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We have had those times when we were required to complete a form and there is a section that requires details of our next of kin. These often happen in hospital, schools, getting a new job, taking high value transaction risks, etc. One of the questions that run through the mind of an average man while filling the form is, in the event of death, who should inherit my properties?

I have a friend that works in an organization where she has access to databases of people who have filled out their next of kin. From her records, she discovered that 90% of men fill their next of kin as their wives. She further went more to ask a few people in private the reasons for their choice and most of the men choose their wives because they would want their wives to take charge of their property when they are dead.

The litmus question is that, what is the legal right of the next of kin? Or simply put, does a next of kin has right to take over the landed property of a deceased man? Can you buy property from a next of kin of the former owner of the property? Can you continue collecting rent from tenants as the next of kin? The simple answer to these questions is NO! The next of kin does not have legal right over any transaction. Buyers should be careful who they pay to? Any money paid to the next of kin over a transaction is of no moment in law.

The only person that has right to make transaction over the property of a deceased person is BENEFICIARY. There are two ways to become a beneficiary;

  1. It can be by way of express inheritance: This is by direct inheriting a property from a deceased person that died testate (With a will). Assuming Mr. A died and wrote a will, where he specifically gave his property to his son, then the son is a beneficiary.
  2. It can be by way of Letter of administration: This always happen when the former owner died without leaving a will. The family member of the former owner will have to apply to Court. (This process will be explained in the next article) Upon that, Court will appoint an administrator for the estate of the deceased person and such a person will have right over the estate of the former owner of the property.

Finally, next of kin is not recognized in law, at best, he is just a first point of contact in case of emergency. It doesn’t automatically mean that they will be called to inherit your assets or properties. Do not make any payment to the next of kin.


For more inquiries on how to transfer your interest in land either via Deed of Gift or other means, feel free to call Ibejulekkilawyer on 08034869295 or send us an email at

Disclaimer: The above is for information purposes only and should not be construed as a legal advice. (bloc) shall not be liable to any person(s) for any damage or liability arising whatsoever following the reliance of the information contained herein. Consult us or your legal practitioner for legal advice.

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