Platform for Labour Action (PLA)

Ensuring democracy and social justice in the world of work.

The law of succession involves the management of the property of a deceased person. There are two ways to deal with a deceased person’s property depending on whether at death they had left a will or not.

The authority given to an executor/executrix (a person named in the will to distribute the property) is called a grant of probate

The authority given to an administrator (person given authority to distribute the property of a person who died without a will) is called letters of administration.

This is a document stating all the property you own and how you want it distributed upon your death and who should distribute it.

One may cancel a will in two ways by;

  • Making another will
  • By writing to declare that the original will is cancelled
  • By marriage. Once one gets married, the will that was made before that marriage is automatically cancelled.

Every person, man or woman above 18 years of age and is of sound mind can make a will.

A deaf, dumb or blind person can make a will if he/she is of sound mind.

A person who is usually insane can make a will during times when he/she is sane.

It should be noted that a will is invalid if at the time the person making it did not understand what they were doing.

What does a will contain?

  • All the names, address and age of the person making a will
  • Name of the executor(s). This is a person who will ensure that the testator’s instructions in the will are followed. This can be any person that you choose, man or woman.
  • Name and address of the person appointed as the heir.
  • A list of the properties belonging to the person making the will.
  • List of the children and the dependants
  • Name of the wife/husband
  • Names of persons who have received a share of the properties of the person making a will and what property has been given to each of them.
  • Signature or thumbprints of the person making the will.
  • Signature or thumbprints, names, addresses and occupation of at least two witnesses to the will.
  • It should be noted that a will must be in writing and signed by the person making it and the witnesses.

  • Make more than one copy of the will to avoid forgery of it.
  • The will can be kept by anyone who he/she trusts including lawyers, a bank, an insurance company, a close friend, a LC official, an elder, a relative, a religious leader, friend among others.
  • A person with whom a will is kept should make it known immediately upon the death of the testator.

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