Take absolute control of your assets by writing your will


The Senior Legal and Governance Manager at Enterprise Group PLC, Cynthia Apeadu has stated the need for every adult to have a will as soon as possible to have absolute control over one’s affairs even after death. She made the statement during a panel discussion on The Tomorrow Today Webinar, a monthly financial advisory series organized by Enterprise Trustees.

The webinar held on the topic “Succession Planning – Wills, Beneficiary Nomination & Management” highlighted the importance of writing a Will and nominating beneficiaries.

Explaining what a Will is and its importance, Cynthia Apeadu stated that, “A Will is a document which expresses your intention of how to disburse your personally acquired properties and assets. Thus, it is imperative you write a will to state clearly how your properties and affairs should be distributed and managed.”

She added that, “Without a will, the Intestate-Succession-Act-1985, (PNDCL 111) will kick in and the law only gives room to some specified persons including spouse, children, and surviving parents. Perhaps, those may not be the only people you intend to bequeath your assets to. Having a will gives you the power to decide who gets what. So, in simple terms, without a will, the intestate succession law will decide what happens to your assets after an individual’s demise.  This can be a tedious, lengthy and expensive process, compared to a will, which allows surviving beneficiaries faster and easier access to your assets.

For his part, the Head of Consumer Experience at Enterprise Trustees Nana Asante Amoako, explained the essence of adding beneficiaries to one’s financial products/policies such as Pension Accounts. He clarified during his submission that beneficiaries are people or entities that have been legally designated to receive the benefits from one’s financial products or accounts. Thus, recording those names allows the executors to better distribute the funds and assets accordingly without any constraints.

He explained that by The Ghana Pensions Law, Act 766“A will cannot determine the beneficiaries on one’s pension funds benefits, that is why the administrators of your pensions accounts requires nomination of beneficiaries to ensure surviving beneficiaries go through as painless an experience as possible as they go through processes to access one’s pensions funds after the demise of the account holder.” He added that a next of kin is only close relatives that may be contacted in the event of any mishap but are not beneficiaries in any way. Thus, it is important to clearly state who the beneficiaries are and the various percentages of your funds each beneficiary is entitled to.

Both panelists educated the masses on the other benefits and procedures of writing a will or nominating a beneficiary.

They stated that leaving a will reduces the potential for family disputes as it leaves clear instructions and determines administrators, executors and guardians of family members. They added that anyone who is above 18years old, owns property and is of a sound mind, is eligible to write a will.  In writing a will, legal names of beneficiaries must be used, and two or more people should always attest to the presence and in some instances, location of the will. A will can be kept at a safe place or the high court and can only be executed when the testator passes on.

In her opening statement, Casandra, a financial Advisor, host of Money Hub Show and moderator for Tomorrow Today Webinar said about 80% of people in Ghana die without a Will leaving their families and loved ones sometimes in prolonged battles over their properties and assets.

Enterprise Trustees, organizers of The Tomorrow Today webinar series is the Pensions Management subsidiary of Enterprise Group Plc and was one of the first Corporate Trustees to be licensed as a private pension corporate trustee in 2010 by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA). It is the leading Corporate Trustee in Ghana providing tailor made solutions to provide long-term financial security for all Ghanaians.

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