Will writing in Nigeria – in our discussion on Letter of administration in Nigeria, we discussed two things namely:
We stated that Intestate means to have died without will. The Opposite of Intestate is testate and this means that the deceased left a will before his or her demise.
This subject is an expository handout on will writing in Nigeria with the aim of making you eligible to know the concept and write same for yourself
The major outlines for this course are:
- What is a will
- Who is a Testator?
- Who is an Executor?
- The concept of writing a will?
- Deposition of a will
- Calling a will into action
What is a will
A will is defined as a legally admissible document on which is documented the last wishes of a sane man or a woman known as the testator for the purposes of handing over his or her estate to the intended beneficiary in case of his or her demise.
It helps resolve possible estate issues and the running around for letter of administration when the testator dies.
This answer the question why is writing a will important?
Take note of this before we proceed, once there is a valid will in place, there is no need for letter of administration anymore.
Who is a Testator?
A testator is the one who writes the will, who owns the will and of whose sane opinion the will represents.
Who is an Executor?
An executor is the one that is nominated by the testator and charged with the following functions:
- He or she calls the will into action or he or she has the job of activating the will once the testator dies.
- He or she is charged with the responsibility of identifying the estates and listing them one by one.
- He or she is charged with naming the beneficiary of the estate as contained in the will
- Simply put the executor fulfills the content of the will without leaving any undone.
What is will writing
This is the art of writing a will that is admissible, balanced will with all the Ts crossed and all the “I”s dotted.
It is the actual penning down of the wish of a sane testator and signed by him too under the eyes of two witnesses.
The concept of writing a will
One thing a testator must know before penning down his or her own will is that the will must be admissible.
The conditions below must be met for a will to be admissible:
- The will must be out of the free will of the testator. The testator must not be persuaded.
- The testator must be an adult of 18 years and above. This answers the question can minors write wills? A minor cannot write a will however a minor can only revoke and amend a will instituting a marriage he or she was involved in as a minor.
- The will must be hand written or typed with either computer, type writer or other typing machine.
- The will must come from a sane testator which means that his or her mental abilities must not be in doubt.
- The will must be witnessed by at least two persons of reputable character
- The will must be signed by the testator. It is better if the testator signs against a known signature like Signature on the International passport, Driver’s license or other materials of such.
The above conditions answer the question of what makes a will valid in Nigeria?
Deposition of a will
When one is done writing his or her will, the next thing is to keep the will in a safe custody which is best done at the probate registry.
By this the will is registered at the probate registry under the eye of the reigning registrar and the necessary fees paid.
A special receipt with a serial number is tagged on the will, sealed and kept in a lock up. The testator is given a copy of the receipt which is best handed over to the Executor or family members / lawyer as the case maybe.
This whole process of taking the will into the custody of probate registry for safe keep is what is called deposition of a will.
Deposition of a will can also be done in a bank where the will is secured in the vault of a bank as a safe custody item.
Calling a will into action
This is done by the executor at the demise of the testator. When the testator dies, the will is then eligible to be called into action.
The receipt with serial numbers is taken to Probate registry and after the payment of will call up fee, the will will be empowered and so is all its content.
The will is then read to the hearing of all
At this juncture, everyone goes home with what they got from the will.
Before we wrap up this topic, let’s discuss this frequently asked question:
How do you write your will?
Please note this while writing a will. You are not writing a love letter, essay or just a piece.
Over the years the concept of will writing in Nigeria has become the last means of payback for wrongs done to one and other emotional settlements.
Although will writing may be emotional because it contains someone’s last wish, it must be straight, unambiguous and without sentiment.
Find below the steps you must observe on how do you write your will:
- First find out from yourself the reason you are writing this will?
- Ensure your will is not a tool for revenge, vendetta or vengeance.
- Your will must not entertain emotional, psychological and social bias if you don’t want it to be term a will from an insane person.
- Before you pen down the first letter, please ask yourself what is my purpose for writing this will
- Itemize and list down your estates and wishes.
- Itemize and list down your benefactor or benefactors
- Please provide two eligible witnesses.
- Get a trust or guardian if the beneficiary is a minor.
- Please ensure that you appoint an executor
- Deposit your will in the probate registry or as a safe custody in a bank for security purposes.
Which do you prefer at your demise than this topic will writing in Nigeria?
- To pay 10% of your hard earned money which your kids would have benefited from to probate in the name of inheritance tax for letter of administration secured on your estate at your demise…
- To allow your family burn after your demise because you did not leave a will or
- To simply leave a will and leave a continuity after you.
We wish you love as you ponder over this topic will writing in Nigeria.
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