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Nengi Phil-Ebosie: It’s Not Enough to Have a Next of Kin! You Also Need a Will

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It's Not Enough to Have a Next of Kin! You Need a WillKnowledge isn’t power until it is applied Dale Carnegie.
Do you think that being named the next of kin on all necessary documents with a financial institution automatically qualifies you access to personal assets such as Pension, Cash at bank etc. of your deceased relative? Well, I hate to say this, you are wrong.

Most people think that been named as the next-of-kin automatically permits them access to the liquid assets (Pension, cash at bank) of a pension-contributor in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, death.

Investigation and discussions with the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) revealed that the next-of-kin has absolutely no right or access to the pension-benefit of the deceased. Access to the pension of the deceased can only be possible upon presentation of a will, or a Letter of Administration (LOA), stating the next-of-kin as a beneficiary to the fund.

The next-of-kin is required by these financial institutions purely for communication purposes.

Scenario 1
Nkem works in the banking sector and is married with a child. Nkem passes on intestate. Nkem’s father, husband and sister all came to lay claim to her pension contribution with her PFA. Even though she named her husband as the next-of-kin with her PFA, she was having marriage troubles and considering separation before her death. As such, her sister who has custody of the child, has been taking responsibility of the child after the death of Nkem.

In this case, the PFA is helpless and unable to release funds to any of the above stated relatives. As such, the probate registry will be the deciding factor with regards the beneficiary of her assets.

Scenario 2
Mason lost his dad, Mr. Dan intestate. He and his sibling didn’t go on time to claim daddy’s pension. Unfortunately, they were told that his family had already claimed the funds when they eventually went to claim daddy’s pension. Apparently, daddy’s siblings had collected his pension telling Mason and his sibling that the funds were needed to look after their grandparents, Dan’s parents who were still alive. Mason and his siblings never got anything from their father’s pension.

Scenario 3
Tayo works with an oil and gas company. Unfortunately, Tayo dies without a will. Tayo’s wife, Deola is in mourning and still in shock at the death of Tayo to think of filing the Letter of Administration. Fast forward to few weeks after Tayo’s death, Deola was contacted by the PFA as the next-of-kin notifying her that Mary, Tayo’s sister has laid claim to Tayo’s retirement saving benefit. Mary made available a Letter of Administration (LOA) stating her as the Sole-Administrator. Deola is devastated as her late husband’s benefits runs into millions of Naira. Unfortunately, the PFA cannot release funds based on next of kin, but to the nominated administrator on the LOA or the executor of a will.

Without a will, the deceased creates problem for their dependents and immediate families – as the case of the scenarios pictured.

Myths about wills

  • It is an invitation to the angel of death.
  • All of my assets will go to my partner and children.
  • Wills are for old people. Unfortunately, there is no age barrier or stated date of death.
  • Wills are for rich people.
  • People are of the opinion that nothing could go wrong when they die because they have closely knit family.
  • We don’t need a will since we don’t have any money
  • I don’t have any assets, I don’t need a will
  • A simple covers the disposition of the balance in liquid assets such as the Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
  • It dictates how you want your liquid assets to be distributed after you die.

With the simple will in place, scenario 1 pictured above is completely eliminated. In addition to the above, the assets will not get into the wrong hands.

Do you know that you can discuss with a trust company, and have your will renewed every year?

Do you have an experience you would like to share either good or bad, do share so others can learn from it.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Milkos

Nengi Phil-Ebosie is ardent reader of BellaNaija. She has several years working experience which spans across Treasury, Funds and portfolio management and financial planning. A Foodie and LOVES The Game of Thrones. She is a lover of God and is married with two children. Instagram @nengidambo, Email [email protected]

18 Comments

  1. Kiente Karla Dambo

    July 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Very insightful. A refresher course on what we know and what what rake for granted.
    Great job!

  2. sade

    July 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Great article. My dad died and left no will. All his properties were sold by his elder brother who apparently is now late. Am a single mum and will not want my kid to go through all this. Though i do not have much now but i will definitely contact my friends today who are lawyers and get informed about how to go about it.

  3. Emmauel Donkor

    July 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Nice article! Great job

  4. Animi

    July 14, 2017 at 11:49 am

    A great piece, very insightful. I have learnt a lot. Good work Mrs phil

  5. Preye Angaye

    July 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    A great piece. It seems a big struggle to sit down and start itemising your assets and doing the needful in terms of apportionment. Just makes you think you should be working more instead of counting what does exist already. All the same your article is a wake up call to reality. I shall do mine. Thank you.

  6. Micah

    July 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Please How do I go about writing a valid will.i just acquired my 1st property and hv few financial investments here and thereI hv kids..is it enough to buy the n kids name ?

    • Anon

      July 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      You need a lawyer to help you with it.

    • Nengi

      July 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      I would advice you get in touch with a lawyer to do this.
      For a SIMPLE WILL (Which covers ONLY LIQUID ASSETS LIKE THE PENSION CONTRIBUTION), you can get in touch with a TRUSTEES to do so for a fee of course.

  7. Nengi Phil-Ebosie

    July 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    @Emmauel Donkor………. thank you.

  8. Nengi Phil-Ebosie

    July 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    @Micah……..would suggest you get a lawyer.
    However, for a SIMPLE WILL which covers liquid assets like the pension contribution, a trustee can do same for you. I know some of the trustees would require a token which may be renewed yearly. You have FBN Trustees, StanbicIbtc also own a trustee.
    Hope this helps

  9. Abigail

    July 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Beautiful and important article. A need to know information for an average Nigerian

  10. pep

    July 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    When my father pass away there was no will nor next of kin in place,and he had cash in the bank getting it out was difficult but we were advised to get LOA which we did more so it took almost a year for it to come and my mum was able to claim the money without any family issue
    My emphasis is on the LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION which we were told the govt will take 10% or so can’t remember and the process involved is too tiring and stressful ,you lost your loved one and they are demanding some % from what you are expecting lawyer fee is to be paid also and you also have to pay before LOA can be issue to you Haba kilode
    This aspect should be looked into

  11. Charity

    July 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    This is of great importance to all that desire to see his/her family at peace at any moment the Creator calls one home.
    Please having a will is so affordable with Leadway Trustee.
    Inbox me and we can offer a guide.

    Thanks Nengi

  12. Tosgee

    July 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Great post, very informative!

  13. Amo

    July 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Go Nengi… lovely and very insightful piece. You hit the nail on the head with a will being “an invitation to the angel of death”. A lot of Gen X and millennial’s say ” I don’t want to plan for death” yet we tend to forget, death is not a respecter of persons- e no dey look age.
    As always, good job on this write up!!

  14. Meeshells

    July 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Great and very enlightening piece!!

  15. Abdul

    July 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Good read!

  16. Seyi Katola

    July 17, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Thank you, Nengi for this insightful piece. It is a wake-up call to all of us as we tend to take things for granted when a little effort would have saved all, all the trouble and the expression of regret – had I know. A good lesson for us to act upon. May you be richly blessed for saving many future troubles.

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