ASK SADE (November 2019)

November

Dear Sade,

My son who is 34 years old called to tell me that his wife of 2 years is encouraging him to write his Will. I’ve tried to wrap my head around it. I, his father who is 70 have not written a Will and this young woman is telling my son to. Should I be worried? My wife is already painting scary scenarios that cause us to suspect our daughter-in-law who has by the way been nothing but good to us. Please reply.

Thank you.

Mr. Anthony from Port Harcourt

 

ANSWER

Dear Mr. Anthony,

I can understand why you would have concerns regarding your daughter-in-law’s advice to your son.  Writing a Will is typically not a common practice for young people, and it could be perceived as absurd in our society, that a wife would be encouraging her young husband to have one in place. More so, there is the myth that writing one’s Will inevitably leads to the person’s death.

While your daughter-in-law’s actions may appear bold and even worrying to some, I encourage you to be dispassionate in your view so as to appreciate the benefits of actually having a Will in place, not just for your son’s benefit but also yours. A Will offers one peace of mind knowing that one’s estate and affairs are in order. It gives one the opportunity to determine how and to whom his/her assets would be distributed at his/her demise. It also serves as an inventory of assets to help family members identify the assets at the relevant time.

Where there is no Will in place to determine what becomes of a deceased person’s estate, family members left behind, in addition to the emotional distress they have to deal with at the loss of their loved one, are more often than not also left in a state of confusion as to how to administer or access the assets of the deceased. This is certainly not an ideal situation for anyone to leave his or her family in.

Please consider your daughter-in-law’s actions as noble and encourage your son to do what is best for his family. You should also take decisive steps towards putting your estate plan in place by engaging a reputable firm renowned in these matters to advice you on what estate plan best suits your circumstances.

I wish you and your family the very best.

Cheers,

Sade