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Ask Shade About Trusts: How Do I Convince My Husband to Write a Will?



Ask Shade

Hi Shade,
I need your help to save my marriage. I ran into an old friend who bitterly recounted her ordeal in the hands of her in-laws after her husband’s unexpected death. I was greatly disturbed by her story, I kept wondering what would happen to us if anything happened to my husband. I run a small business, but my husband mostly provides for our welfare and the children’s education. So, I asked him if he was thinking of writing a Will as nobody knows tomorrow.

He has been angry with me since then and has refused to eat anything I cook, claiming if I don’t have plans to kill him, I wouldn’t be talking about a Will when he is barely forty years old and has not even built a house.

Please Shade, is he too young to have a Will? Can one put small things like share certificates, land, bank account, pension funds in a Will? If so, how can I convince him to write a Will?
Lagos, Nigeria.

Hello Benita,
I can imagine what you are going through. Your situation is not at all peculiar, we deal with cases like this a lot – women encountering obstacles in their attempt to propel their husbands towards estate planning. However, the widespread misconception has led many to erroneously assume that Wills are for the extremely wealthy, aged, or polygamous.
Planning your Estate (or distribution of your assets after demise) is a very good decision and you do not need to be rich before doing so. A Will can include assets such as your bank accounts, retirement savings account (pension funds), investments, real estate, shares and many other assets.

You may explain to your husband that a Will doesn’t mean unexpected death, a Will is in fact more about attaining peace of mind than preparing for death as it prevents assets from being subject to the rules of intestacy, native laws and customs and religious practices. Writing a Will ensures that one’s wishes are carried out and assets are distributed to loved ones and dependents as you wish thereby reducing the likelihood of conflicts and dispute amongst surviving family members.

Bear in mind that even at the age of 21, one can write a valid Will, so your husband is not too young to write a Will. Writing a Will also enables surviving family members to be able to identify and recover all the personal assets that a person might have accumulated over the years but which no one else may be aware of – such as bank accounts and investment accounts.

Wills are something most people are afraid to talk about. It might not be so easy to convince your husband from the onset because it is a very sensitive topic. However, you might want to find a time he is relaxed and in a good mood and talk to him about the advantages of a Will. You should also let your husband know that designating a next of kin does not automatically transfer assets to that person.

Furthermore, you should consider writing your own Will also at the same time that he is writing his. This should not only give him comfort, but also assure you as to your children’s wellbeing should anything happen to you. Since you have a business, however small, it is wise for you to take steps towards organising your estate as well.

If it seems like you are not able to convince him at first, do not fret, building trust and changing perception takes time. Keep at it, as lovingly as you can and hopefully, you’ll succeed. Regarding his refusal to eat meals at home, perhaps you can convince him of his safety by sharing the meal with him. Since you are not likely to poison yourself, he should be convinced the food is safe if you eat together, from the same plate.

I wish you all the best, I am certain your marriage will survive this little hurdle.

Folashade has a wealth of experience in legal structuring, capital markets, and financing transactions. Her expertise also spans Private Trust, and other succession/estate planning alternatives. Currently, she is member of ARM Trustees Limited, a subsidiary of the ARM Group charged with asset protection, wealth transfer and generally, succession and estate planning.


  1. anomynous

    December 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    wise words!very insightful!

  2. Nancy Drew

    December 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Mschewwww which smelling property does he have that will not hear word? Tell him to do a trust fund or special bank account for the kids education. Almost every bank in Nig has an education fund account now. As for u and him well u will survive, if he likes he shouldn’t provide for his kids. Abi what is d big deal sef?
    See how u are convincing a grown man to do something beneficial for him! Well his kids will grow up and know whether he’s a good man or not, on how he treats their mother.
    Don’t stress it, these men are just wicked. Save what u can and change some documents name quickly. U can only do so much, even if he writes a will, u think he will show u?

    • omomo

      December 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      you are the type of woman advisor that young married women should avoid or they will find themselves in a bad situation…your advise is very confrontational and aggressive …what happened to trying to make the man you claim to love see reason with you

  3. Weezy

    December 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    This is why it is better to be single than to be married to an imbecile. And they say men are more rational than women ?

    • CrazyWorld

      January 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      You have menstruated your brain away.

  4. John

    December 29, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Story for the gods…I don’t trust Nigerian women for anything..they are always up to something…If I am that your husband. I will definitely write a will right now but I won’t include you in it….infact , let me tell you something …Your husband may already have a will ..he just doesn’t trust you or the way you went about it …I can already see a frustrated single lady above by the name @ nancy drew advising you in their typical fashion, which always backfires expecially now the trust is gone in your marriage.

  5. Summer

    December 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I agree with the trust fund/education account route. Maybe you should tell him about the friend and explain that the children’s education is most important to you. Use tears where necessary. And before anyone accuses me of being manipulative, he’s accused her of trying to kill him.

    You might want to start saving aggressively on the side though. Maybe the prices of foodstuff and household items need to go up. Blasted APC?

  6. Will writer

    December 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Well said Sade. Those are very wise words. It is all about achieving peace of mind. 21 is not too young to write a will.

  7. John Matilda

    December 29, 2017 at 11:02 pm


  8. John Matilda

    December 29, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    This is the problem I have with women, especially in these jet age, with all the exposure and what not, you are still waiting for the man to write a will, what stops you the wife from writing a will?, or is there a constitution or law that prevents you from writing one? And the little property (ies),you possess as a couple was it owned previously by your husband before you became a couple or was it bought in just your husband’s name after the marriage??. That is why I always say be financially empowered before getting married to avoid stories that touches the brain. How can you have all that education and exposure and you are still so dependent on the husband, imagine having HBP just thinking if your husband died just because of the financial responsibility tied to him being alive. Na wa o

    • Mama

      December 30, 2017 at 5:26 am

      Ermm…they are couple; if property was acquired in both their names, they should both come to an agreement before making any decisions. Same way I would frown at a man being the sole decision maker about family assets without consulting his wife is the same way i would a woman. In any case, expecting him to write a will on his own property to secure his family’s future is within her purview, especially if they have kids.

      Seems to me the main problem here is that the man in this case is an illiterate (for lack of a better word). I say so because it is one thing to see writing a will as preempting early death-i mean, the process itself makes you more aware of your mortality. But to go to the extent of refusing to eat your wife’s food on the suspicion of poisoning just because she mentioned writing a will is ridiculous. This is what happens when women marry just about anyone just to be married. It looks like Mr. Oga watches too much nollywood in his spare time. She would have to find a way to pacify the manchild before any progress can be made. Lets hope he doesn’t kaput before then.

  9. Temi Tope

    December 30, 2017 at 7:00 am



  10. Yellow sun

    December 30, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Sorry poster..but your husbands sense of reasoning is minute…
    Poison him indeed..u didn’t poison him since it’s now u want to..
    Sha convince him to write a will or trust fund..
    As my hubby did without any prompt…he did life insurance seeing as we don’t have any substantial property right now ..
    So pls insist on it..and let him know if u want him dead..u won’t need a will to do so…mscheeew

  11. iykman

    December 30, 2017 at 8:48 am

    So what if she dies before the husband?

  12. CrazyWorld

    January 1, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    What happened to getting a trustfund for real? If he has no property or anything of financial value as you claim, then what will is he writing? All the ladies commenting too, one day when your husband ask that you write your will, please don’t come here and call him that name that you love to call Tbills o.

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