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Crafting your legacy and preserving family harmony: Role of Estate Planning in minimising conflicts and disputes

Crafting your legacy and preserving family harmony: Role of Estate Planning in minimising conflicts and disputes

Building a legacy in Nigeria is about more than just money. It is about ensuring your family’s peace of mind and honouring your wishes for the future.

Imagine a grand patriarch like the Obi of Onitsha, a respected leader who has built a thriving family and business empire. His legacy extends far beyond the material wealth he has accumulated. It is about the values he instilled, the wisdom he imparted, and the future he envisioned for his descendants.

But what happens if the Obi’s wishes for his legacy remain unclear?

Suppose there is no documented plan for the administration of his assets under his demise. This can lead to family discord, fractured relationships, and even protracted legal battles – a situation far from honouring the Obi’s legacy.

This is where proper Estate Planning comes in. It is like a well-written family story, a clear roadmap that ensures your wishes are known and respected by future generations. Estate Planning allows you to build a legacy, one that fosters peace, unity, and the continued success of your family for generations to come.

The problem: Unclear wishes breed trouble

Across Nigeria, countless families experience unnecessary conflict and heartache after a loved one passes away. The root cause of this pain? Lack of proper Estate Planning.

Consider this scenario. You have developed a successful career and a life you are proud of; you have a loving spouse and children who rely on you. However, you did not create a Will or an Estate plan. You believe your family will handle things amicably in your absence.

Unfortunately, life rarely follows such a rosy script. Without a clear road map outlining your wishes for your assets and future care, your loved ones could face challenges like:

Misunderstanding and resentment: In the absence of a documented Will, siblings might disagree on how to distribute your property or business ownership. This ambiguity can lead to simmering resentment and arguments that tear families apart.

Legal battles and financial strain: Unclear ownership of businesses or properties can trigger protracted legal disputes. These battles not only drain the family’s financial resources but also create a toxic environment that strains relationships.

Unfulfilled legacy: You may envision your children working together to expand the family business. However, without a clear plan for succession and management, your dream can quickly crumble under the weight of uncertainty and conflict.

The lack of Estate Planning can lead to unexpected tax burdens for your family, further adding to their stress during an already difficult time.

Gani Fawehinmi’s story is a case in point.

When Gani Fawehinmi passed away, his meticulously crafted Will played a crucial role in resolving conflict and ensuring his Estate was distributed according to his wishes.

By detailing his burial arrangements, property allocations, and financial provisions, Fawehinmi’s Will provided clear guidance and minimised potential disputes among his heirs.

But imagine the deceased did not leave a Will? Or failed to plan their Estate?

When prominent Nigerian lawyer F.R.A. Williams passed away, he did not leave a Will, which led to complications and disputes over his Estate. This situation contrasts sharply with the case of Gani Fawehinmi, whose detailed Will ensured a smooth distribution of his assets and prevented family conflicts.

The difference between these two scenarios underscores the critical role of Estate Planning in safeguarding one’s legacy and maintaining family harmony. Properly documented Wills can effectively minimise disputes and ensure that one’s wishes are honoured, highlighting the importance of proactive Estate Planning.

Building a fortress for your legacy

A comprehensive Estate Plan safeguards your family’s future and ensures your legacy endures.

Just like a Will, a well-crafted Estate plan minimises disputes and guarantees crystal clear communication of your wishes.

This holistic approach acts as a fortress for your loved ones, protecting them from unforeseen legal and financial burdens.

Here is how a comprehensive Estate Plan provides peace of mind:

A tailored Will: A Will drafted by a qualified lawyer or Estate Planner specifically addresses your unique family situation and assets. It clearly outlines who inherits what, minimising the risk of misunderstandings and resentment.

Durable power of attorney: This empowers a trusted individual, like a spouse or adult child, to manage your financial and legal affairs if you are unable to do so due to illness or incapacity. This ensures your assets are handled according to your wishes, preventing delays or complications.

Trusts and beneficiary designations: These tools can be powerful additions to your Estate Plan. Trusts can be used to manage assets for specific purposes, such as caring for a minor child or a disabled beneficiary. Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies ensure these assets go directly to your designated loved ones, bypassing probate and minimising delays.

Tax-minimisation strategies: A crucial aspect of Estate Planning is considering the tax implications of your assets. A qualified Estate Planner can help you structure your assets in a way that minimises the tax burden on your beneficiaries. This ensures they derive the maximum possible value from your Estate, leaving them with more resources to build your future.

By combining these elements, you create a robust plan that minimises the risk of conflict and protect your loved ones. They would not be left navigating legal complexities or facing unexpected tax burdens during an already difficult time. Instead, they can focus on protecting your legacy.

Secure your Legacy.

Don’t leave your family’s future to chance. Just as a wise king secures his kingdom’s future, ensure your legacy endures and your family thrives by creating a comprehensive Estate Plan.

A well-crafted Estate Plan goes beyond just a Will, it prevents unnecessary complications.

Coronation Trustees, a leading Nigerian Trust company, with proven track record, can be your dedicated partner in building the fortress for your loved ones. Our team of experienced legal and financial professionals will work with you to understand your unique circumstances, wishes, and goals. We will guide you through the Estate Planning process, ensuring your Plan is:

Tailored to your needs: No two families are the same, Coronation Trustees will create a Plan that reflects your specific assets, family dynamics, and future aspirations.

Crystal clear: Ambiguity can lead to conflict. Coronation Trustees will ensure your wishes are clearly communicated, minimising the risk of misunderstandings.

Tax-efficient: We will explore strategies to minimise the tax burden on your beneficiaries, maximising the value they inherit.

Future-proof: Life circumstances can change. Coronation Trustees will review and update your plan as needed, ensuring it remains effective throughout your lifetime.

Take control of your legacy. Do not wait until it is too late. Contact Coronation Trustees today for consultation to guide you through the process and ensure your family inherits not just your assets, but also the peace of mind knowing your wishes are respected.

For enquiries on how to start, you can reach out to Coronation Trustees here:

Website: https://coronation.ng/institutional/about-us/trustees/
Email: [email protected]
Phone number: +2349074083213

By taking a proactive step, you will leave a legacy of love, security, and harmony for generations to come.