“Confirm you are your Husband’s Next of Kin” – Lawyer Advises Women

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Emem Udosen

At the Women Lectureship organized by the Festac Town Church of Christ in Lagos, on Friday, April 19, Mrs. Irene Bello, a Lagos-based legal practitioner, advised women to secure their future and that of their children by ensuring that they are their husbands’ next of kin.

She said this was necessary to avoid being exploited or stranded by their spouses’ kinsmen in the event of death.

The Lawyer explained that a person’s next of kin is their closest living blood relative or relatives. “If next of kin means your closest blood relative, who is your next of kin? Your spouse should be next to your kin,’’ Bello said.

She lamented the deprival women are faced after the death of their fathers and husbands, and advised the women to be cautious.

Speaking on the theme, “Christian Woman in a Contemporary Society”, Mrs Bello called on the women to be conscious of today’s changing world and be awake to changes around them.

“Women should be recognised and allowed to inherit their father’s property as done in developed countries. Know that before God, there is neither male nor female, saying everyone is equal”, she said.

Explaining further, the woman activist stressed that being their husbands’ next of kin was not a guarantee to accessing his assets on his death.

“To have legal right to your husband’s inheritance, you’ll have to apply to be appointed as administrators of the estate.

“This involves applying for a grant of letter of administration, once appointed as an administrator, you gain the legal rights to access the deceased person’s bank account and other assets.

“The intestacy rules stipulate who inherits automatically, that is, in absence of a will,” she said.

Mrs. Bello also mentioned that the will could be made to state who the deceased wishes to make the guardian for his children or dependents, and encouraged men to write their wills while alive.

“This does not mean you would die soon, it is part of your plans to secure their future in case of any eventuality”, she said.

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