Next of Kin in Nigeria: All You Need To Know…Next of kin rights and responsibilities..
REASONS YOUR NEXT OF KIN ISNT AS IMPORTANT AS YOU THINK
The person I used as my next of kin saw my account balance and asked me to change his name. Lol
You must have seen this joke trending on the Facebook timeline of some of your Facebook friends. Far from the laughter it created, it shows the erroneous believe Nigerians still have on issues of next of kin especially when filling bank related documents.
THE ERRONEOUS BELIEVE
An average Nigerian while making the choice of his/her next of kin believes that upon his or her demise the money in the bank account will be transferred to his or her next of kin . Unfortunately, this is far from reality. Upon the demise of an account holder in a bank the money doesn’t automatically go to his or her next of kin.
WHO INHERITS THE MONEY?
This will depend on whether the deceased died Testate or Intestate. To simplify further, to die Testate means that the deceased made a Will before his or her death while to die Intestate means that the deceased died without making a valid Will.
IF A WILL WAS MADE(TESTATE)
The money will be shared in accordance with the content of the Will. Whoever is the next of kin in the bank documents doesn’t count, the Will once valid supersedes every other documents.
IF NO WILL WAS MADE(INTESTATE)
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, their property (money inclusive) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy.
The laws to determine the rules of intestacy in Nigeria will be either Customary Law, Islamic Law, English Law or the Administration of estate Law.
The law to be used will be dependent on the incidence of marriage of the deceased. If the marriage was contracted under the Marriage Act, succession will be in accordance with English Law or the Administration of Estate Law. The spouses and children of the deceased stand at the Apex of benefiting from the money of the deceased in this instance and not the next of kin as used in the bank.
WHAT THEN IS THE ESSENCE OF A NEXT OF KIN?
The status of next-of-kin does not in any way imply that they stand to inherit any of the individual’s estate in the event of their death. It basically serves the purpose of who is to be contacted in cases of emergency. So while filling your forms at the bank, do not think that your next kin will inherit your money.
Make a Will so as to choose who inherits your money.
Next of kin in Nigeria or any part of the country means nothing. Hope you got value.
Written by Chukwunomso Marcel Emma