Nwakaego was still in deep mourning over the loss of her husband of 10 years. Hyginus was buried just 2 days ago. Her children, still too young to comprehend the hand fate had just dealt them, fought for the TV remote. Suddenly the doors flew open and there was Princewill, her husband’s brother along with some of her in-laws demanding the papers to the house and keys to the cars. It was their tradition after all; a man’s property belonged to his family. Her sister-in-laws were actively packing bags and throwing them out of the house.
In a short while, Nwakaego, her children and their belongings were locked out of their home. She knew the hardships she and her children would have to face. If only Hyginus had listened to her pleas in the long months of his illness, to write a will protecting their interests.
Many people entertain the superstitious belief that writing a will is an invitation to death. This is untrue. The importance of making a will cannot be overemphasized, whether you are rocking your 20’s, in your late 30’s or turning 60.
Here are some reasons why you should write a will:
1. It ensures the wellbeing of your family and loved ones after death by protecting them from predators who may wish to exploit their situation. It is important to have a will to protect your spouse, children and other dependants who might become victims of harsh family, cultural or communal practices where no will is in place.
2. A will ensures that your loved ones receive the assets you want them to have while making provisions for their future. You can dictate and decide “who receives what” of your property upon death and the terms upon which they can receive it. This way, you can eliminate clamour for your property by those who are excluded by the will.
3. You can appoint a guardian for children who are minors. Any parent would want the safety and wellbeing of their child even after passing on. Unfortunately, many people cannot determine what kind of care their children will receive or who will care for them after they have passed on. As a result, many of these children are moved from home to home or are taken in by the State Welfare Board, strangers and people who may not care for them or have their interests at heart. Some of these children also become destitute, roaming the streets without any form of care. A will can prevent this as you can choose a guardian for your child, someone whom you know and trust to take care of your children.
4. A will makes it easy for a person to arrange his affairs while he is alive. This makes it easier on the loved ones left behind to resolve matters regarding the deceased’s estate after his passing. Leaving a will behind makes the passing of a loved one less difficult as the process of sorting a deceased person’s estate without a will is rather tedious and can result in unnecessary scuffles and brawls amongst family members.
A will can be amended at any time to reflect changes in the life of its maker. These changes range from change in marital status, death of beneficiary, acquisition of more properties or assets, sale of existing ones etc.
Learn more about wills from our previous article