Traditional Sharing Formula Of The Estate Of A Dead Nnewi Man
By Anayo M. Nwosu
If you are from Nnewi or Anambra and you fear that your elder brother is selfish, you better get your dad to write a will while alive otherwise you will be shocked at the powers our tradition has bestowed on the first son.
If an adult family man dies intestate (i.e. without a Will) the following procedures are followed in Nnewi to share his estate:
1. The first son shall summon the extended family (Umunna) meeting signaling his intention to share the estate of his late father amongst his siblings.
2. If their father was polygamous, only the first sons from each wife are required to attend. His brothers can attend but as observers.
3. If their father had only one wife, all the sons are required to be present.
4. Also in attendance are the Obi of the extended family, the chairman of the extended family meeting and the secretary. Few extended family members are invited to bear boundary witness.
APPLICABLE TO POLYGAMOUS SETTING
The main house where the father lived is not available for sharing. It belongs to the first son.
The first son maps out the remaining estates into the number of male child-bearing wives of his father including himself plus an extra portion reserved for the first son.
The sharing will commence with him taking a portion as the first son.
Thereafter, this same first son will also take his own share as one of the sons.
Meaning that the first son takes the first portion and the second portion before others start taking.
Then other sons will start taking theirs in order of seniority.
Each son from each wife shall then share what he has collected with his own siblings from his mother.
APPLICABLE TO A NUCLEAR SETTING
The first son takes his father’s house.
He will thereafter map out the remainder into the number of his brothers plus a portion meant for the first son.
He commences the sharing by first taking his portion excluding his father’s compound which belongs to him as per right and then he will call his other brothers to take theirs in order of seniority.
1. The last male child owns his mother’s house or land.
2. Female children are excluded from the share of their father’s estates so are the sons-in-law.
3. Nobody directs the first son on how to share his father’s estate. He could make his own share much larger than the remainder available for others to share. He is the Supreme Court in this matter. You can only appeal to his conscience.
If you are from Nnewi and you don’t like the above set up then write your will today.