10 Reasons Why you Must Make a Will

There are many reasons why it is desirable for you to write a will, the most important of which are:-

  1. It excludes the rules of inheritance under Native Law and Custom.
  1. It excludes the statutory rules of inheritance.
  1. Dependents of an Intestate, that is, a person who dies without making a will, would have to apply for grant of Letters of Administration under the provisions of the Administration of Estates Law operating in the state in which the intestate was ordinarily resident. This is an expensive, cumbersome and time-consuming exercise.
  1. A Will comes into effect immediately upon the death of the Testator/Testatrix, that is the man or woman, respectively, who made the will, and the executors of the will can immediately begin to give effect to the terms of the will even before the grant of Probate. It will be illegal for dependents of an intestate, to administer the deceased’s estate without first obtaining Letters of Administration.
  1. There is the risk of caveat/s being entered against an application for Letters of Administration of the estate of an Intestate. A caveat is a warning or objection made to the Probate Registrar not to grant the Letters of Administration to the applicant/s. Caveat may be entered by persons who have no right to the estate of the deceased, but who take advantage of the situation to lay a claim, such as the fact that when the Intestate was alive, they were dependent on him/her, and so are entitled to his estate. This will delay the grant of the Letters of Administration and therefore the administration of the estate. The dependents of the intestate may then face untold hardship, especially where they have no other means of support.
  1. The Testator/Testatrix can choose people he/she wants as his/her personal representatives and executors of his/her will, an important matter where the children of the Testator were still minors at the time of death. On the other hand, persons granted Letters of Administration may not be people the deceased would ordinarily choose to administer his/her estate.
  1. Upon the death of the last administrator to whom Letters of Administration have been granted, fresh grant has to be taken out in court, whereas by transmission, the executors of the last surviving executor could complete the winding up of the estate of the Testator/Testarix.
  1. The Testator/Testatrix can make adequate provisions in his/her will for his loved ones including spouse, parents, children e.t.c. On the other hand, the welfare of the dependents of an Intestate is subject to the whims and caprices of persons to whom Letters of Administration have been granted and decisions taken by them may not reflect what the Intestate may have done were he to be alive to make the decisions himself’/herself.
  1. It enables the Testator/Testatrix with infant children to choose a guardian/s for them and to give various directions such as directions as to burial, taking care of elderly parents etc.
  1. Above all, writing a will is an “ACT OF LOVE”.

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