Wills and Estate Planning

Top 14 Reasons Why You Need A Will

  1. Your children

First and foremost, think about your children. Remember you have made a lifelong commitment to nurture and care for them but you can only carry out your desires on this side of the grave. You need to make prior provision for their guardianship upon your death. Their welfare will be guaranteed as provisions for schooling, medical expenses and day to day expenses can be administered through a trust fund set up by the will.

2. Your Estate distribution

You get to decide how your estate will be distributed when you are gone. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be carried out. With a will, there will be an assurance of disposal of your property in accordance to your wishes. Your property will be divided among your loved ones according to your wishes. There will be certainty as to the distribution of property to the last item.

i.              Relative and Family Cohesion: Having a will helps minimize family fights and conflicts that may arise over your estate. Such disputes have been known to be responsible for frequent discord and death among family members.

ii.             Distribution of some of your property e.g., jewellery can begin immediately upon your death hence the likelihood of damage to or theft of estate property is reduced.

iii.            Details: A will helps determine the who, what and when of your estate.

3. Avoid a lengthy probate process

Contrary to common belief, all estates go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will however speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you would like your estate divided. Dividing your estate without your input can cause unnecessary delays. The period could span up to 12 months or more, depending on several factors.

4. Cost effectiveness

It is quicker and cheaper to secure probate especially where the will is not challenged than to secure letters of administration.

5. Opportunity to show generosity

Through the instrumentality of a will, you have the opportunity to display positive acts of generosity by benefitting those who would not ordinarily be entitled to share in your estate, e.g., charities. Where a person dies without a will, only persons related to him and not outsiders can benefit from his assets.

6. Opportunity to show appreciation

You may express through a will your affection towards someone or appreciation of a friend who has helped you during your lifetime.

7. Identification of assets

A will itemizes all assets owned by the testator in his lifetime. It makes it easy to locate and identify them in their various locations.

8. Appointment of executors/trustees, solicitor and children’s guardians

A will gives you the liberty to determine who the executors/trustees to your estate, as well as guardians of your (minor) children will be. These may not even be family members but should necessarily be trusted people. A will helps in excluding impostors and meddlesome relatives who may want to reap from where they have not sown.

9. Social and economic security for your family

Where a will is well crafted, it provides social and economic security as well as an organized welfare packages for your family.

Pastor (Mrs.) Titi Adegbile is a legal practitioner of repute and heads the National Legal Department of the Redeemed Christian Church of God as the National Legal Adviser and Director, Legal Services.

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