By Odeon Odalo
A will is an article or written document which a citizen uses to specify the way and manner his or her estate should be managed after his death.
It is is a legal document made by a person who once lived, for the benefit of his heirs or those he has so desired to inherit his estate. The will shows that somebody is concerned about what happen to his properties, wealth, monies and jewelries, or simply put his assets after he has died.
A will is a serious duty by every citizen. It is a very important document which with all intent and purposes meets legal requirements.
The main purpose of the will is to enable the author to select his heirs. This is necessary because when a man dies he can no longer take decisions about his affairs on earth.
The will gives him the sole decision over the distribution of assets and the beneficiaries when he is no more. It also allows for children who are underage to be adequately taken care of thereafter.
The will allows the author to decide which individual could best serve as Executor of his estate- who is the citizen named by the author and given the duty of carrying out the instructions of the will.
The duty of the executor amounts to handing up or closing the chapter on the eye of the author of a will.
The executor has a big responsibility put on his shoulders by the author of a will.
Some of these responsibilities are:
*Finding out the assets of the deceased and managing them until they are distributed to the heirs.
*Figuring out who the actual inheritor(s) is/are and be sure that he/she is the preferred rightful person mentioned in the will.
*Handling details prior to the actual execution of the will such as terminating leases involving the author of the will and notifying banks and relevant bodies of his death.
*Managing the estate such as setting up an estate bank account which holds monies owed the deceased such as stock dividends, pensions and paying off other continuing expenses like bills, fees, fines and taxes.
There are certain requirements for a will to be legally binding.
*A competent testator: that is a person who dies making a will.
*The will must meet the requirements of law that it was not a fraud.
*The testator planned that it will have the full legal effect of a will.
*The author must be of a sound mind and healthy.
*The author must have the detailed list of his assets or properties, monies in bank accounts, jewelries, cars etc.
*There must have a trusted citizen who is named as the Executor of the will.
This is important because unless someone else other than the testator know about it, a will is useless and of no effect.
*Nobody except the Executor and the author have an idea of a will.
It is not advisable for potential inheritors to have this knowledge, to avoid controversies thereafter.
Essentially the will can only have the desired effect, or achieve the objective if the Executor is capable and honest enough to do the needful. That is making the will available when the testator dies and ensuring that the proper thing is done.