1. Is it right to conclude that where there is a conflict between a trust that has been created by a settlor and the existing beliefs and customs of his known culture, the latter prevails?

ANS: No, this is not entirely correct.  If the Trust is created as a living Trust in other words, legal title in the asset is transferred during the lifetime of the Settlor, this will supersede Custom. However, if it is a testamentary Trust which simply means the Trust is created through a will, then the Custom prevails.

 

  1. How does the joint Corporate and Individual Trustees work?

ANS: A joint Trusteeship simply means that some assets are transferred to the Corporate Trustee while others are transferred to Individual Trustees. From what we have gathered from Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s Estate plan, he had a combine of Corporate Trustees as well as Individual Trustees. He transferred the publishing business to a Corporate Trustee while his other assets were disposed off in different ways. Wealthy Nigerians are beginning to use what is known as a family office. All the assets are transferred to a Trust and the family office helps with major investments as well as mundane things like helping to pay children and grandchildren’s school fees, buying tickets for travel etc.

It is also possible to appoint a Corporate Trustee and individual Trustees jointly as Executors of your Will. In that case the Individual Trustee serves as a Protector on relevant issues involved in carrying out their mandates.

 

  1. What is the difference between the Testamentary and Living Trust?

ANS: Testamentary Trust is ambulatory in nature. This means that it takes effect after the death of the Settlor and it is stated in the Will that a Testamentary Trust should be set up in favour of the beneficiaries while a Living Trust is created during the life time of a person who benefits from the trust while alive before the person’s death.

The Settlor of a Living Trust could also be a Beneficiary under the Trust

 

  1. Does the Bini tradition bestow on the first child the inheritance of the house the father was living even if in his Will he didn’t give him anything?

ANS: Yes, that is correct. However, with structuring, you can avoid this possible pitfall. In the case of Osula v Osula, the testator, a Bini Chief, expressly disinherited his first son but the court set that portion of the will aside that relates to the Igiogbe (where the deceased considered his main residence in Benin).

 

  1. Please, how can a trust be set up, can you advise me through the creation of a trust?

ANS: Please Contact STL Trustees via the email address: aoni@stltrustees.com or

Tel. No. 08037622234

 

  1. At what point do you pay Corporate Trustees to be executors?

ANS: Upon appointment, you pay a nominal one-off Sign-On fee. You will not need to pay any fee again because the work of the Executor only commences upon the demise of the Appointor/Testator. The payment would thereafter be made from the Assets as and when due when the executor’s work is carried out in line with the provisions of the Will. However, it is advisable that the Will contains a provision that the Executor should be remunerated.

 

  1. What does it take in pecuniary terms to create a personal Trust with STL?

ANS: Please Contact STL Trustees via the email address: aoni@stltrustees.com or

Tel. No. 08037622234

 

  1. Does the wishes of the original trustee exist in perpetuity even if the beneficiaries have a different wish over time?

ANS: The way the provisions of the Trust Deed are couched matters in such situation.

 

  1. Is it correct to state that a Custom that is inconsistent with the Constitution on grounds of discrimination will not override a Will or a Trust?

ANS: On Will? If contested in Court, maybe. We have seen that the Court has upheld the right of female children to inheritance. On Trust? Not likely.

 

  1. When the owner of an estate creates a Corporate Trust, does it vitiate the custom/tradition which bestows certain estate on the first son in the distribution of the deceased’s estate?

ANS: Yes, because the title to such assets have been passed to the Corporate Trustee whilst the Settlor was alive, hence the asset does not form part of the estate upon his demise.

 

  1. Can one apply to the Probate Registry even if there is no will?

ANS: In law, such person is said to have died intestate. You can apply for Letters of Administration to administer the Estate of the deceased person.

 

  1. In administering a Will, what percentage does the state take as well as the lawyer?

ANS: 10%, if no Real Estate is involved. Where real estate is involved, valuation of the real estate would be carried out and you will be advised as appropriate.

 

  1. In applying for Letters of Administration, what percentage does the government take?

ANS: 10%, if no Real Estate is involved. Where real estate is involved, valuation of the real estate would be carried out and you will be advised as appropriate.

 

  1. When is an Interim Administrator appointed?

ANS: When there are no valid Executor or the Will is contested and assets are meant to be protected

 

  1. How do you Communicate Assessment to Clients without having to come Periodically to the Probate Office to Check for Feedback?

ANS:  SMS & emails

 

  1. Can we deploy the use of Email or SMS or WhatsApp to Communicate Stages to Clients?

ANS: Yes

 

  1. Please can we have a copy of the Probate Flow?

ANS: Yes, this is contained in the Webinar material attached to this mail.

 

  1. Please elaborate more on access to a pension during the administration of a Will?

ANS:  Pension and gratuity of a deceased person are not taxable

 

  1. Where two different Letters of Administration are given to two different parties for the same deceased, what happens?

ANS: You need to approach the Court to strike out one.

 

  1. On the average how long can it now take to complete the process?

ANS: Three to Six Months.

 

  1. We applied for Letters of administration around this time last year but the lock down and the burning of courts during the end SARS unrest, the whole process has almost grinded to a halt. Please do advise on what can be done to salvage the situation.

ANS: Please visit the Probate Registry. This seems happened to many others. You would be advised on the way forward.

 

  1. Should tradition override legality?

ANS: No.

 

  1. Do you issue a Certificate for participants in the Webinar?

ANS: No, we do not.

 

 

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