who should be your next of kin

Who Should Be Your Next of Kin?

Have you ever had a dumbfounding moment? Like, you saw or heard something but it’s too shocking to react. Have you?

Some years back, I visited a place to fill out an important document. The queue was really annoying, but that’s not even the gist. So, while everyone queued to submit, my eyes caught someone’s form. Not like I was invading anyone’s privacy o, but my eyes just caught it. And in the section to add “next of kin”, this babe added her boyfriend’s name. Haaaaaaa! How!

I was in so much shock. Like, wonder shall never end. I kept asking, “Why?”, “how?”. How is someone you’re not legally married to your next of kin?

Fast-forward to last week, I started a conversation about it on social media, and the responses I got showed that:

People are in dilemma on who to make their next of kin

People need guidance on who to pick as their next of kin.

That’s why I’m writing this article. To guide you on the factors to consider before picking someone as your next of kin, especially when filling out a money-related document.

Here’s all you need to know about the next of kin conversation

next of kin

What is Next of Kin?

This refers to someone you’re related to by blood, marriage, or legal steps like adoption. This relationship is important especially when there’s no will involved. In other words, if there is a will in place, it would be taken preference above the next of kinship.

Why is a Next of Kin Important?

Aside from taking charge of finances, the next of kin-ship helps to establish who would take charge of other responsibilities like work or platonic relationships and handling medical and funeral decisions. So, in the case where no will is available, they may be in charge of making decisions and delegating responsibilities after the deceased is gone.

How Does the Next-of-kin Work with Trove?

I know some of us think that because a person is your next of kin, they automatically inherit your assets when you pass. But it’s not true.

To start with, the laws guiding the next of kin differ from country to country, however, with us – Trove Finance your next of kin is the first person we would reach out to in the case of your demise. This doesn’t mean that your assets go to them immediately. It just means they would be our first point of contact. See it as an emergency contact.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Next of Kin

While we’ve stated that your next of kin should either be a bloodline, your spouse, or your adopted child, you should also consider the following before making a pick.

Trust: Picking someone to handle decisions for you while you’re gone is a huge and sensitive responsibility. So, within the categories listed above, who do you trust the most? Who can you depend on to make personal decisions while you are passed? You should make a decision based on trust.

Level of Closeness: Who do you have a better relationship with? Who are you more comfortable with to handle such decisions?

Age: Because you’re picking someone who’d be your emergency contact, you should also consider their age. A teenager or infant may not be able to handle such situations. Can they be on your will? Definitely! But emergency contact? We won’t recommend it.

Read: Understanding Earnings Per Share (EPS): All You Need to Know

How Does the Transfer of Assets Work?

If the deceased left a will, the assets would be distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. Except expressly provided in a will, the next of kin are not entitled to the deceased’s property.

How about in the case of no will? Although it’s not exactly straightforward, it involves legal actions. The issue of inheritance would have to be taken to court so that English law, Islamic law, Customary law, or the law governing the administration of estates can decide.

But how does the next of kin come in here? They ensure that the assets don’t remain dormant and unclaimed. Also, they will probably be the ones to inform the court or financial institution about the deceased’s demise so that the assets can be distributed.

Myths on the Next of Kin Conversation

1. If I’m not married, my next of kin must be a blood relative

That’s not true. Usually, people would assume that a next of kin would be a spouse or family member. But in the absence of these, a nominated friend or partner you trust can come in.

2. My Next of Kin can take over my bank account

As I stated earlier, just because someone is your next of kin doesn’t mean they automatically gain access to your finances. In the case of your demise, they’d be the ones to contact the bank.

The person would provide the necessary information needed to secure your finances. Then, if a will is involved, your finances would be strictly shared according to it. But if there’s no will involved, the matter would have to be taken to court directly.

3. Setting up a Will is Hard

It’s pretty straightforward. You just need to fill out who gets what and how much of it. You can use a document to create this, but ensure it is legible and simple to understand. Also, ensure an executor or your next of kin is aware of your will. They’d be the ones to enforce or read them out after your demise.

We would also recommend that you do an LPA

LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint an attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf. Especially when you’re unable to help the deceased. This attorney would be in charge of setting your affairs in order while you’re alive—this includes your will. After your demise, your will would come into effect. Don’t forget to state what you want your next of kin to be. As this person would be responsible for running things smoothly while you’re gone

I hope reading through this helps you get a detailed understanding of how to get your assets in order for your demise. I hope it also helps you see the importance of who you choose as your next of kin.

Let me know if you found this helpful.

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