Legal wills may always be a controversial subject in a conservative country like Nigeria. Like, why are you writing a will when you’re not married, old or bastardly rich? Or, are you planning to die?

The recent conversations around the late singer, Mohbad, having a will at 26-year-old inspired me to ask other young people who have (or are planning to have) wills why they wrote one, including their general thoughts about it.

Tobi, 26

I wrote a will after I bought my first landed property at 25, and it was because of what I experienced from home. 

My mum saw plenty shege after my dad’s death because he didn’t have a will. He only had the deed to his house. After he died, his siblings stole the deed and sold the house. We couldn’t fight it because we had no proof of ownership.

I promised myself a thing like that would never happen again. Hence, the will. I also have a notarised document stating who gets my pension from work in the event of my death.

I’ll keep updating my will as I get more assets. I don’t want to hear story when I’m supposed to be resting on the other side.

Zee, 21

I plan to write my will this year. I have €10k in savings, and €15k in stocks. I also save €2k every month. I live in the Netherlands and intend to buy a house via mortgage this year. I’ll write my will afterwards. 

I believe a will is necessary once you start having assets. To be honest, I just got the conviction to create one as soon as possible. A friend tweeted about writing their own will, and I decided I needed to write mine too. I think I would’ve still considered it sometime this year, though.

I haven’t actively started the process, but all I need is to draft the document with a lawyer and then notarise it to make it legal. I can also draw up the will in Nigeria, as long as it aligns with Dutch law since my assets are here.

Isa, 32

I wrote my will at 30, and I think it’s brilliant to know who is getting what after you’re gone.

I’m unmarried without kids, but I know life is transient. Anything can happen at any time. So, even though I didn’t exactly have a reason to do it, I felt I had to. I spoke with a lawyer friend, and we drafted the document. The writing, corrections and confirmation process took about three weeks. Then we signed it with witnesses present.

Now, there’s a sense of relief knowing that that’s out of the way. If I leave Earth today, I can still put smiles on people’s faces. It’s my gift to the universe.

Ayo, 24

I don’t have a will yet, but I have a password-encrypted document that has all my asset information— bank accounts, crypto wallet passwords and shares.

I’ve also scheduled an automated email to send this document to my sister next year, with a reminder on my calendar to reschedule two days prior to sending time. If I’m still alive by then, I’ll reschedule the send date. If not, the email is sent.

I’ll eventually write a legal will when I start amassing concrete assets like landed property or when I get married. For now, the document suffices because most of my assets are password-based, and I want my sister to have everything.

Arin, 25

All my assets are currently in my bank account, and my immediate siblings have the details. I come from a polygamous family and know people whose families started fighting battles among each other when their father died. 

I don’t know if my dad has a will, and I’m not putting my mind there. My own goal is to make money and write a will to clearly outline who I want it to go to when the time comes. I’m hoping I do this before 35.

At the moment, my other focus is to find a legal way to dictate who gets my pension. I always thought just having a “Next of kin” sufficed, but I recently learned it doesn’t. So, I plan to find a legal solution to it this year.

Zoey, 23

I don’t have a will because I don’t have assets, but I think anyone above 18 with assets should have a will. At the latest, you should have one by 45. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 55 — with other things being equal — so one needs to put their affairs in order around this age.

You also read about the potential challenges involved with not having a will:

It’s Taken Us Three Years [and Counting] to Access My Late Aunt’s Pension



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.