpected happened with no warning at all! Tamuno died in a plane crash on the way from Aso Villa. His wife, Alali was devastated. Nothing had prepared her for the loss of her husband. After the burial and grieving, she suddenly realized that she ought to take charge of her late husband’s estate.
Interestingly, Tamuno’s large extended family gave his nuclear family necessary support and did not make undue demands from his wife and children. The only problem was this…. Wait for it! No one knew Tamuno’s worth. Unfortunately, his wife knew next to nothing about his businesses and investments. At best, she had a hazy idea about the business aspect of her husband’s life.
She had no knowledge about his bank accounts. Investments, business interests, annuity plans, life assurance policies, assets and liabilities etc. who would piece together the jigsaw puzzle? Was there anyone, anyone at all to fill in the gaps in information?
Regrettably, the foregoing scenarios play out daily. Countless unclaimed bank balances (home and abroad), properties and dividends are lost forever to banks and other institutions. Parcels of land and other properties are encroached upon simply because the owners are dead and no one else knows the properties exist! Many people keep information about their assets hidden from their spouses. What needless and avoidable waste!
What Is A Will?
A will is the expression by a person of wishes he intends to take effect only at his death. It is a testamentary document voluntarily made and executed according to law by a testator with sound disposing mind where he disposes of his property according to the Wills Law and gives other directives as he may deem fit. A will speaks from death and remains revocable by the testator during his lifetime.
…to be continued