"My Late Brother Has N1.6m in His Account; How Can I Claim the Money From the Bank?" Expert Explains

"My Late Brother Has N1.6m in His Account; How Can I Claim the Money From the Bank?" Expert Explains

  • A reader has asked for advice on how to go about claiming the money his late brother left behind in his bank account
  • Family members of deceased account holders often have the challenge of accessing money left behind by their departed loved ones
  • Counsel Uche Agwu gives interesting tips on how to successfully claim money left by a dead relative as a next-of-kin

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

A Legit.ng reader who recently lost his elder brother has asked how he can retrieve from the bank the money he had in his account.

How to gain access to late brother's account as next-of-kin
The next-of-kin relationship is important in determining inheritance rights if a person dies without a will and has no spouse and/or children. Photo credit - VioletaStoimenova, PeopleImages
Source: Getty Images

Anonymous asked:

"My brother recently passed on. He was a bachelor with no wife or kids and had no written will. I just found out he has over N1 million in his account and we don't want to end up losing it all to the bank. As his next-of-kin, please how can I go about claiming the money from the bank?"

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Uche Agwu is a lawyer and counsellor at a Lagos-based law firm, Chukwurah & Chukwurah Associates. He has over a decade's experience as an estate planning attorney, dealing with the drafting and execution of wills and other trust documents.

When a person dies, it is normal for family members to start collecting all the financial data like life insurance policies, locker keys, investment details, loan details, etc.

But the most important thing is the bank account. A bank account is the key to someone's financial life, and access to it is critical.

The place of next-of-kin

When you state your next-of-kin to a financial institution, your financial assets do not automatically go to the person. It simply means that they are the first point of contact if you happen to pass.

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Your brother stating you as his next-of-kin doesn't mean that his monetary assets will be automatically transferred to you at his demise.

Next-of-kin simply means a contact point the bank or any financial institution can reach out to in the case of inactivity.

However, the next-of-kin relationship is important in determining inheritance rights if a person dies without a will and has no spouse and/or children.

The process of claiming the money

When a person dies without a will, the question of inheritance can get complex. This debate is, however, settled by various aspects of Nigerian law.

As the next-of-kin, what you should now do is notify the bank of the death. This is usually done by delivering a certified copy of the death certificate to the bank, along with the deceased's name, bank account number, and other information.

The bank will also require other documents, including court-issued Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate, proof of relationship with the deceased and other forms of identification.

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Once you submit all of these documents and the bank has verified them, then the bank can commence the process of giving you access to the bank account.

Understand that this is not a process that takes a few weeks, as it could take months to complete.

Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions about solving issues of threats. Readers should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any decision.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at ask.an.expert@corp.legit.ng with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

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Source: Legit.ng

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