A Will is simply a legal document in which an individual known as the testator, declares how he/she would like his assets to be distributed when he/she dies.


6/14/20222 min read


A Will is simply a legal document in which an individual known as the testator, declares how he/she would like his assets to be distributed when he/she dies. The individuals designated to receive any of the property of a testator is called a beneficiary.

The types of wills are explained below:

1. Statutory Will:

These are wills made in accordance with the requirement of certain statutes. Example may include wills made according to Armed Forces Act Cap 420 LFN 2004 for members of the armed services. Also, courts in protection of mentally ill persons may order for a will for such persons.

2. Holograph Will:

This is a will written and executed in the hands of the testator himself which is usually not attested.

3. Nuncupative Wills:
A nuncupative will is the oral directives of a deceased person to his heirs, which are to be carried out after his death. It is usually made in anticipation of imminent death. It is sometimes referred to as Death Bed Wishes.

4. Mutual or Reciprocal Will:

It is made by two or more persons. They are reciprocal because they make provisions for each of the makers of the will, or an agreement between them to dispose their properties in a particular way. It is common among husband and wife when each leaves their property to the other on the condition that the second to die will leave all their estate including that of the first to die to an agreed 3rd party e.g. their child. The disposition may be done by one will or it may be done by separate wills. Mutual wills are not revocable, except with the agreement of the other party.

5. Conditional Will:

This is a will executed based on certain pre-conditions which must be fulfilled before the will can take effect.

6. Formal Will: This is a will made according to prescribed form as required by the relevant wills laws. It derives from English law and it is required to be signed by the testator and attested by at least two witnesses.

7. Joint Wills:

This arises where two or more persons agree to write one will and agree to give their personal properties or joint properties to other beneficiaries. Regardless of the fact that the will is one, the disposition is considered separate. Thus, either of the parties can revoke or amend its disposition.

8. Privileged Will:

This is a will made by certain categories of person’s actual service e.g. a soldier in actual military service; a mariner or seaman being at sea; or a crew of commercial airliners. Special concessions as to form, age of the maker and mode of execution and attestation are immaterial. Such persons can make wills without the required formalities. It may not be written or signed or witnessed. The testator must however have the testamentary capacity and the intention to make the will.

9. Written Customary Wills:

This type of Will conforms to Islamic laws.

10. Prenuptial/Ante-Nuptial Will:

This is a will made preparatory to a marriage. It can be made by any of the spouses to be before marriage.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com


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