As we enjoy this Sunday, lets remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son which is found in the book of Luke chapter 15, verses 11-32. Briefly, the story goes as follows;
A father had two sons. One son then asks for his share of the inheritance while the father was still alive to which the father agreed. This son then went on a “partying spree” and eventually wasted all his money. He then came back and asked for forgiveness from his father, who, having a big heart, brought him back into the family.
This story not only represents biblical lessons, but legal lessons as well.
LEGAL LESSONS TO LEARN FROM THIS STORY
What is succession/ inheritance?
Inheritance refers to the way in which property is distributed or dealt with when a person dies. When a person is still alive, such a person usually wants his/ her property to be distributed in a certain way. In order to achieve this, a person can write a Will. But if there’s no Will, then the Law comes into place to determine the distribution.
Is a son/ daughter entitled to inheritance while the father is still alive?
No. Inheritance only comes into force when the parent dies. In case the parent is still alive, then this is called a Gift and can be given, or withdrawn from the child at any time.
NON- LEGAL LESSONS FROM THE STORY OF SUCCESSION:
The primary lesson is forgiveness. As you know, families usually go through many challenges, and some of these challenges give rise to legal issues.
We urge you, before you resort to seeking legal remedies for your family issues, please make sure you have exhausted all other options. This is because;
1. The moment you seek legal redress, the matter becomes public and so all your family problems are documented in public documents e.g Court records.
2. Some times its difficult for families to reconcile after the matter has been resolved in Courts. This is because with Court, there is always a winner and a loser and the loser might not be willing to bury the hatchet.
3. Remember, you are not the first family in the world to have problems. But also remember, a family is defined by the ways in which it deals with its problems.
If you have any questions about Succession and Inheritance, please do contact us through the usual channels. i.e facebook inbox, sms, email, phone call etc.