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How To Make A Will In Nigeria

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How to Make a Will in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to planning for the future, one thing that many people overlook is creating a will. While no one likes to think about their own mortality, creating a will is an important step in ensuring the well-being of your loved ones after you’re gone. In Nigeria, the process of making a will can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be a relatively straightforward process. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at how to make a will in Nigeria.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets will be distributed after your death. It is also used to name an executor who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. A will can be as simple or as complex as you like, but it should cover all of your assets, including any property, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings.

Why Make a Will?

Making a will is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which may not reflect your wishes. Additionally, making a will can help to avoid disputes between family members and loved ones after your death.

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Who Can Make a Will in Nigeria?

Any person who is 18 years or older and of sound mind can make a will in Nigeria. If you are not of sound mind, your will can be contested by family members or loved ones who believe that you were not of sound mind at the time of making the will.

Types of Wills in Nigeria

There are two types of wills in Nigeria: the holographic will and the notarial will. The holographic will is a handwritten will that is signed and dated by the testator (the person making the will). The notarial will is a will that is made in the presence of a notary public and two witnesses. The notary public is responsible for ensuring that the will is properly executed.

How to Make a Will in Nigeria

Making a will in Nigeria can be a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Gather Information

The first step in making a will is to gather all of your important information, including your assets, debts, and beneficiaries. Make a list of all of your assets, including any property, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings. Also, make a list of all of your debts, including any loans, mortgages, or credit card debts.

Step 2: Choose an Executor

The executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes after your death. Choose someone who is trustworthy and responsible, and who you believe will carry out your wishes according to your instructions.

Step 3: Choose Your Beneficiaries

Decide who you want to inherit your assets after your death. You can choose to leave your assets to family members, friends, or charities.

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Step 4: Consult a Lawyer

Consulting a lawyer is an important step in making a will. A lawyer can help you to draft your will and ensure that it is executed properly. They can also provide guidance on any legal issues that may arise.

Step 5: Draft Your Will

Once you have gathered all of your information and consulted a lawyer, it’s time to draft your will. Your lawyer will help you to draft a will that reflects your wishes and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your instructions.

Step 6: Execute Your Will

After your will has been drafted, it must be executed properly. If you are making a holographic will, it must be signed and dated by you. If you are making a notarial will, it must be made in the presence of a notary public and two witnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it necessary to make a will in Nigeria?

Yes, it is important to make a will in Nigeria to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

  1. How much does it cost to make a will in Nigeria?

The cost of making a will in Nigeria can vary depending on the complexity of the will and the lawyer’s fees.

  1. Can I change my will after it has been executed?

Yes, you can change your will at any time, but it must be done properly to ensure that it is legally binding.

  1. What happens if I die without a will in Nigeria?

If you die without a will in Nigeria, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy.

  1. How long does it take to make a will in Nigeria?
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The length of time it takes to make a will in Nigeria can vary depending on the complexity of the will and the lawyer’s availability.